Making e-mobility a preferred mode of transportation in India
Mr. Nishant Saini, Founder & MD, eee-Taxi talks to ETN about the need for a big push towards building a robust EV network for seamless EV travel in India.
Q. Being an end-to-end e-mobility solutions provider, what kind of business model has eee-Taxi adopted?
As an end-to-end e-mobility solution provider we help businesses reduce their employee logistics cost, travel time, and SCOPE3 carbon emissions by providing EVs, journey management technology, and charging infrastructure. We have a very distinct business model. In principle, we are a B2B player, however, we also sweat our assets on ride-hailing aggregators like Uber to optimize vehicle utilization and pass on the benefit to corporates. All our solutions can be taken together or individually also. For corporates we provide flexibility on a pay-as-you-go model, helping them reduce their SCOPE 3 emissions immediately without any CAPEX.
(SCOPE 3 emissions are the result of activities from assets not owned or controlled by the reporting organization, but that the organization indirectly impacts in its value chain. It is also referred to as value chain emissions, often represent the majority of an organization's total greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions.)
Q. With a big push towards EVs in India, several players have emerged in the e-mobility space, what kind of unique offering does eee-Taxi bring to the table?
EEE Taxi is more than a taxi operator. We are a cleantech company which offers Mobility-as-a-Service, Car-as-a-Service, and Charging-as- a-Service. Various features like algorithm-driven routing which helps save 30-minutes to an hour per day, automated reconciliation of trip billing with advanced data analytics, automated trip management with live location tracking, etc. We also provide 100 percent transparency in billing and compliance and safety of passengers and data. Our distinction lies in giving one-stop-shop solution to corporates for EV + tech + charging infra for reduction in cost + time + certificate for reducing SCOPE 3 emissions.
Q. What kind of partnerships (corporate and government) have eee-Taxi established to date? Please share details about it?
At present we have more than 15-plus marquee clients across the country. We firmly believe strategic partnerships are very important to increase our footprint nationally. Few of our partnerships include Hyderabad Metro/LNT metro, National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC), The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), etc. with the recent thrust by various Government agencies regarding EV adoption, we are actively looking to serve government PSUs. We emerged L1 bidders at TSREDCO (State Government of Telangana Department), the nodal agency for EV adoption in Telangana. We are also registered sellers on the GeM portal of Govt. of India and other procurement portals of various State governments.
Q. EV adoption in India is yet to pick up the pace. What kind of opportunities and challenges does it offer for eee-Taxi for providing seamless travel and building a robust EV network?
I believe the biggest opportunity is India's $ 20 billion Industry which comprises Emergency Travel Services (ETS), ride-hailing, and car rentals. We at eee-Taxi are strategically launching ourselves across cities to target various segments. There are various challenges are plaguing this sector. The first is limited models of cars available for the commercial segment. The second is limited EV charging infra. This limitation is both in terms of availability and location of the charging station. EV acquisition is expensive currently but sweating the asset for more than 200 kms per day will bring it at par with its ICE counterpart. The current model of financing makes them non-lucrative. Therefore, there is a requirement for subsidized EV Financing for quick adoption.
Q. Please tell us about the kind of funding eee-Taxi has received to date. Are you planning to accelerate the same in the upcoming time?
We have invested $1.2 million of promoter capital to date, other than this Shell India markets have provided Pre Seed Round Fund worth $200,000. The rest of the corpus is Promoter's Equity. The company is at various stages of engagement with investors to raise funds as growth capital to grow nationally and internationally.
Q. Which EV models have made it to the EEE Taxi fleet to date. Please tell us about the distinct point behind deploying the same. Any plans to add new EV models in the upcoming time?
We have deployed around 150 Mahindra eVerito D2 and Tata Tigor EV XT+. At this juncture, I would like to proudly state that EEE-Taxi was a pioneer in introducing Delhi NCR's first commercial eVerito in 2015. We went ahead with deploying EVs which were available in the market. At present all our fleet is owned by us, however, we are now planning to lease EVs and include Driver-cum-Operators (DCO) and fleet investors in our portfolio. We are very eager to add new variants to our fleet and are in the advanced stages of conversation with various OEMs for the same.
Q. Please tell us about your plans to transform e-vehicle as a preferred mode of transportation.
Well during COVID-19 when everybody saw clear skies, everyone thought about what we should live with. Our e-mobility disruption is to make travel through EV a normal routine, like eating food. It's a zero-emission car with zero noise. Everybody who uses EV must feel proud to contribute to the environment. we are geared up to have 7,000-8,000 cars on our platform in the next few years integrated with the public transport network along with other form factors like two and three-wheelers as well.