Gurugram based eee-Taxi is one of the front runners in propagating electric mobility in India and holds the distinction of being the first company to introduce electric cars in Delhi-NCR. Their EVs have completed over 18 million kms, resulting in a reduction of over 5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide and savings of over 1.5 million litres of fuel. Primarily, the Shell E4 incubated company provides employee transportation services to corporates using its fleet of electric cars.
We caught up with Nishant Saini, Founder and Managing Director at eee-Taxi to understand the nuances of running an electric mobility fleet service in India. Here are the highlights of the conversation:
In your experience, what are the most common concerns institutions have in switching to e-mobility for their people movement needs?
1. Reluctance to change from an already existing model for employee movement.
2. Mind set and the myth of range anxiety.
3. Worry about the availability of chargers and charging speed.
4. Myth about EV being expensive.
What advantages do corporate employers have in switching to EV based employee transport?
– Save company’s logistics cost by providing automation, no fuel escalations and lower EV running cost.
– Save company’s travel time per employee through our state of art tech, by route optimization and efficient rostering of employees.
– Reduce company’s carbon emissions by providing a green mobility service with zero emissions.
We provide our corporate clients an end to end e-mobility solution under one umbrella – i.e. EV Ecosystem integration that includes connected electric cars, employee commute technology and Charging Infra Set up.
As a fleet operator, how does the high CAPEX associated with electric cars impact your profitability?
It’s true that currently the EVs’ capex is higher than the ICE Vehicles. However, with higher running of kms per day over number of years – electricity fuelled EVs offer a lower Total Cost of Ownserhip taking into account the ICE fuel cost, repair and maintenance expenses.
eee-Taxi focuses on optimizing its vehicles to the fullest capacity with efficient routing to make sure that the higher initial cost is recovered quickly, and bottom line is profitable and sustainable. With our current business model, we make money and our corporate also save money.
What are your expectations from the policymakers to help strengthen the EV ecosystem in the country?
– Make it mandatory for corporates and all government departments to switch to EVs in staggered manner every year. Provide benefits for companies or individuals for switching to EVs.
– Charging Infrastructure – If charging fails, the fleet operation business fails. While the Government has deployed many chargers under FAME 1 & FAME 2, their location and utilization are subject to debate. We at eee-Taxi have deployed our own charging stations consciously at locations conforming to heat maps.
However, charging infrastructure comes at a price. It takes anywhere from 2 – 3 months to get an EV Charging Station up and running. One has to make multiple visits to the DISCOM office to apply for connection, load sanctioning, soil testing, NOC form utility boards, CEIG approvals, commissioning reports etc. The process causes time and cost overruns and is even more complex if one were to apply for an HT connection to set up Big Charging Hubs of sanction loads of over 100kW. The fleet electrification process can be smooth if there is single window clearance which helps both DISCOM and applicant.
– Tariff Policy and Upstream Cost by DISCOMS – As per guidelines of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, almost all DISCOMS have created a separate tariff category for EV Charging. However, if one were to add Wheeling Charges, Minimum Demand Charges, Energy Charges, Electricity Duty, Time of Day (TOD) charges, the relief in terms of subsidized slab rates seem to diminish. Support in terms of increasing LT threshold for EV meter application is required, to set up a charger of 200 KW, the upstream cost of transformer and whole set up is higher than the charger procurement cost, which discourages set up of charging infra.
– Other relaxations given to electric vehicles need to be implemented in letter and spirit such as prompt refund of subsidy, registration and road tax waiver, waiver on toll MCD fee, reserved parking for EV in all building complexes, EV tariff at commercial offices also.
There is a lot of talk about data and analytics that EVs can leverage vis ICE vehicles. How does eee Taxi use analytics to manage and improve its EV fleet operations?
All our cars are connected with OBD/CAN bus devices which throws live data/API to our dashboard, it then integrates with our employee commute platform for trip allocation, then it talks to our smart charging infra for allocation of car to a charger. A lot of smart algorithms are run to connect the entire ecosystem. Data and technology are the key to efficient operations.
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