The newest entrant in the taxi business in Mumbai – S3 cabs is finding indigenous ways to benefit the cab drivers and reduce their operational costs. While rival taxi companies are slowing down on the EV plans, due to lack of charging points; S3 has got the approval for a mobile bio-diesel distribution pump. The pump will be used to fill bio-diesel for its cabs across Mumbai.
For uninitiated, ‘Biodiesel’ is an alternative fuel similar to conventional or ‘fossil” diesel. Biodiesel can be produced from straight vegetable oil, animal oil/fats, tallow and waste cooking oil. And, since it is made from animal and vegetable fat, it can be produced on demand and also causes less pollution than petroleum diesel.
Speaking on the development Sohel Kazani, Director of S3 Cabs, said “I am very excited that we have received a fantabulous response from the drivers and riders both. As a company, Sahyadri Smart Safe Private Limited was a late entrant in the business, but we always wanted to be the path leaders. Going forward with our vision, we have procured the equipment and supply for bio-diesel distribution. The mobile bio-diesel distribution van will travel all over the Mumbai and have fixed timings at South Mumbai and near all Mumbai entry points. In the first stage we only want to supply the fuel to our taxis, if we are surplus, we will distribute it to other vehicles too.”
Bio-diesel blend has been made a mandate in many countries. The government had recommended a blend in 2017 but the same has not been made compulsory. Biofuels also reduce the emissions making the environment cleaner. It would help the economy by reducing crude import; India imports approximately 8 lakh crores of crude oil annually. Also, it is priced lower than convention diesel, resulting in savings for the drivers. Shifting to biofuels is also a long-term solution to the problem of rising fuel prices.
At the commercial inception of the cab services, S3 had provided a patented technology registered as ‘Oxy Power’ to all its drivers. This technology requires an external fitment in the car and helps in the better utilization of the fuel resulting in 20% and 30% reduction in fuel consumption. Reduced fuel consumption helped the taxis to operate at flat fares all the times. Now with BioDiesel, there will be further 5% to 10% reduction in fuel costs resulting in Net overall 40% reduction in fuel bill to be paid by the taxi owners.
“The average consumption of fuel by the cab owners based on 300km per day traveling amounts to 30 liters of diesel, and that equals to INR 2200 per day. A 40% reduction would mean INR 880 saving per day on fuel account or as much as INR 26,000 approx a month by using bio-diesel and the oxy-power unit. A pilot study made us understand that it keeps the fuel systems and fuel injector cleaner thus reducing the vehicle maintenance cost and increasing the mileage. It will also help in additional employment generation. We would like to work closely with the government to make the shift to biofuels happen and we hope that they lower the GST on bio-diesel to 5%” mentioned Sohel.
Biodiesel can be used in any diesel car without any additional modification as in the case of CNG. It is cleaner and more efficient than regular diesel. Biodiesel can be used alone or blended with regular diesel in any proportions.
Launched in last month, in Mumbai, S3 Cabs currently operate around 3000 taxis in the city. Passengers who do not have the application downloaded or without a smartphone, have the option of booking the cab through service representatives designated at different parts of the Mumbai region and also through a phone call. SOS service with CCTV camera in every cab and voice recording has been implemented for passenger safety. Riders are able to customize the trip using language options, tourist guide option, etc. The service is an initiative by the Bharat Freight, a logistics company.
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