Ride-hailing platform Uber on Wednesday said it has partnered with SUN Mobility, an energy infrastructure and services provider co-founded by Chetan Maini, founded of India’s first E-Car Reva (now Mahindra Reva), as part of its efforts to strengthen the electric vehicle ecosystem in India.
Under the partnership, SUN Mobility will offer its energy infrastructure platform which includes swappable smart batteries and Quick interchange stations to select original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for building e-autos, a statement said.
Fleet owners and Uber’s driver-partners will benefit because they can buy vehicles without the battery to save money on initial acquisition costs. They will receive charged, swappable batteries as a service by SUN Mobility, thereby helping bring the overall cost of e-autos in line with their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterpart, it added.
“In the coming months, this partnership will be piloted across select cities. Uber’s deep knowledge and expertise in creating global mobility platforms combined with SUN Mobility’s unique energy infrastructure will accelerate the adoption of convenient and affordable zero-emission mobility across India,” the statement said.
The partnership is an important step forward in fulfilling Uber’s vision of creating a mobility ecosystem that is sustainable, provides cleaner air and helps build smarter cities across the region, Pradeep Parameswaran, president of Uber, India and South Asia, said.
“Our mission is to give users a cost-effective and convenient energy infrastructure solution to accelerate the adoption of EVs. Partnering with Uber, the leading global player in personal mobility will help create a wide EV landscape at scale, that will transform the way people commute,” SUN Mobility Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman Chetan Maini said.
Recently, the Indian government has started offering several incentives to accelerate adoption of electric vehicles in the country. This includes NITI Aayog’s FAME II proposal that provides a budget of Rs 10,000 crore to accelerate adoption of EVs and recommends phasing out internal combustion engine 3-wheelers by 2023 and 2-wheelers by 2025.
Chetan Maini, who has served on a number of Government boards set up to frame EV policies, started the Reva Electric Car Company (now Mahindra Electric) which was ranked as one of the 50 most innovative companies in the world by American business magazine, Fast Company. With Reva, Chetan disrupted the mobility sector and created awareness on electric mobility in India as well as 24 countries globally. Taking forward his relentless passion for transformative mobility run on renewable energy, Chetan and Uday Khemka of SUN New Energy Systems, a clean energy market leader, set up SUN Mobility on April 2017.
Maini has been a member of multiple boards such as India’s National Board on Electric Mobility (NBEM) formed by the Government of India’s Ministry of Heavy Industries & Enterprises; and on the Technology Advisory Group (TAG) on Electric Mobility formed by the Government of India under the Ministry of Science and Technology. Additionally, he was on the committee of Jt. Secretaries to help frame the upcoming EV national policy to enable transformation change.
A director in the Maini Group and co-founder of Virya Mobility 5.0, he is an investor and on the board of multiple clean-tech start-ups.