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Uber Urges Delhi Government For Industry Dialogue; Seeks Parity With Delivery Cost On Electrification Mandates, Timelines

Uber said it is ready to commit to the same phased electrification mandates including full fleet electrification timelines as suggested for delivery companies

Uber Urges Delhi Government For Industry Dialogue; Seeks Parity With Delivery Cost On Electrification Mandates, Timelines
POSTED ON February 25, 2023 11:56 AM

With the Delhi government planning to allow only electric two-wheelers to ply as bike taxis, Uber on Friday said the time is right for a deeper industry dialogue as it also emphasised the need for a fair and equitable transition to help shared mobility drivers.

To make a just transition, it is equally important to create a level-playing field across industries, Uber said in a blogpost. Two-wheeler ridesharing apps should be seen at parity with others like delivery and services, the blogpost said, adding different electrification mandates for ridesharing and delivery sectors not only leads to inequitable sharing of responsibility but seriously disadvantages the entire industry.

Uber said it is ready to commit to the same phased electrification mandates including full fleet electrification timelines as suggested for delivery companies.

"Sustainability is a shared goal and no one can get there on their own. While we look for bold, ambitious ways to reach the zero emissions target, we need to find every way possible to help shared mobility drivers make a fair and equitable transition," Shiva Shailendran, Director – Operations, Uber India and South Asia, said in a blogpost.

Steep and infeasible EV mandates risk finishing off the sector and the impact of such a decision on the livelihoods and mobility needs of millions of Delhiites is clear, according to the blogpost.

Transition is possible only if the businesses are still running, it argued.

"As the Delhi government contemplates a regulatory framework that will likely allow only electric vehicles (EV) to function as bike taxis, the time is right for a deeper industry dialogue," Shailendran wrote in the blog.
    
Shailendran asserted that two-wheeler ridesharing apps should be seen at parity with others like delivery and services.

"The number of delivery rides far surpasses the two-wheeler mobility rides for commuters but they are being given a more practical timeframe for electrification of their fleet," the blog post said.

Given the economics around EV versus petrol bikes, tech platforms need to invest heavily to keep driver earnings on EV bikes at parity with petrol bikes, irrespective of delivery or ridesharing.

 "Thus it is only fair that the timelines for conversion of the fleet should be the same across sectors. Uber is ready to commit to the same phased electrification mandates including full fleet electrification timelines as suggested for delivery companies," according to the blog post.

Uber said that the goal the Delhi government has set for itself on sustainability is no different from its own and added "it's the path to get there that we need to negotiate with care to ensure the transition to EVs is fair and equitable".

Uber, in the blog post, urged Delhi government to initiate an industry dialogue "so that we can arrive at a joint path to electrification".

"We are committed to contributing to accelerating EV adoption in India and are keenly looking forward to engaging in a progressive policy dialogue," Uber's Shailendran said in the blog post.

The aggregator policy being finalised by the Delhi government proposes to allow only electric two-wheelers to ply as bike taxis. The aggregator policy for two-, three- and four-wheelers is in its final stages and will be rolled out soon, transport minister Kailash Gahlot had said on Monday.

The Delhi government's transport department has launched a crackdown against two-wheelers with private registration marks being used for commercial purposes.

In a public notice, the department has cautioned bike taxis against plying in Delhi and warned that violations would make aggregators liable for a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh.

Uber further said hundreds of thousands of people in Delhi use two-wheelers across ridesharing platforms, accounting for estimated 20 lakh trips every month.

In 2022, over 19 lakh trips took place to and from metro stations in NCR on Uber Moto, underscoring the need-gap bike taxis fill in solving for the last mile commute.

"Besides being affordable, quick and time-saving for riders, two-wheeler mobility products support the livelihood of over 1 lakh drivers in Delhi, who use their bikes to provide mobility and make an earning. For some it is their only source of income while for others, it is a means to supplement earnings from other jobs," Uber blog post said.

Despite the industry's nascency, its pervasive use is a testament to its popularity with commuters and importance to earners, it emphasised.
 

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