Taxi, please! This Delhi startup provides an entire EV stack for corporate fleet
Electric vehicles are the future.
Niti Aayog has proposed that India should be a complete EV nation by 2030. While the baby steps for the nation's move towards e-mobility has begun, it will be adopted sooner in the B2B industry. With that, our taxis as well.
Helping these taxis go all-electric is eee-Taxi — a Delhi-based startup founded by Nishant Saini and Vipul Nanda in 2015.
eee-Taxi is an end-to-end e-mobility solution provider that offers EVs, charging infrastructure, and technology altogether to help corporates save time, as well as carbon emissions. In fact, it also provides other EV users to use its infrastructure to plug-in their vehicles for charging.
"We are bridging the gap between the demand and supply side in the EV industry using tech and by providing a stack of services, including electric cars in partnership with OEMs," Nishant Saini, Co-founder of eee-Taxi, tells YourStory.
In 2011, the friends-duo started their careers by setting up an automobile-logistics company. Nishant says, "We started with the dealership of e-rickshaw in Gurugram and Faridabad for the first and last-mile passenger commute. From there on, we conceived the idea of e-mobility for corporates using four-wheelers.”
He highlights, “Our existing relations with the car manufacturing OEMs led to us launching commercial EVs with them. This also led us to build an entire EV stack from charging to mobility.”
With a big push towards EVs in India, several players have emerged in various mobility-related categories. These include — OEMs (Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra), leasing companies (Lease Plan and EESL), charging OEMs (Delta and Exicom), fleet operators (Lithium, Prakriti, and Blu Smart), charging operators (Fortum, ElectreeFi, Magenta Power, and NTPC).
According to SIAM, India sells less than a million EVs per year, of this, majority of EVs sold are e-rickshaws, followed by over 100,000 electric bikes, and close to 5,000 electric cars per annum.
Meanwhile, there are first and last-mile freight operators, movers and packers, cab-aggregators (Uber and Ola), ecommerce companies (Amazon and Flipkart), and food delivery companies (Zomato and Swiggy), who have expressed the need for EVs.
However, managing all this requires an end-to-end approach.
"Our seamless integration of the EV ecosystem links our vehicle diagnostics technology to show the status of charge of the vehicle. With the availability of information on charge time, the software helps companies plan their employee routes efficiently. Our tech team talks to our smart charging infrastructure provider, which shows the availability of chargers, and allows fleets to drop employees."
“We enable each ride by using technology. The tech enables routing and scheduling of cabs, thereby optimising the fleet utilisation and route optimisation, given the variability by day, time and traffic scenarios. Benefits from this optimisation are, thereby passed on to our clients," says Nishant.
eee-Taxi's first company was a US-based agency, which was pushing towards achieving sustainability goals in 2016. Its existing business had plastic processing, and it wanted to reduce its carbon footprint. Hence, the US company partnered with eee-Taxi for its employee commute.
"It took a lot of convincing, and initially, they were hesitant in partnering with us due to range anxiety. But eventually, they adopted and realised the benefits of having EVs," Nishant shares.
eee-Taxi operates two business models — first, it owns, operates, and aggregates EVs for corporates, and has more than 10 paying customers. Second, it also runs a ride-hailing business, specifically for corporates. At present, it is operating 150 EVs across Delhi and Hyderabad.
The startup says its USP lies in partnerships. For instance, it leverages its partnership with Hyderabad Metro by integrating its tech with the public transport infrastructure.
Moreover, it helps corporates understand how their employees can find company vehicles that can pick them up from the metro station. "Our captive charging station avoids the challenge of corporates giving us the space for setting up chargers,” Nishant adds.
Some of its customers include EY, Deloitte, and Tupperware, among others. eee-Taxi is also a strategic partner for Uber to increase its EV share in India.
In fact, it has also partnered with L&T Metro and Hyderabad Metro to create an ‘EV Zone’ for the public. Meanwhile, it competes with AltiGreen, Lithium, Numocity, and SmartE.
Nishant has invested close to $350,000 personally in the startup. In fact, eee-Taxi has received seed funding from the UK-based Royal Dutch Shell. The startup does not want to disclose.
"In the next 18 months, we plan to operate about 2,000 cars on our platform, where the demand side will be the corporates, airports, hotels, and train stations, and the supply side will be owned and leased as an aggregator model by the drivers, fleet investors, etc. So, essentially in Tier I and II cities, we will consolidate all the trips, and allocate these trips to drivers on our platform based on various parameters, including the status of the charge and live diagnostics," says Nishant.
Edited by Suman Singh