This Delhi-based EV rental startup is thriving to reduce air pollution
Switching to green vehicles is an ongoing process in India. While people are realising the need to opt for electric vehicles to reduce vehicular emissions and save fuel, one of the major roadblocks in this shift is the high prices of EVs.
Fortunately, renting vehicles is one of the solutions to this problem. With two-wheelers gaining popularity in India, renting electric vehicles for daily use might be a solution to the problem.
Delhi-basedis trying to encourage the rental of electric two-wheelers to ensure a greener switch.
Ashish Aggarwal, Founder, and CEO at VA-YU [Image Credit: VA-YU]
Realising the importance of EVs, Ashish Aggarwal launched Treehouse Ventures Pvt. Ltd. — better known as VA-YU — in 2020. The EV scooter rental startup offers safe, sustainable mobility solutions for both businesses and individuals across Delhi-NCR.
Ashish — who had previously worked with ICICI Bank in London and The HEINEKEN Company in Amsterdam — always wanted to return to India. While he was always interested in the EV segment, he realised the need of starting up in this space after experiencing higher levels of air pollution in Delhi.
“It was really shocking for me that while we were doing well as a country, we were not able to tackle air pollution problems, especially in cities such as Delhi. After doing some research, I realised that vehicular emission was an important contributor to this pollution. I also understood that since two-wheelers are the biggest and widely used vehicle category, their contribution was higher,” Ashish tells YourStory.
He explains that the pollution caused by vehicular emissions is far more dangerous since it stays at the lower levels of the atmosphere, where human beings breathe.
Illustration: YS Desing
Renting electric two-wheelers
The founder explained that the higher cost of EVs was a challenge in the adoption of the vehicles, thus VA-YU offers two-wheelers on rent.
People can rent the e-scooters for one week to six months, depending on their needs.
“Users can book or order the vehicles using the mobile application, and it will get delivered to their doorstep by the VA-YU team. Once the user is done with the vehicles, the team will also collect them from their home,” Ashish says.
Besides, users can also contact the team in case the vehicles need repairs or maintenance.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the team also sanitises the vehicle at the doorstep of the user when they deliver it to them.
The founder adds that users will have to pay a deposit of Rs 1,000 and can rent the scooter. They can also renew their rental plan if they need to.
“We hardly need to pickup vehicles because most of the customers keep on renewing their plan, hence we have very few returning vehicles,” he claims.
Image Credit: VA-YU
Business and more
VA-YU — presently operational in Delhi-NCR — offers plans from one week to six months, starting from Rs 950 for a week, all-inclusive of taxes, insurances, home delivery of the scooter, maintenance, and repair.
The startup operates on both B2C and B2B models. While the founder declined to share information on its clientele list, he reveals that VA-YU scooters are used by businesses operating in ecommerce, food delivery, and hyper-local delivery segments.
Ashish explains that VA-YU gets the scooters customer manufactured from their manufacturing partners. At present, it has around 300 scooters in its fleet.
The bootstrapped startup claims to be recording about 3,000 rides daily and is covering about 15,000 km per day.
According to a report by Mordor Intelligence, the Indian e-bike rental market stood at $5 million in 2020. It is expected to cross $10 million by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 10 percent. Other notable players, including Yulu, Bounce, and VOGO, also operate in this segment.
Speaking about the future plans, the founder reveals that the startup is looking to raise funds and expand its operations into other Tier I Indian cities. Besides, it is also looking to offer daily rental ride services.