Uber partners with Startup India, iCreate on innovation fund to drive adoption of EVs

The 'Green Mobility Innovation Challenge', which will be hosted on the Startup India portal, invites submissions from individuals and startups that focus on innovation in areas of two- and three-wheelers, and charging station accessibility.
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Ride-hailing company Uber has said it is partnering with Startup India and Gujarat-based startup incubation centre iCreate on an innovation fund to support new ideas to drive adoption of electric vehicles across the country.

The 'Green Mobility Innovation Challenge', which will be hosted on the Startup India portal, invites submissions from individuals and startups that focus on innovation in areas of two- and three-wheelers, and charging station accessibility, Uber said in a statement.

This is for potential partnership or financial models that can improve EV uptake in India, it added.

Last year, the company had announced $800 million in resources towards helping drivers transition to EVs by 2025, and 100 percent emission-free rides globally by 2040.

Uber has previously also partnered with Mahindra, SUN Mobility, and Lithium.

Under the partnership announced on Thursday, 10 winners, as chosen by a panel of five industry experts, will receive two months of mentorship by Uber's technical, engineering, and go-to-market teams and iCreate.

Of the 10 winners, Uber will disburse a grant of Rs 7.5 million among the top 5 startups, followed by six months of incubation at iCreate, it said.

"To further strengthen the country's emerging EV ecosystem, we are partnering with Startup India and iCreate on the 'Uber Green Mobility Innovation Challenge' to see what great ideas are out there.

"It is an honour to be able to support India's many entrepreneurs in addressing one of the most pressing issues of our time," said Prabhjeet Singh, President of Uber India South Asia.

In India, Uber has over 5,500 EVs on its platform across products and recently, Delhi became the first city in the country where riders can book e-rickshaws on the Uber app.

Deepak Bagla, MD and CEO of Invest India, said, "India is working towards empowering startups, especially those in the field of e-mobility to meet the SDG (sustainable development goal) targets."

He added that innovation is the cornerstone of development for India. "Through such challenges, we are looking to contribute to strengthening the start-up ecosystem in India."

Rajiv Bose, head of business at iCreate, said, "It is our vision to promote the growth of entrepreneurial capital that leverages innovation and technology. By partnering with Uber India, we are furthering the same vision on a larger scale by reaching out to startups across India."

The future of electric vehicles in India is promising, and iCreate looks forward to guiding the participating start-ups to build this future for the country, he added.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai