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‘Regulatory Framework For Public Transport Needs Overhaul': Expert

In a discussion on the 'framework for public transportation and other related issues, Nimish Trivedi, Co-Founder & CEO, Prakriti E-Mobility felt the current scenario required an overhaul. This and several other issues were discussed in a virtual session organized as part of the EV-summit on the occasion of World Environment Day, June 5. Excerpts:

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With low running costs, EV or Electric Vehicles in shared mobility is the true pinnacle of sustainability and future-ready societies. However, a more conducive regulatory policy will further boost the faster adoption of EVs under shared mobility and in public transportation. This was discussed at length in a virtual session called the ‘Public Transport & Shared Mobility with respect to EV future. The e-session was addressed by Nimish Trivedi, Co-Founder & CEO, Prakriti E-Mobility.

When queried about the genesis of his company, Trivedi said: “We started exploring EVs in the shared mobility space when there was a push from the government in developing charging infrastructure in 2019. We were already in the business of providing roof-top solar charging stations. Then we went back to the drawing board and deliberated on getting into EVs."

How and why did you decide to enter the space of shared mobility - E-Taxis? "Me and my two partners traveled extensively in Ola, Uber for around 6 months to see and examine the gaps. We realized there was a larger possibility in getting into the shared mobility space as the market was big and expanding. In the covid era, this may not be a reality but over the next 3-4 months people may start booking cabs,” said Trivedi.

Does the market have space for more players? Or is it already crowded? “In a place like Delhi, you can easily have 3-4 more players as the demand-supply gap exists. Currently, people are getting scheduled rides (and therefore) there is a certainty that you will get cab rides. When you talk about tier 3 or tier 4 cities, I don’t see much enough presence as the cost of EVs is high and to make a value proposition may become difficult as the rides will be less," Trivedi said.  

It is to be mentioned that Prakriti E-Mobility’s services include a fleet of Electric Vehicles that run as an app-based cab service along with a network of solar charging stations to compliment the same. They have more than 150 EV cabs running in Delhi NCR and more than 43 electric charging stations.

Terming the regulatory environment as 'fragmented', Trivedi said, “There is a greater need of a focused approach towards having a policy towards the Public transport system. Today, there is no policy of having EVs as buses, a segment largely driven by the government.  Till the time it is dependent on states, which will have their own views and requirements. There should be a national policy of moving all buses towards electrification.  Unless, we see a clear policy coming out, we will be having a challenging scenario. So, there should be a pan-India approach towards public transport.”

Talking about the challenges, he added: “Some sort of support mechanisms, in terms of providing electricity for charging at a lower cost like in Delhi, should be there”.

When asked about its segment diversification and fleet expansion plans, Trivedi reveals,” As of now we are committed towards the four-wheeler segment and have not thought much about the two-wheeler or three-wheeler segments. There are A lot of incentives are being offered by the central government for procuring vehicles. These incentivization programmes, cost wise, become more workable for us for investing in our fleet business.”

Story was transcribed and filed by Avishek Banerjee

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