Self-drive car rental service Zoomcar, which reported a net loss of Rs 101 crore in FY16, has initiated roll out of electric vehicles on its platform, in an effort to expand its user base. The Bengaluru-based start-up is looking to reverse its fortunes by becoming an asset light company by getting rid of owning a fleet of its own. The proposed electric car fleet will be owned by individuals. “We have decided to move from owning cars ourselves and instead encourage individuals to rent out their cars on our platform when they are not using them. Over the next 18 months, we will shed our inventory and convert into 100% associated owned fleet,” founder Greg Moran told FE.
Incidentally, cab aggregator Ola was the first to announce a roll out of electric cars. It is planning to pilot a few thousand electric cars in several Indian cities this year. Ola will also invest in setting up charging stations in the pilot cities, its CEO Bhavish Aggarwal had announced recently.
Zoomcar plans to buy electric cars from Mahindra Electric, a Mahindra Group company as part of the initiative. In turn, it will outsource cars from its associates and rent out to its customers.
You may also like to watch:
The four-year old Bengaluru-based start-up co-founded by Greg Moran aims to offer electric cars in Bengaluru, Pune and Hyderabad and later to other key cities as well.
Zoomcar, so far, has raised $45 million and closed its Series B funding round in December with an undisclosed sum from Cyber Carrier. It had raised $24 million as part of Series B in July 2016 from Fort Smart Mobility and other investors. It currently operates in Bengaluru, Pune, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi NCR, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Vizag, Jaipur and Mysuru.
Zoomcar currently owns and operates around 3,500 cars in about seven cities across the country. Over the next one year, it is looking at doubling the fleet size to 7,000 cars.
The move by Ola and Zoomcar is expected to give boost to the sales of electric cars in India, which has been on a slow gear despite several initiatives by the government.
India’s only electric car maker Mahindra Electric has so far sold around 7,000 cars in India, including the 1,000 units sold in FY17, according to Mahesh Babu, CEO of Mahindra Electric.