Currently, Ola operates 26,000 taxis that run on CNG in Delhi, of which 6,000 of them were added recently as a result of its increased focus on CNG-run cabs.
With the Delhi state government planning to reintroduce the odd-even formula for cars starting April 1 to curb pollution by diesel cars, taxi-app operator Ola Cabs on Wednesday said it will invest Rs 200 crore over the next six months to help adoption of green fuels, including adding more than 2000 cabs every month, that run on less-polluting fuels such as CNG, or compressed natural gas.
”We are committed to providing a seamless mobility experience in the state in adherence to the local regulations, at the same time empowering our driver-partners by helping them switch to CNG with no negative impact on their earnings. Going, forward we plan to invest Rs.200 Crore towards innovative green fuel technology, leasing of CNG cars as well as strengthening the ecosystem to catalyse greater CNG adoption in the region,” said Rahul Maroli, Vice President – Strategic Supply Initiatives at Ola.
Ola plans to add more than 2000 cars month on month, across its offerings as part of the plan. Currently, it operates 26,000 taxis that run on CNG in Delhi, of which 6,000 of them were added recently as a result of its increased focus on CNG-run cabs.
Ola, which competes with Uber, moved to CNG-powered cars since September last year since they are less polluting and much cheaper compared to diesel and petrol. Lower fuel costs in turn translates into higher profits for drivers since the trip fare is the same.
The development comes in the wake of Delhi state government’s plans to reintroduce odd-even scheme from April 15 until April 30, wherein private four-wheelers that run on petrol and diesel, and with odd-and-even number plates are allowed to ply only on odd-and-even dates. The move resulted in commuters preferring to opt for a cab for travel, while leaving their cars back at home.
The odd-even policy was first introduced in January this year for 15-days by the state government of Delhi, to curb pollution in the city-state and free-up traffic on the often congested roads. The decision came in the wake of reports naming Delhi as the most polluted city in the world including one by the World Health Organisation.
The policy allows private four-wheel vehicles with odd and even number plates to ply on Delhi roads on days which have a odd-even dates, respectively. The policy will be in force for six days in a week from 8am to 8pm. The scheme is being reintroduced for a second time from April 15 to 30.
For its plan to encourage adoption of CNG cars in Delhi, Ola had run a 5-day campaign, which saw more than 15,000 unique visitors showing interest, the company said. The firm has also partnered with car dealers of Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Hyundai Motor, General Motors, and Nissan, among others to help its driver-partners to either buy or exchange for a new CNG car. For financing of such cars, Ola has tied up with State Bank of India, IDBI, and Shriram Finance, while for exchanging diesel cars it has partnered with Shriram Automall India, and CarTrade.com, the company added.