Calcutta: Calcuttans can now drive an electric vehicle without buying one.
Zoomcar, the rental self-drive platform, will have 50 Mahindra e2oPlus vehicles in its fleet available on hiring or subscription.
The Mahindra e2oPlus is an electric hatchback with a sticker price of Rs 7.46 lakh (ex-showroom). Customers would be able to hire one from Zoomcar at Rs 40-50 an hour or subscribe to it for Rs 9,999 a month.
“This is a watershed moment for us in Calcutta,” said Greg Moran, co-founder and CEO of Zoomcar, a shared mobility platform headquartered in Bangalore. “We started core operations in Calcutta two years ago with self-drive rentals. Then we introduced bicycles on rent through PEDL and now we are able to bring e-vehicles to the platform.”
Zoomcar’s subscription platform, Zap, enables customers to earn some money from the car when not using it. The cars are available for subscription for six, 12 and 24 months.
“The subscription model makes personal use of vehicles economically viable. The customer enjoys an electric vehicle for just Rs 9,999 a month. He need not pay the road tax, insurance or anything else. He just needs to charge the car on a 15ampere socket. A fully charged car will run 100km with three people on board and air-conditioning,” Moran said.
The subscription charge can be brought down further if the subscriber puts the car out on rent on the Zoomcar platform when idle.
“Typically, subscribers use the car on one weekend in a month. On the remaining weekends, he can make it available on the Zap platform for rent out and earn some revenue. The subscriber gets to keep 75 per cent of the revenue earned from his subscribed car, while we keep the rest,” said Moran.
Mahesh Babu, the CEO of Mahindra Electric, hopes Zoomcar’s Zap platform will allow more and more people to experience an e-vehicle at a low cost.
“Electric vehicles are still a relatively unknown phenomenon in the passenger car segment. The more people get to drive one, the greater will be the acceptance of electric cars,” Babu said.
E-vehicles on the Zoomcar platform will take the total number of electric cars in the city to about a hundred.
“By 2020, 50 per cent of our fleet will comprise EVs. In fact, by next year, 25 per cent of our cars will be EVs,” said Moran. With the 50 e2oPlus vehicles added to its fleet on Wednesday, Zoomcar’s total number of vehicles in the city stands at 200.