Delhi government’s focus towards EV transition can work as a springboard towards EV adoption and the ridesharing sector can be the catalyst towards that change. As the leading ridesharing platform globally and in India, Uber understands and embraces its responsibility to steer this change for a greener future. In India, Uber has made the biggest sustainability commitment in the ridesharing sector by partnering with India’s leading carmaker to bring 25,000 EVs on the platform. We reaffirm our commitment to 100% rides taking place in zero-emission vehicles, on public transit, or with micro-mobility by 2040 – including in India. We firmly believe that the future of mobility is shared, multi-modal, and electric.

As we reimagine mobility for the masses, we need to solve for access to mobility by building options that are affordable to a larger section of the population – and two-wheelers are fundamental to that change. Hundreds of thousands of people in Delhi use two-wheelers across ridesharing platforms, accounting for estimated 20 lakh trips every month. In 2022, over 19 lakh trips took place to and from metro stations in NCR on Uber Moto, underscoring the need-gap bike taxis fill in solving for the last mile commute. 

Besides being affordable, quick, and time-saving for riders, two-wheeler mobility products support the livelihood of over 1 lakh drivers in Delhi who use their bikes to provide mobility and make an earning. For some it is their only source of income while for others, it is a means to supplement earnings from other jobs. Despite the industry’s nascency, its pervasive use is a testament to its popularity with commuters and importance to earners.

As the Delhi government contemplates a regulatory framework that will likely allow only electric vehicles (EV) to function as bike taxis, the time is right for deeper industry dialogue. Sustainability is a shared goal and no one can get there on their own. While we look for bold, ambitious ways to reach the zero emissions target, we need to find every way possible to help shared mobility drivers make a fair and equitable transition. One that makes people, businesses, and governments share a common path to progress on sustainability. Steep and infeasible EV mandates risk finishing off the sector as we know it. The impact of such a decision on the livelihoods and mobility needs of millions of Delhiites is clear. Transition after all is possible only if the businesses are still running.

To make a just transition – it is equally important to create a level-playing field across industries. Different electrification mandates for ridesharing and delivery sectors, not only lead to inequitable sharing of responsibility but seriously disadvantages the entire industry. Two-wheeler ridesharing apps should be seen at parity with others like delivery and services. The number of delivery rides far surpasses the two-wheeler mobility rides for commuters but they are being given a more practical timeframe for the electrification of their fleet. Given the economics around EV vs Petrol bikes, tech platforms need to invest heavily to keep driver earnings on EV bikes at parity with petrol bikes, irrespective of delivery or ridesharing. Thus it is only fair that the timelines for the conversion of the fleet should be the same across sectors. Uber is ready to commit to the same phased electrification mandates including full fleet electrification timelines as suggested for delivery companies.

The goal that the Delhi government has set for itself on sustainability is no different from ours – it’s the path to get there that we need to negotiate with care to ensure the transition to EVs is fair and equitable. We once again urge the government to initiate an industry dialogue so that we can arrive at a joint path to electrification. We are committed to contributing to accelerating EV adoption in India and are keenly looking forward to engaging in a progressive policy dialogue.