While the governments at the Centre and States have taken proactive steps to encourage electric vehicles (EVs), on-ground hurdles such as high levels of corruption at the regional transport offices (RTOs) could hold back the sector, according to Goldie Srivastava, CEO of SmartE, an electric vehicle solution provider that has an exclusive tie-up with the Delhi Metro. SmartE has tied up with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to provide last-mile connectivity from the metro stations through e-rickshaws. The company, in collaboration with the DMRC, recently rolled out e-rickshaws at eight stations in Dwarka, over and above its existing services in Gurgaon and Faridabad.
The fleet, prior to the Dwarka rollout, has transported about 25 million people in Gurgaon and Faridabad and transports about 55,000 people every day. “If you look at the economics of a conventional auto driver, on a given day, he does about 15-16 rides with an average wait time of 30 minutes between rides,” he said. “The revenue generation and income potential is so much more lucrative with us, that now a lot of auto drivers are coming on. “In an auto, the ride distances and frequency are erratic,” Mr. Srivastava said. “The driver may start at Connaught Place and end up in Rajouri Gardens and might have to come back empty. In our model, we function on volume and predictable routes. The driver knows the ride will be only 5-6 km from a metro station and then back. He is able to earn much more in a 10 hour shift with us.”