Uber Technologies has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with one of India’s largest car manufacturers, Tata Motors, to purchase 25,000 electric-powered vehicles in what has been categorized as the biggest EV order from a ride-hailing firm.
In a press release published just hours ago, Uber commented that Tata will progressively deliver the first electric-powered XPRES-T vehicles this month. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed at the time but information from Tata’s official website indicates that each unit costs approximately $16,000.
The website also states that the XPRES-T EV has a certified range of 213 kilometers and is powered by a 21.5 kWh battery pack. The cars can be charged by using a regular 15AMP charger and come with adapters to charge them at home.
Charging an XPRES-T will typically take 11.5 hours by using normal AC charging. Meanwhile, a fast DC charger will replenish the vehicle’s power level from 0% to 80% in around 2 hours. Tata Motors provides a warranty of 3 years or 125,000 KM, whichever happens first.
Uber Taps on India’s FAME EV Incentive
These vehicles are benefitted by the government’s Faster Adoption and Manufacturing Electric and Hybrid Vehicles – also known as FAME – which is currently undergoing Phase II.
This second phase has been extended to 2024 and offers an incentive of ₹1.5 Lakhs (approx. $1,800) for the first 35,000 units purchased by public or shared transportation businesses.
The Indian government has also pledged to expand the country’s network of charging stations to over 2,700 locations. The agreement with Tata is part of Uber’s effort to transition its entire fleet to zero-emission vehicles by 2040.
In regards to the deal with Uber (UBER), the Managing Director for Tata Motors Passenger Electric Mobility unit, Shailesh Chandra, commented: “Working towards our aim of growing India’s e-mobility market, we are delighted to announce our partnership with Uber, India’s leading ridesharing app, for their expansion of sustainable mobility options”.
He added: “With this association, we have taken another leap towards enhancing electric mobility across the country, and will continue our work in ‘Moving India’ to a safer, smarter and greener future.”
Uber has a fleet of over 300,000 vehicles in India that compete with a local company called BluSmart. Its rival’s fleet is made up of electric vehicles manufactured by Tata Motors, Hyundai, and Mahindra. Last year, the company also signed an MoU with Tata to purchase 10,000 units.
Uber Looks to Cut Cost by Shutting Down its Data Centers
Just a week ago, Uber signed deals with Alphabet (GOOG) and Oracle (ORCL) to move its data to the cloud as the cost of running data centers was getting out of hand for the firm. The company has been struggling to source the required hardware to keep expanding its facilities as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the supply chain of the semiconductors industry.
The deal with the two companies involved a seven-year arrangement. The financial details of the agreements were not disclosed. In 2018, Uber spent over $200 million on running its data centers. This is a rare practice in the tech industry that Uber has somehow managed to maintain until now.
Analysts have asserted that this decision comes as Uber is looking for ways to cut costs to establish a clearer path to profitability. In the 2022 fiscal year, Uber produced net revenues of $31.9 billion but lost $9.14 billion. The company’s monthly active platform consumers stood at 131 million while a total of 2.1 billion were booked and completed by using the firm’s platform.
Uber also reported that 12 million people have subscribed to its Uber One membership, which is now available in 12 countries including Chile, France, Spain, and Taiwan.
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