The Society Of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) has welcomed the State government’s move to allow e-bike taxis in cities across Karnataka. “It will trigger contemporary debate over pollutant thresholds and make the city pollution-free,” said SMEV.
The State government on July 14 brought out the The Karnataka Electric Bike Taxi Scheme, 2021, allowing private players and individuals to offer the service for up to 10 kilometres.
Sohinder Gill, Director General, SMEV, said, “Fostering a climate-smart mobility strategy will help achieve Karnataka’s zero-emission goals. E-bike taxis offer an economical and ecological solution for last-mile delivery with climate-friendly transport. This move will galvanise the growth engine towards green mobility as the systematic shift unfolds across the Indian ecosystem.”
The guidelines offer detailed provisions for both taxi aggregator giants like Uber, Rapido, and Ola as well as individuals to register an e-bike taxi.
Private operators are gearing up to provide the service which is expected to see much demand especially among commuters looking for affordable last-mile connectivity.
“We appreciate the State government’s decision to allow electric two-wheelers [e2W] to register as commercial bike taxis. This is a long-awaited step in the right direction and will help people utilise their well-earned assets to earn a livelihood,” said Aravind Sanka, co-founder, Rapido, the country’s largest bike taxi platform that has a presence in nearly 100 cities and has over 1.5 million driver-partners on its platform.
“We also should not forget that most of Bengaluru’s citizens currently own a fuel-based two-wheeler, which can help us solve the challenges of traffic congestion and the impact on income due to the pandemic,” Mr. Sanka added.
Vivekananda Hallekere, CEO & co-founder, Bounce, hailed the State’s decision to provide legal provisions to operate electric bike taxis.
“Bounce will be deploying approximately 50,000 e-bikes in the city, which can be operated as taxis. Our existing model of self-driven shared scooters will continue, as we feel they both cater to very different audiences and solve different problems,” he said.
Bounce claims to be the largest electric moped operator in the country, having done over 8 million EV km.
“It’s time to reimagine public transport beyond existing modes and prevent private ownership of vehicles,” added Mr. Hallekere.