Self-drive car rental company Zoomcar has entered into a partnership Mahindra Electric Mobility (MEML) to roll out electric vehicles in Mysore, Karnataka. As part of the tie-up, Zoomcar will have 20 Mahindra’s e2oPlus vehicles available on its platform, and two fast charging units in the city. Zoomcar said in a statement that it plans to install more units at key locations, and intends to replicate this model in Chandigarh, Delhi and Hyderabad soon. These vehicles can be hired by residents and visitors in the city.
These vehicles are financed as a part of Rs 2 crore deal, under which between Zoomcar will receive customised EV financing from Mahindra Finance. Also, note that Mahindra Electric and Zoomcar announced partnership in April, which enables customers to buy and list the Mahindra e2oPlus on Zoomcar Associate Program (ZAP), which let Zoomcar users and other individuals buy one or more vehicles which could be leased to Zoomcar and operate on a revenue sharing model.
While there is a lot of noise around electric cars in the country, note that these vehicles have limited range and does not have a proper ecosystem like enough charging stations. In case of Mahindra’s e2oPlus, it has a range of 120 km, and the vehicle takes around 6-9 hours for a full charge with normal charging, and about 1 hour 30 minutes with fast charging.
According to Mahindra’s website, if you drive more than 40 kms, you will have to charge the vehicle every day, and if less than that than once in two or three days. It also recommends on its website that, “once in 3 days we recommend overnight plug in after full charge, this will complete battery equalization which will help in enhancing battery performance and life”.
It is not clear how many charging stations Mahindra has, but according to a FactorDaily report it has only about 80 charging stations across 10 cities. There are other players which provide charging station, such as PlugInIndia, which runs a number community charging stations, but seems to have about 200 charging stations. Note that last year, in Karnataka, BESCOM had decided to set up charging stations to promote the use of electric vehicles. However, the project did not take off as the project was too expensive.