Adani looks to partner Uber for foray into electric cars

Adani Group, India's third-largest business house in terms of market value, is working on a strategic partnership with Uber Technologies to roll out its electric passenger cars on the latter's ride hailing platform and ratchet up traction on the conglomerate's super app Adani One.

The partnership also plans to bring the services of Uber under Adani One, which will be launched in 2022.

These formed part of the discussions between Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi during their meeting on February 24.

The Ahmedabad-based infrastructure major plans to get into electric passenger vehicles and the collaboration with Uber helps speed up its game. It already has a presence in electric commercial vehicles such as buses, coaches and trucks. Although it is not involved in vehicle manufacturing, it has huge internal needs in port and airport businesses. Essentially, Adani will buy the cars, brand them and add them to the Uber network. It recently submitted bids for tenders organized by the government to purchase 3,600 electric buses.

Uber intends to replace its existing fleet with electric vehicles around the globe, as it looks to transform itself into a zero-emission mobility platform before 2040.

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The Adani-Uber partnership has the potential to boost the adoption of electric SUVs in India, where manufacturers have been looking for large-scale commercial applications to become financially viable, and could become one of the fleet partnerships for the world's largest electric vehicle fleet partnerships in the world for the US ride hailing platform.

The adoption of electric vehicles on a large scale could also give a major boost to India's sharing economy. Uber, which entered India in 2013, has completed more than 3 billion trips since then and is now available in 125 cities. According to the company, it has helped more than 8,000 Indians earn an income by getting into the driver's seat.

The Uber tie-up with Uber also fits well with the renewable energy thrust of Adani Group, that is setting up a network of charging stations across India and will complete the loop by powering the electric vehicle fleet with green energy.

In addition, the collaboration will also help expand Adani One, which offers a host of services such as flight bookings, holiday packages, airport services, and taxi bookings with Uber integration. Adani Group has committed to investing USD 100 billion in India's green energy transition over the next 10 years and plans to expand up to 10 GW of solar manufacturing capacity by 2027. In India, Uber is competing with Ola, which is also betting on EVs and is set for an IPO.

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