Uber says Delhi's plans to allow only electric bike taxis to impact millions

BENGALURU: Uber Technologies Inc said on Friday that local government plans in the Indian city of Delhi to allow only electric cars to function as bicycle taxis would risk " finishing off the sector" and affecting the mobility needs of millions.

The Business2Business reported earlier this week that Delhi's plans, part of a new policy to regulate vehicles used by ride-hailing companies such as Uber and rival Ola, are being finalized and will be rolled out soon.

Reuters could not immediately confirm those plans.

If implemented, it would mark an aggressive step towards the country's ambitions to ramp  up the transition to clean energy vehicles to reduce oil imports and reduce pollution.

Uber said, in a blog post, that any such move would endanger the lives of more than 100,000 drivers in the city.

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San Francisco-based Uber said: " Steep and infeasible EV mandates risk ending the sector as we know it. The impact of such a decision on the livelihoods and mobility needs of millions of Delhi residents is clear", and urged the government to initiate an industry dialogue.

Uber has set a 2040 target to have 100% of its trips in zero-emission vehicles, public transport or micro-mobility, including in India.

Earlier this month, Uber announced plans to introduce 25,000 electric vehicles over three years in India. However, electric vehicles will remain a small part of Uber's current total active fleet of 300,000 vehicles in India.

The Delhi government said in press releases on Sunday that digital platforms offering two-wheeler bike-taxi rides should not do so as they breach some existing transport rules.

Uber, which provides ride-sharing services in Delhi and many other Indian states, did not respond to a Reuters request for comment on the announcement.

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