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Transitioning to green mobility is imperative for India

Transitioning to green mobility is imperative for India, Devndra Chawla, MD & CEO, GreenCell Mobility

We recognize that affordability is a key barrier to e-mobility adoption in India, says Devndra Chawla, Managing Director & CEO, GreenCell Mobility

The need for green mobility is more now than ever before. Your comments
The need for green mobility is more urgent today than ever before. With climate change accelerating and its catastrophic impacts becoming more apparent, the transportation sector has to take decisive action to reduce emissions. At GreenCell Mobility, we feel it is our responsibility to be at the forefront of enabling this shift towards sustainable mobility. Our goal is not just to provide eco-friendly options, but also make them the most viable and preferred choice for the mainstream. We are doing this by leveraging innovations in EV technology to deliver solutions that are high-performance, convenient, and affordable. Strategic partnerships across the value chain are helping address infrastructure gaps and bring down costs. Transitioning to green mobility is imperative for India, given our pollution crisis across cities. Beyond environmental factors, our solutions will also strengthen energy security and bring health benefits for citizens. We believe this is not just an ecological necessity but an economic opportunity to build a greener and more resilient transport system. With the policy push and growing consumer awareness, we are committed to unlocking this potential while achieving scale and profitability.

How is the market for green mobility shaping up in India?
The market for green mobility in India is witnessing a promising transformation. With increased awareness and a growing emphasis on sustainability, there is a notable shift in consumer preferences. The demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is on the rise, and we are witnessing a positive trajectory. GreenCell Mobility is optimistic about the evolving market and is strategically positioned to capitalize on this momentum. As part of our commitment to providing sustainable transportation solutions, GreenCell Mobility has also introduced NueGo. Our innovative line of electric vehicles designed to meet the evolving needs of Indian consumers. NueGo exemplifies our dedication to pushing the boundaries of green mobility, offering cutting-edge technology, and contributing to the positive shift in consumer preferences. By integrating NueGo into our product portfolio, we aim to further enhance our presence in the dynamic and rapidly growing green mobility landscape in India.

What are your plans to increase your market share?
At GreenCell Mobility, our goal is to aggressively grow our market share in the green mobility space. We are continuously investing in next-generation EV technologies to enhance our product portfolio with higher-performance and more cost-effective vehicles. This will help meet evolving customer needs and stay ahead of competition.

Secondly, we are expanding our distribution and service network across India to improve access and availability for guests nationwide. Thirdly, our partnerships with city authorities and fleet operators are increasing adoption of our electric buses and fleet vehicles. Collaboration with OEMs is also strengthening our manufacturing capabilities. Fourthly, we are leveraging digital channels and analytics for targeted marketing and sales efforts. This shows in our online & offline marketing mix as well, where online contributes to over 80% of our sales!
With such comprehensive strategies focused on innovation, expansion, partnerships and customer-centricity, we are confident of rapidly gaining market share and establishing GreenCell Mobility as a leader in sustainable mobility solutions.

How have your green mobility launched in the last two years assisted in reducing CO2 emission?
Our green mobility solutions launched in the last two years have played a pivotal role in reducing CO2 emissions. The integration of advanced battery technologies and energy-efficient systems in our electric vehicles has significantly lowered carbon footprints. Through our comprehensive life cycle analysis, we have measured and confirmed the substantial reduction in CO2 emissions compared to traditional vehicles. These advancements align with our commitment to combat climate change through tangible actions. In line with this commitment, GreenCell Mobility has recently made strategic investments in renewable energy to power our NueGo buses. This initiative underscores our dedication to not only revolutionize the transportation sector but also contribute to a sustainable energy ecosystem. This marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to create a greener and cleaner future through innovative and environmentally conscious practices. For example, as of December’23, we avoided 21 million litres of diesel, which is enough to fill more than 8 Olympic sized swimming pools!

India being a price-sensitive nation, how challenging is it to persuade customers to switch to green mobility?
We recognize that affordability is a key barrier to e-mobility adoption in India. As a price-sensitive market, it can be challenging to persuade customers to switch to electric vehicles and services which often have higher upfront costs. However, at GreenCell Mobility we are addressing this through innovative business models and partnerships. For example, our intercity brand provides affordable and even promotional pricing like 'Bus 1 Rupee Mein' to invite first-time users. By delivering an excellent service experience, we are able to convert these customers into regular guests, reinforcing the sustainability benefits of traveling with us.  Our partnerships with government agencies have also been important for infrastructure development and financial incentives that can lower acquisition costs. Collaboration with OEMs helps make EVs more viable over the long term. While the higher prices of EVs remain a hurdle, we continue using comprehensive strategies focused on great service, affordability and partnerships to scale up green mobility adoption in India's price-sensitive market. The promising response to our efforts highlights that this challenge can be overcome through the right approaches.

Can you please list a few of the challenges that are hindering the growth of green mobility in India?
Several challenges hinder the growth of green mobility in India, including inadequate charging infrastructure, range anxiety, and high initial costs. Additionally, limited awareness and apprehensions about technology readiness pose barriers. GreenCell Mobility actively collaborates with stakeholders, including the government, to address these challenges through strategic investments, awareness campaigns, and infrastructure development initiatives. To overcome these challenges GreenCell Mobility and our premium intercity brand NueGo brings various campaigns and other measures. As a result, we see a lot of growth in various parts of the country.

Despite government initiatives to foster the development of green mobility, the speed is still lacking. What regulatory adjustments are needed to propel the sector forward?
To expedite the growth of green mobility, regulatory adjustments are crucial. These include further incentives for manufacturing and purchasing electric vehicles, accelerated development of charging infrastructure, and streamlined approval processes for green initiatives. A cohesive regulatory framework that encourages innovation and investment will significantly contribute to the sector's acceleration.

Can you please take us through your tie-ups both financial and technological to bolster green mobility in India?
GreenCell Mobility has strategically formed financial partnerships to facilitate affordable financing options for customers. For example, we have received investment from EverSource Capital, an equal joint venture between Everstone Group and Lightsource bp focused on climate solutions. This provides us financial backing to make electric vehicles more accessible. Additionally, we have collaborated with leading technological partners leveraging our promoters' global experience and expertise in e-mobility. Partnerships with OEMs allow us to offer best-in-class electric buses equipped with the latest battery technologies. We are also working with multiple partners to build out charging infrastructure across India.

As a company set up to become a leading pan-India shared electric mobility player, these partnerships empower us to stay at the forefront of technological advancements. They enable us to deliver state-of-the-art green mobility solutions through our Electric Mobility-as-a-Service (eMaaS) model of cheaper non-polluting on-demand shared transportation.

What are the after-sales services you offer?
GreenCell Mobility is committed to providing exceptional after-sales services. Our comprehensive service network includes regular maintenance, software updates, and technical support for our electric vehicles. We prioritize customer satisfaction and ensure that our after-sales services contribute to a seamless and reliable ownership experience for our guests. Specifically for our intercity premium electric bus service NueGo, we have launched a dedicated 24/7 helpline (1800 267 3366) to assist female passengers and address any travel-related concerns. This service provides an extra layer of support and safety for our women travelers. Additionally, all our electric buses are equipped with advanced safety systems like CCTV surveillance, GPS tracking and driver monitoring systems. We also conduct regular breath analyzer tests for drivers. Through such initiatives, we aim to enhance comfort, safety and overall travel experience for all our passengers.

What are your growth plans for your organization for the next three years? Are there plans to indigenize your offering or to come up with a manufacturing plant?
Over the next three years, GreenCell Mobility aims to achieve robust growth by expanding our product range, increasing market penetration, and investing in research and development. For example, with NueGo, we just launched the country’s first sleeper + seater inter-city electric bus, servicing long-distance routes like Chennai to Bengaluru and Bengaluru to Coimbatore. Soon, we are planning on launching complete sleeper buses which will be able to ply on much longer distances.  
Indigenization is a key focus, with plans to enhance local manufacturing capabilities. We are actively exploring the establishment of a manufacturing plant in line with the government's 'Make in India' initiative, reinforcing our commitment to contributing to the nation's economic and environmental goals.


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