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Here is Why ZoomCar is Betting High on Electric Vehicles The self-drive startup aims to enter the unicorn club in the next 12-18 months

By Vanita D'souza

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Entrepreneur India

A few years ago when one would a plan vacation, the idea was to hire a taxi to drive around the destination. One would generally call the taxi operator in advance or simply ask the hotel to arrange it. Over the period, this process has taken a back seat.

Today, especially amongst millennials – self-driving is the next coolest thing and just a matter of few clicks. A quick road trip by car simply means it is time to zoom it. Instead of calling the operator, you could quickly choose to book a ZoomCar.

Started in 2012, the startup launched Zap Subscriptions almost 12 months ago. ZoomCar was the first one to launch a car subscription in the country. Since then, the self-drive mobility startup has grown 2x. With more than 4000 car subscription, Zap contributes to half of its fleet. Nevertheless, the company is aiming for 2-3x growth in this calendar year. But more importantly, the startup wants to stay ahead of the trend and yet grow sustainability.

In a tête-à-tête with Entrepreneur India, Greg Moran, Co-founder and CEO of Zoom Car shares why the next leg for growth for the company is going to come from electric cars.

Status Quo

As of date, ZoomCar has a fleet of more than 7000 cars of which five per cent are electric vehicles (EVs). Moran says EVs are the strong focus area of the startup but there is a long way to go or to be more precise the industry will take a shape in the coming two years.

In the Indian automobile sector, Mahindra and Tata are the two major players betting high on EVs. Over time, he expects companies like Maruti and Hyundai to venture into this space and thereafter, the market will see a turnaround. And Zoom is prepping up to be a part of this journey.

"Right now EVs are inherently fairly small, but for us, it is important as a leader in the self-drive mobility in the country, to be ahead of this trend. It is going to be a fairly gradual shift for the next two years and from there, it would start to accelerate. As a result of this, we want to be ahead of time and understand their product, operating model, infrastructure," he shares.

Zooming the Trend

With ZoomCar's present exposure to the EVs segment, the founders have observed a massive adoption among its users, both car rentals and subscription. However, the usage is limited to 40-50kms per day or within city limits.

He says even though Indians want to get their hands on EVs, the issue is that there are not enough products. In other words, while infrastructure is still catching up with the trend and price is a concern, the slow growth is due to lack of supply of the products.

"Right now, we already are seeing strong demand at the current price point and infrastructure model. It is really about having the supply out there. We are seeing a lot of battery production here moving to India, automakers will be in the position to reduce the price EVs by 10-30 per cent to accelerate the adoption," he added.

The Route

While today EVs might be a small part of ZoomCar. Over the next 5 years, the entrepreneur feels EVs will be "the story' to tell.

"We will continue to work with EVs in the coming time. Over the medium and long term, it will be a dominant part of the fleet," said Moran, who hopes ZoomCar will enter the unicorn club in the next 12-18 months' time.

Vanita D'souza

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

I am a Mumbai-based journalist and have worked with media companies like The Dollar Business Magazine, Business Standard, etc.While on the other side, I am an avid reader who is a travel freak and has accepted foodism as my religion.

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