So far, lithium-based technologies in the transportation sector have been limited to a few applications, considering that the market is still at a nascent stage. However, Lithium Technologies, a start-up, is transforming Bengaluru with its emission-free urban transport solution.
The start-up introduced lithium-based electric cabs in the polluted city nine months back. So far, it has gifted Bengaluru 30 lakh kilometres of emission-free transport.
The nation’s first fully electric-vehicle-based public commuting solution is supported by Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles Pvt Ltd (MREV). However, since the service is in its nascent stage, it is only targeting corporate entities. When it further expands, Lithium will soon be available to the public. The service will also be looking at covering more cities including NCR and Hyderabad, among other destinations.
Transportation of the future
Currently, the company has over 200 vehicles that criss-cross the city of Bengaluru. Each of these 200 vehicles commutes around 200 to 300 km every day. That translates into 60,000 km of transport that is hydrocarbon emission free, non-renewable fuel free and pollution free, every single day. These cabs also save nearly 11 tonnes of carbon emissions every day.
One of the biggest challenges that electric cars face is the infrastructure for charging the batteries. Here, Lithium Technologies has found its way around with high-speed charging stations — 200 of them have already been set up across Bengaluru. The companies that have signed up with Lithium also provide charging facilities within their campuses. The fact that it takes only one hour for a full charge with literally no fuel cost involved, makes Lithium all the more effective.
Lithium calls itself the transportation of the future, delivered today. In the future that Lithium envisages, commuters will ride completely on renewable and non-polluting vehicles. As a run-up to this future, Lithium has made a fantastic start with its all-electric cab fleet in Bengaluru.
These electric taxis have cloud-connected safety features focused primarily to meet the transportation requirements of tech and other outsourcing companies in the city.
The company’s electric taxis will have panic buttons and tamper-proof GPS, undisclosed to the driver. Since the cars will always be connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi, the embedded software will be able to alert clients about unauthorised riders or if a cab veers off course. A mobile app will allow commuters to communicate with the driver without users having to share their phone number.
Inside the vehicle, passengers will get access to productivity apps which will provide journey updates, inter-city bus information, flight schedules, check-in services, train schedules and access to the latest news, music and videos.
The company claims that its car fleet service will save corporates between Rs 2-3 crore on an annual basis in transportation costs, as its all-electric vehicle service incurs lower running costs as compared to conventional vehicles.