Electrifying Indian Commute⚡

Electrifying Indian Commute⚡

Indian cities today are one of the most polluted cities in the world, constantly ranking in the top 20 when it comes to poor Air Quality Index. With our ever-increasing population, this problem is expected to be more severe in the coming years.

Vehicular traffic accounts for more than 30% of the air pollution. Also, greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels significantly add to global warming. To top it all, India imports most of its crude oil requirement, thus, increasing dependency on oil producing nations. These imports put significant strain on the Indian economy.

The only way to reduce air pollution and economic burden is to develop alternate sources of clean energy and reduce dependency on fossil fuels.

Vehicular traffic accounts for more than 30% of the air pollution.

Electric Vehicle (EV) technology possess a significant potential to help address the current issues of air pollution and fossil fuel dependency.

Understanding this problem, the govt. of India unveiled the National Electric Mobility Mission 2020 (NEMMP) to address problems related to air pollution, energy self-sufficiency and to boost domestic EV manufacturing capabilities.

Another significant commitment towards the adoption of EVs was recently made with the intent to replace most of the current vehicles in govt. service with EVs by 2030. To incentivize the purchase of EVs, the govt. started the FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles) Scheme, offering subsidies ranging from Rs. 1800 to Rs. 1.4 lakhs for different types of electric vehicles.

The spend on EVs and eco-friendly technology is now considered to be part of the corporate CSR budget. This incentivizes corporates to use EVs for their employee transportation services (ETS). EVs also account for significant carbon savings, which can be of great value for a global organization focused on reducing their carbon emissions.

Electric vehicle is a boon for organizations aiming to reduce their CO2 emissions.

Even when the govt. is doing its part to incentivize the adoption of EVs, there is a larger role to be played by EV manufacturing companies, electric distribution companies and even by the common man of India who is the ultimate consumer of electric technology.


Electric Vehicle = Clean energy + Reduced fossil fuel dependency

EVs available in the market today are almost 2 times costlier than the regular ICE vehicles due to high battery costs. Also, most of them are limited by range and battery charging requirements, which limits their wide-scale adoption. EV manufacturers must try to solve this situation and make them more affordable if there has to be a wide scale adoption of EV technology.

The electric distribution companies have a much bigger responsibility, i.e. to ensure that there are sufficient charging stations available across geographies so that range should not be a limitation for EV adoption. Just like we have petrol and gas stations almost everywhere, electric charging stations or battery swap stations have to come up across highways to ensure that an EV is not left stranded in the middle of the road due to lack of charge.

Though the current range of most EVs (varying from 50-200 km) address this problem, having charging stations within a radius of 3 to 5 km could help reduce the range anxiety of the typical EV customer.

Last, but the most important part is to be played by the consumer of EV technology- the common man. We have to understand that pollution and global warming affects each and every one of us and caring for the environment is not just the government’s job.

The most important role to be played by the consumer of EV technology- the Common Man

The cost-conscious Indian consumer may find it hard to digest the higher EV costs. However, we must understand that investing in EV means investing in our bright future. We need to show our commitment to EV technology by buying or renting at least one EV per household so that the EV manufacturers and electric distribution companies are incentivized to work at a faster pace. This will further help create an EV ecosystem, beneficial for everyone.

A broader question for each one of us is ‘What kind of environment are we planning to bequeath for our future generations?’. Do we want to ensure a sustainable future for our future generations or do we want to pollute the environment so much that it becomes uninhabitable for everyone in the near future?

The current human generation is at an inflection point in the history of the earth. A choice has to be made by all of us for a better future for generations to come. And this choice needs to be made soon before it is too late.


What’s next for employee transportation?

What’s next for employee transportation?

While transportation for an individual in any major city today has completely changed from what it was 5 years ago, and ridesharing has become a way of life, employee transportation in most places still relies on signatures on pieces of paper and manually created routes with no measure of whether that’s the best path to take.

Oftentimes, in large-scale operations, it is even difficult to know for sure if a trip was actually run or not, whether employees are actually using the company provided service or is it going to waste.

Lack of organization and transparency usually means that industry is ripe for disruption through technology.

As ride-sharing continues its move towards becoming the de-facto mode of transportation in dense urban centers and cars evolve to be “computers on wheels”, there will be multiple avenues where technology will bring in transparency, efficiency, and reliability.

Here are some things that are uniquely enabled by technology to make employee transportation safer, more comfortable and efficient:

Safer

Limited mobility remains a crippling constraint to increased participation of women in the workforce in India.

The lack of safe commute options can severely restrict the participation of women in the workplace.

According to the Census (2011), women represent only 15% of people traveling to work, much below the not-so-great national average of 22%.

At Shuttl, women represent 40% of all our passengers, almost twice the national average.

This abysmal condition could be changed by improving the levels of safety for transportation. Thanks to the omnipresent GPS devices, companies can now track all vehicles and quickly know if something goes wrong. These days, any given vehicle not only has a GPS device but also a smartphone with the driver and the passenger.

These multiple redundancies significantly reduce the chances of a vehicle “disappearing” anytime during a journey.

Automated routing ensures that no female employee is alone in a cab while also minimizing the travel time for employees and the cost for companies.

Boarding/de-boarding tracking ensures that the admin staff is always aware of a female employee’s whereabouts and can quickly act in case something seems off.

Safety features like
SOS button, Share Ride Details & Home-check enable Shuttlrs to keep calm on their daily commute.


Employees always have an option to raise an emergency alert available to them. In addition to a government-mandated physical panic button, the app being used by an employee for availing company transport could have an SOS button that can be used in case of an emergency.

Lastly, since all of this data is being recorded by the employer, this information can easily be shared with trusted family members, especially of the female employee, to help them with ease of mind while they are traveling to/from work. 

More efficient

Technology allows employee transportation to be more efficient in a way that would have been impossible with the old paper trail. There are basically two ways the cost of employee transportation can be reduced:

  •  By reducing the cost per seat

Routing algorithms available now reduce the cost per seat by reducing the number of kilometers that are run for the same number of employees.

Early application of machine learning helps to understand city specific routing peculiarities based on past routing data and continuously improving routes.

Moving people from cars to buses during the day is another shift that becomes easy through technology.

  • By reducing the number of empty seats. 

In the past, the idea of running a bus would seem like a big decision for any company because of the possible downside of seats running empty, which would take away all the efficiency gains achieved from running a larger vehicle.

The average occupancy in corporate transportation is 65%, whereas we run our entire fleet at an average occupancy of over 85%.

Combining employees across companies to ensure a higher occupancy would lead to an immediate 20% reduction in costs for transportation.

Multiple companies running their employee transportation on one platform would allow them to share vehicles to ensure that empty seats do not remain a major problem.

Companies would soon be able to reserve a few seats for their employees on a commuter bus running for the general public. Hence, drastically reducing their per employee cost of transportation by only paying for the seats that they use.

Greener

Since the primary source of cost in an employee transportation scenario is the cost of running a vehicle, any reductions in the cost would lead to a reduction in the carbon footprint of running the operation. And if you bring in electric vehicles into the mix, the green proposition becomes even larger.

A switch from regular cab to EV instantly leads to 50% reduction in CO2 emissions. The number can also go up to 90%.

Improved employee experience

Historically, any problems occurring during day-to-day operations have been resolved only after they have been reported by the driver or the employee.

GPS-based alerts allow us to provide more proactive alerts before an issue arises so that someone can take action on them before something goes wrong.

As every moving vehicle continues evolving towards a ‘computer on wheels’ future, technology will continue to play an increasingly greater role in dictating how employee transportation can be made more comfortable for employees while solving for greater efficiency.

For example, ETAs of vehicles can help you know if a vehicle is going to be late for a particular shift and if it would be better to give a replacement.

Knowing your daily trends and the availability of buffer vehicles nearby, the transportation management platform could easily recommend a replacement vehicle for you.

Alerts like overspeeding, stopping for too long, route deviation, etc. could be directly shown to the driver on his app instead of someone in the admin having to always keep an eye on his location and call a driver to ensure compliance.

Shuttl is dedicated to helping clients get the best in technology and fleet quality.

Shuttl is dedicated to helping clients get the best in technology and fleet quality for an impeccable commute experience for employees and great value to the employers.