In the last decade, we have seen the emergence of the gig economy. The consequent demand for convenience, flexibility and speed has seen a rise in the popularity of on-demand services such as ride-sharing apps, food delivery apps, streaming content and much more.
While fast and flexible can be used to define everything else in today’s urban scenario, sadly, one of the things that these terms do not apply to is our daily commute. The interminable waste of time being stuck in traffic on overcrowded roads is something that all of us are very familiar with. Our fuel bills mount up, as does our guilt over contributing to noise and air pollution. Even when there are options for public transport, these are often cumbersome and lack the convenience factor.
What if we told you that there was a way in which you could enjoy an eco-friendly commute, in which you would have the option of being chauffeur-driven to work and back in an electric vehicle so you can use the time more productively instead of cursing your fate and other commuters on the road? With Mahindra and Mahindra’s urban mobility solution Glyd, a smart, shared, and sustainable commute is what is promised.
Launched in February this year, the premium technology-based, e-mobility service is currently offered on select routes in Mumbai.
DRT model to see phenomenal growth in the next decade
The launch of Glyd is a step to gain a foothold in the fast-expanding shared urban mobility market. Across the world, the demand responsive transit (DRT) model for urban mobility is finding many takers. This model incorporates the best aspects of the sharing economy and helps bring down the burden of dependency on personal cars and inefficient public transport. A Frost & Sullivan study says that the global fleet size for the DRT market is expected to expand from about 25,000 vehicles in 2018 to more than 4 million by 2030, a compound annual growth (CAGR) of more than 50 percent. The resultant increase in revenues is likely to be a phenomenal 400 times to reach an estimated $200 billion in 2030. According to the study, 60 percent of this growth is likely to come from the Asia-Pacific region
Currently, the fleet size for DRT vehicles in India is just 2,000 vehicles but is poised to grow to nearly 150,000 vehicles by 2030, with a proportionate increase in revenue from $0.1 billion in 2018 to $24.0 billion.
High quality, comfortable and personalised commute
When it comes to the electric mobility industry in India, Mahindra and Mahindra has been one of the pioneers and is the country’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer. It’s diversified offerings in the space include electric sedan eVerito and electric three-wheeler Treo. In addition, they have also partnered with mobility startups to supply eco-friendly vehicles.
The Mahindra Glyd fleet comprises of customized eVerito sedans equipped with a number of facilities to ensure a high-quality and comfortable commute. These include connectivity on the rides, and the company has tied up with Vodafone-Idea Limited and other service and content providers in this regard. This helps commuters to use their time productively to catch up on work, or unwind with entertainment options including curated music. To make passengers feel at home, the seats also come with privacy screens and are headphones enabled, and can be personalised to suit individual preferences. Each vehicle also comes with air purifiers installed. The capacity of each shuttle is three passengers per vehicle.
End-to-end mobility solutions
Currently, Glyd runs on four routes within Mumbai during the work week from Monday to Friday. The app-based service allows customers to book single or round trips, for one day or multiple days, and even includes airport drops and pick-ups. In the seven months since it was launched, the service has already garnered a subscriber base of more than 17,000. They have plans to scale up operations to cover other major Indian cities over the course of the year.
With a view to provide end-to-end mobility solutions, Mahindra & Mahindra is also trying out first and last mile connectivity solutions within Thane, using a fleet of 25 Treos, its electric, three-wheeler. These vehicles can be pre-booked by commuters.
With Glyd, the company is well on track to play a pivotal role in creating a sustainable model for urban mobility in India.