With major cities in India facing pollution issues and the national capital almost choking on toxic air, Mahindra & Mahindra is keen to introduce an electric 'kick' scooters as a last-mile mobility solution.
The group is looking at leveraging the strength and experience of San Francisco-based shared electric mobility firm Scoot Networks, in which it is a major investor, for a multi-modal approach of shared mobility to tackle pollution and congestion problems in the major cities of India. The electric skate-scooter will be offered as a one-person mobility solution that can be hired at low rates in order to navigate short distances across crowded streets.
Anand Mahindra along with other executives of the group and Scoot Networks CEO Michael Keating pitched the 'kick' scooter to central ministers as well as Delhi government in order to explore the possibility of bringing shared electric kick scooters here. Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari, environment minister Harsh Vardhan and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal were present at the showcase along with other dignitaries.
The electric kick scooter is powered by a battery-driven electric motor and can reach maximum speed of 25 kmph. It has a foldable chassis with a large deck in the centre on which the rider stands and its two wheels are much smaller than conventional scooter wheels.
When asked how soon the group could introduce it in India, Mahindra said, "As soon as (it is) feasible, we are looking at all the ways of doing it. We met with an incredibly warm response (from government officials), no cynicism whatsoever and willingness to work together to find the way."
While Michael Keating seemed optimistic about the scooter gaining popularity in the congested cities of India, Anand Mahindra, however, said it has to be gradually and carefully introduced and people should be trained beforehand in order to avoid accidents.