Hoppy Mobility was an idea back in 2016 that took the shape of an eco-friendly and sustainable business with many iterations going into it. We offer online taxi services, and we only have electric two-wheeler taxis, says Amit Chhabria, founder of Hoppy Mobility.
The world is changing, and we need to adapt to it. We all are aware of the pollution created by diesel and petrol-fueled cars, but little do we do anything about it. A car may seem comfortable. However, when you are stuck in traffic for hours, nothing seems good except a ride that can whip through the traffic jam and take you to your office.
We came up with electric bike rides to ease the burden of overcrowded metros and the heavily trafficked road.
So let’s begin with how the journey of Hoppy Mobility started. While working in a job, I would use a bike for my daily travel. Every second person who would have come to Mumbai, even from Pune, would talk about the horrendous traffic in Mumbai.
On my way to the office, I sometimes used to offer a ride to certain people. So that at least one person could be unburdened from the traffic as it is huge in the city. This was a thought that shaped into a vision as I delved deeper into this topic.
In 2016 I was working as a consultant in a company called Carbaazi.com. It was one of the first few companies in India in an e-marketplace for four-wheelers based in Pune. I presented directors to launch a company where automobiles are bought online, giving them on subscription. The market for subscription-based cars was unheard-off at that time. So, people did not get the plan very well. Within a few years, we saw other companies coming into the market on the same line.
The idea kept lurking in my mind. With time the idea started taking a more concrete shape. From fossil fuels, diesel, petrol cars, I started researching electric vehicles. By 2018 I gained enough information about these chargeable vehicles. I wanted to see them unfold in the Indian market. So, it was the idea of offering electric vehicle taxi services, and that is how Hoppy Mobility came into the picture.
When I talked to others about it, they didn’t believe in the idea. They said the infrastructure for such vehicles is not available, and people will not accept it, and so on. In 2020, I started renting out electric bikes and offered a lift to people in different locations of South Mumbai to check the feasibility of my plan.
I wanted to know whether people would be interested in electric bike taxis or not. During this experiment, I met around 250 people whom I gave rides to. I dropped them off and on for ten days. During those ten days, some people started waiting for me at the station for a ride. They would call me and ask if I could drop them at their office. The reason being, firstly, it was a zero-emission vehicle. Secondly, they liked the fact that I was trying to make a change.
Other than that, the electric bike taxis proved cost-effective, easier, non-polluting, and time-saving. I started serving people just ten days before the first Janta curfew began. On the 22nd of March 2020, there was a lockdown all over India. It was the beginning of year-long home quarantine.
Well, the good part above all was that people were fine in sitting behind a stranger and taking the ride. I had doubts that women wearing saree might find it inconvenient. To my surprise, they accepted the ride when I offered them. So, all my doubts vanished into thin air.
People were hopping on the bike and were being dropped off. So, we named the company Hoppy Mobility. Initially, there was no awareness of electric vehicles in India. However, now things are changing. In the last three years, about fourteen states in India have started promoting electric two-wheelers as the metros are becoming way too crowded.
Amit Chhabria brought sustainable travel solution of electric bikes, which is considered early for the Indian market. Creating a sustainable travel solution Amit is tapping a less explored market in India and becoming an essential part of a more considerable change.