Uber Debuts “Qute”-based Ride-Hailing Service in India

Uber Technologies Inc. has launched a low-priced ride-hailing service in Bengaluru, India, that uses tiny vehicles touted as “greener” than cars and more comfortable than three-wheel rickshaws.

Called Qutes, the four-passenger cars are made by Indian motorcycle and rickshaw maker Bajaj Auto Ltd. The company unveiled the $4,000 car four years ago, targeting the market for ultra-low-priced vehicles.

Designed for urban use only, the Qute is 11 feet long and 4.3 feet wide and boasts an 11-foot (3.5-meter) turning radius. The car’s single-cylinder, 216-cc engine makes 13 hp and provides a top speed of 70 kph (43 mph). Bajau says the powerplant is two-thirds more efficient than a typical small car.

Uber debuted the Qute-based service today with a fleet of 50 cars. Reuters says the company aims to add several hundred shuttles later this year.