Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Finance | By Claude Patterson

Ola plots a million EVs on Indian roads by 2021

Ola plots a million EVs on Indian roads by 2021

The Bengaluru-based company is aiming to get one million electric vehicles on its platform by 2021 to boost the electric vehicle ecosystem in the country.

Ola co-founder and chief executive Bhavish Aggarwal said three-wheelers also offer an immediate opportunity to improve results for all stakeholders, while lessening pollution across towns and cities. The company launched a trial EV program previous year in the city of Nagpur, but has reportedly run into some recent road bumps. The decision comes on the basis of successful execution of its first pilot EV project, which has seen over 200 electric cars, e-rickshaws and electric autos plying in the city of Nagpur since May 2017. Its goal is to turn most if not all vehicles on the roads of the country electric in 12 years, but several challenges are faced by the country to achieve such an objective, including expensive technology for makers of cars and a lack of overall infrastructure.

It is looking to work with driver-partners, cities, vehicle manufacturers, and battery companies to make sustainable technologies that are cost-effective and viable in daily mobility. As part of the initiative, the company rolled out electric vehicles made by Mahindra's Reva unit.

"We have clocked more than four million [electric] kilometers and have learned the ins and outs of vehicles, capabilities and applications".

While Ola said it will further expand its EV fleet to three other Indian cities, it has not disclosed the names yet.

Ola at present has over one million drivers in 110 cities across India, so its plan means electrifying most of the vehicles that are now available on its app. "Ola leads by example, and we look forward to working with state governments and other partners to introduce accessible, affordable, and sustainable mobility solutions at scale". The electric vehicle program in Nagpur has provided Ola with significant insights into effectively managing vehicles, batteries, and operations.

India wants to ensure that by 2030 all new vehicles will be electric, though it has failed to back up this ambition with any explicit policy or roadmap.

Ola plans to continue its experimentation with ways to optimise batteries and charging, to develop a strong business model for electric vehicle deployment in the country.

Reports also surfaced in May 2017 that Ola's chief investor SoftBank revealed plans to pivot Ola into an electric vehicle manufacturer.

Amid such scalability in electric vehicle space, Ola's plans and commitment with Mission: Electric to push for electric vehicles market is a promising and continuous work.

Currently, Delhi seems to be a thriving hub for e-rickshaws.

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