Ola to deploy a million electric vehicles in India by 2021

Jeannie Matthews
April 18, 2018

One year after launching electric vehicle (EV) pilots in Nagpur, ride-hailing player Ola is fine tuning its strategy with a focus on electric rickshaws.

Sources at the company claim they are in talks with EV innovators in Norway, Germany, amongst other such countries.

Ola believes that electric vehicles cannot only help the environment but can also have better outcomes for drivers, customers, and even help the company's overall business model.

The company has undertaken the "Mission: Electric" with the target of reaching the mark of one million Electric Vehicles on the road by 2021.

After more than 4 million electric kilometres traveled and many lessons learned, we are significantly expanding our commitment to electrify mobility in India.

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Ola now has more than a million drivers across 110 Indian cities, so its plan would mean electrifying the vast majority of the vehicles available via its app. The project also includes a fleet of buses, rooftop solar installations, charging stations and battery-swapping experiments. "The EV (electric vehicle) program in Nagpur has provided Ola with significant insights into effectively managing vehicles, batteries and operations", the company said in the statement on Monday.

The additional 10,000 e-rickshaws and electric auto-rickshaws will be introduce across three more cities in the country this year, though it was not specified which three cities the company is exactly looking into. "Even if leading European companies partner with Ola for electric vehicle equipment or charging stations, state governments across India have to create or allot the space for the infrastructure to be set up. It also represents an immediate opportunity to improve outcomes for all stakeholders while reducing pollution across towns and cities", Ola co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said was quoted as saying. Ola intends to leverage its scale to bring cleaner, more comfortable, and safer products to market.

Launched in 2011, with a cheeky $1.1 billion from major investors under its belt, Ola now claims to have 125 million users.

The startup run by ANI Technologies Pvt said it's in policy discussions with several state governments, and is talking with potential partners from automakers to battery producers.

Global X, an exchange traded fund provider known more for its targeted investment themes, has rolled out an autonomous and electric vehicle strategy to help investors capitalize on the new direction in the automobile industry.

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