Hyderabad: Indian ride-hailing company, Ola, announced its “Mission: Electric”, with a commitment to place 10,000 e-rickshaws and electric auto-rickshaws in its service in the next 12 months.
From cycle rickshaws to ‘shuttles’ and last-mile transport, three-wheelers continue to be a dominant form of daily transit for many people across the nation. Building on the electric vehicle (EV) pilot by the company in Nagpur, Ola believes electrification can improve outcomes for drivers, customers, and its business model.
The company will develop “Mission: Electric” as a platform to bring one million electric vehicles on the road by 2021. Ola will work with driver-partners, cities, vehicle manufacturers, and battery companies to make sustainable technologies cost-effective and viable in daily mobility. Ola intends to leverage its scale to bring cleaner, more comfortable, and safer products to market.
“Three wheelers are a vital means of transportation and a source of livelihood for millions of people every day. It also represents an immediate opportunity to improve outcomes for all stakeholders while reducing pollution across towns and cities,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO of Ola.
He added, “Less than a year ago, we launched India’s first multi-modal electric pilot in Nagpur. After more than 4 million electric kilometers traveled and many lessons learned, we are significantly expanding our commitment to electrify mobility in India. 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 EV programme in Nagpur has provided Ola with significant insights into effectively managing vehicles, batteries, and operations. The company plans to continue its experimentation with ways to optimise batteries and charging, to develop a strong business model for EV deployment in the country. As India’s largest private vehicle fleet operator, Ola represents a natural catalyst for EV technology.
Ola is in discussion with several state governments to create an appropriate policy environment to deploy electric three wheelers.
The company is also talking to OEM partners and EV innovators globally to bring vehicles on the road in a planned and phased manner. With the addition of 10,000 vehicles across three cities this year, Ola claims to become one of the largest EV fleet operators in the world.