Three-wheeled rickshaws are a vital means of transportation in several Indian cities and are a source of income for millions of people every day, which can be hailed through Ola's app. "It also represents an immediate opportunity to improve outcomes for all stakeholders, while reducing pollution across towns and cities", said Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder & CEO of Ola.
Already Ola runs over 200 electric vehicles in Nagpur a city in the west under a new pilot project started close to one year ago.
The pilot program included rickshaws, electric cabs, electric buses, rooftop solar installations, charging stations, and battery-changing experiments. Ola is one of the most vocal purveyors of electric mobility in the country. Ola says in order to electrify vehicles on its networks it will work with driver partners, cities, vehicle manufacturers and battery companies to "make sustainable technologies cost-effective and viable in daily mobility". Electric vehicle sales in India, one of the world's fastest-growing auto markets, made up less than 0.1% of annual sales of more than 3 million passenger cars.
Earlier, Ola was said to have partnered with Tata Motors to launch an EV version of Nano, called Jayem Neo, and deploy it in its fleet. "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 idea is to bring cleaner, more comfortable, and safer products to market. "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", he added.
The startup, based in Bangalore and backed by bigtime investors like SoftBank in Japan, has not elaborated on how it is planning to grow its fleet of electric vehicles so quickly.
The now operational city EV programme in Nagpur has provided Ola with insights into managing vehicles, batteries, and other operations. It added that it plans to continue exploring ways to optimise batteries and charging.
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. They believe that the large-scale adoption of electric vehicles can bring the monumental change we need.
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.