This comes at a time when the government has been aggressively pushing for a switch to electric vehicles, especially by cab operators.

Ola Electric now a unicorn after raising 250 mn from SoftBank
Atom E-Vehicles Tuesday, July 02, 2019 - 17:05
Written by  S. Mahadevan

While Ola is one of the most valued startups in India, it's electric vehicle arm has also turned a unicorn. Ola electric has been valued at over $1 billion with the company raising $250 million as part of its Series B funding from SoftBank, as per a TechCrunch report. ANI Technology is the parent company that owns Ola and Ola Electric Mobility was floated as a separate entity.

Electric vehicles are the future and the government itself is taking the initiative in this regard. There are incentives proposed for buying electric vehicles. The Union Budget to be presented on July 5 may come with more announcements on the subject. There have been indications earlier that the government may insist on all taxi operators turn their fleet into electric vehicles, whether the app-based ones like Ola and Uber or the conventional ones. The government is expected to issue an order that says at least 40% of the cabs must be electric vehicles, going gradually from 2.5% by 2021 and gradually increasing every year and reaching 40% by 2026.

From that perspective, Ola might have entered the scene at the right time. Some of the other investors to have invested in Ola Electric before SoftBank’s commitment of $250 million now, include Tiger Global, Matrix India and former Chairman of the Tata Group, Ratan Tata.

Ola has an ambitious plan to have 1 million vehicles on Indian roads and that too by the year 2021, just 2 years from now.

Ola may have to not only source the electric vehicles but work on setting up the charging infrastructure as well on its own. Though the government has expressed the intent, it is not certain if the charging stations, so very critical if the plans are to succeed will be ready given that the electricity companies are mostly state-owned and by the state governments.

Ola Electric has its work cut out.

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