Cab operator Ola has set its sights on electric vehicles to power the next surge in operations and its target is to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road and operating under its banner by the year 2022, reports Mint. But the question is if automobile manufacturers are ready to build that many vehicles in this period or not.
However, the company is said to be working in this direction and has initiated talks with vehicle manufacturers to get them manufactured to their specific needs. This means these cars could be designed by Ola and built by automobile companies for it. And this is also despite its attempt at introducing electric vehicles in Nagpur did not take off. That was with electric vehicles made by Mahindra & Mahindra. However, M&M could still be in the reckoning to develop and build cars for Ola, having had some learnings from the Nagpur experiment.
The reports on this development indicate that Ola plans to lay stress on the battery management system in these cars since that is the key to any electric vehicle. It is being pointed out that at least one Chinese cab operators, Didi Chuxing Technology Co has found some success in this model having tied up with the German auto major Volkswagen AG for custom-made vehicles.
If Ola designs the vehicles, it could include functions and features which its drivers will need and eliminate others with no use for its city mobility application. This could result in the overall cost of the vehicles being brought down and if you add the incentives that the government wants to give to promote electric vehicles in the country, the project taken up by Ola has every reason to succeed.
From the government’s perspective, it has a twin objective in promoting electric vehicles: One is the reduced dependence on oil which has a direct bearing on the country’s fiscal management and the other is the fight against pollution that is virtually killing some cities like Delhi.
Interestingly, Ola has done a fund-raising activity exclusively to cater to this electric mobility project and the amount raised is Rs 400 crore from Tiger Global and Matrix India.
Ola’s plans for electric mobility will include both 4-wheelers and 3-wheelers. Meanwhile the government of India has made an announcement that it is ready to subsidise the purchase of electric vehicles, limited to 35,000 cars and 500,000 three wheelers.