Indian ride sharing company Ola Cabs has announced its “Mission Electric” project, aiming to place 10,000 E-rickshaws and Electric auto-rickshaws in its service in the next 12 months.
Courtesy of Ola Cabs
Three-wheelers continue to be a dominant form of transport for many people across India, from cycle rickshaws to shuttles and last-mile transport. Ola believes that electrification can improve outcomes for drivers, customers and its own business model. The company’s goal of putting 10,000 e-rickshaws on the streets over the next 12 months builds on a pilot project conducted by the company in Nagpur. Ola intends to develop the project further in order to bring one million EVs on to Indian roads by 2021, working with driver-partners, cities, vehicle manufacturers, and battery companies to make sustainable technologies cost-effective and viable in daily mobility.
Ola launched its first electric vehicle project in Nagpur on 26th May, 2017. This was inaugurated by Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways & Shipping, in the presence of key dignitaries and thousands of citizens in Nagpur. The project includes electric cabs, electric auto rickshaws, electric buses, rooftop solar installations, charging stations, and battery swapping experiments.
The programme in Nagpur has given the company significant insights into how to effectively manage vehicles, batteries and operation. It intends to continue the project in order to assess methods of optimising batteries and charging and how to develop a strong business model for EV deployment in India. As India’s largest private vehicle fleet operator, Ola serves as a natural catalyst for EV technology in the country.
“Three wheelers are a vital means of transportation and a source of livelihood for millions of people every day” said Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-Founder and CEO of Ola. “It also represents an immediate opportunity to improve outcomes for all stakeholders while reducing pollution across towns and cities. Less than a year ago, we launched India’s first multi-modal electric pilot in Nagpur. After more than 4 million electric kilometres travelled and many lessons learned, we are significantly expanding our commitment to electrify mobility in India”.
Ola is also in discussion with several Indian state governments to create an appropriate policy environment to deploy electric three wheelers. Additionally, it is 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 is quickly set to become one of the largest EV fleet operators in the world.