Indian Ride-Hailing Firm Ola to Add 10000 Electric Three-Wheelers to Fleet

Electric vehicles charging stations No separate licence required

Ola will add 10000 electric rickshaws to its India fleet over the next year

Ride-hailing firm Ola Cabs announced on Monday its plans to roll out 10,000 electric three-wheeled rickshaws in India in the next 12 months, as part of its Mission: Electric program.

It is looking to work with driver-partners, cities, vehicle manufacturers, and battery companies to make sustainable technologies that are cost-effective and viable in daily mobility. It also did not provide details of when it planned to introduce electric cars.

A million electric vehicles on Indian roads has been a dream of Masayoshi Son, group chairman of Softbank, who has emerged as one of the biggest investors in the country's renewable energy space apart from making big bets in e-commerce and ride hailing.

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Talks are on with state governments, OEM partners and electronic vehicle innovators to speed up the introduction of EVs in India. That's not all. The Bengaluru-based company is also aiming to get one million electric vehicles on its platform by 2021 to boost the electric vehicle ecosystem in the country.

Uber also bought hundreds of electric vehicles from Mahindra - the only carmaker in India that sells them directly to consumers - past year. Moreover, as India's largest private vehicle fleet operator, Ola represents a natural catalyst for the electric vehicle technology.

The EV program in Nagpur has provided Ola with significant insights into effectively managing vehicles, batteries, and operations.

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Ola already runs more than 200 electric vehicles in the western Indian city of Nagpur under a pilot project it started nearly a year ago. Several Ola drivers have been unhappy with the long wait times at charging stations and high operating expenses and want to return their cars, according to a Reuters report last month. "The company plans to continue its experimentation with ways to optimize batteries and charging, to develop a strong business model for EV deployment in the country" the company said in a statement.

Electric vehicle sales in India, one of the world's fastest-growing auto markets, made up less than 0.1 percent of annual sales of more than 3 million passenger cars. Its stated goal is for most - if not all - vehicles on its roads to be electric by 2030. Ola will partner with vehicle manufacturers and state institutions to help deliver its promise.

To enable drivers to switch to EVs, Ola's program also includes infrastructure like rooftop solar panels and charging stations.

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