Ola Electric, the cab-sharing platform-turned-EV-manufacturer, will soon launch a range of electric scooters in India in the next couple of months. However, that's not all. Following their e-scooters, Ola Electric plans to foray into the electric four-wheeler space. The electric vehicle space in India is still in its nascent stage with only a handful of players and Ola wants to have an early mover advantage here. The company has now confirmed the development of its electric four-wheelers which is expected to hit the market in the next few years.
As of now, there are no details on what the Ola EVs will be like, but there are reports that it will be built on a born-electric skateboard platform. Expected to boast a futuristic design, the Ola EV will essentially be a compact city car with limited range, but it is expected to be priced very attractively in the market. The company plans to develop its electric car indigenously and is also working towards setting up a global design centre for its electric car division in Bengaluru.
The lack of a robust charging network still remains the primary issue for EV adoption in India. Like most other carmakers. Ola will be providing convenient home charging solutions with its cars. However, it is with regard to public charging that Ola has really ambitious plans. The company intends to set up a Hypercharger network across India over the next five years, which will see about 1,00,000 charging stations across 400 cities in the country.
Talking about its Hypercharger network, Ola Chairman and Group CEO, Bhavish Aggarwal, in a report, stated,
"This network, the Hypercharger Network, is focused on two-wheelers. In due course, we will expand this network to four-wheelers also, when our four-wheeler products come out in a couple of years."
Ola has already began construction of its electric two-wheeler manufacturing facility with an investment of INR 2,400 crore. Situated in Tamil Nadu, the plant will be capable of producing about 2 million e-two-wheelers annually. While Ola is just beginning to step into the EV space as a manufacturer, it has been associated with other EV brands in the past. The company has previously offered the Mahindra E20 as part of its fleet in certain cities and even attempted to induct a limited number of electrified Tata Nanos in collaboration with Coimbatore-based Jayem Automotives. However, the move failed to materialize.
Details on Ola's EV project are still scarce, but as per reports, the Ola EV will likely to be offered in two versions – one for private buyers and the other for the fleet segment. That said, with its roots in the ride-hailing sector, Ola could face challenges in winning customer interest as there will be inevitable parallels drawn between a private Ola vehicle and a cab.