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Electric drive: Ola bets on two, three-wheelers, says e-cars to take time

Ola believes right now 'four-wheelers are not yet ready' for such usage in India on a large scale

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 


Expecting rapid adoption of four-wheeler electric at a mass scale to take time, ride-hailing firm is betting big on two and three-wheelers for its electric mobility drive, according to a

With lessons learnt from its experiment in Nagpur, where the company had partnered with & in 2017 for a multi-modal electric mass mobility project, believes right now "four-wheelers are not yet ready" for such usage in on a large scale.

Therefore, the company is now focussing on deploying 10,000 electric (EVs), a mix of two and three-wheelers, on Indian roads by the end of March 2020.

"The biggest lesson (from Nagpur) was that (electric) four-wheelers are not yet ready. It is going to take a couple of years for the math on four-wheelers to work," Electric Mobility (OEM) told

He, however, said the company hasn't given up as it is confident that electrification is viable in the long run.

Sharing the company's road map for electric mobility, Shah said, "In our view, we are putting our bets on three-wheelers and two-wheelers in the coming year. It is absolutely fair to say that after the learnings from experience, our focus will be on two and three-wheelers first in terms of EVs."

Right now in the EV market in India, he said it is mostly in three-wheelers, with E-rickshaws being "the largest population of EVs by natural adoption".

Further, he said, "We think two-wheelers are also emerging very quickly, partially because of policy and also because of the rising interest in commercial use of two-wheelers, whether that is in deliveries for our own business or any of our competitors, companies or scooter sharing."

OEM has already started pilots with a fleet of a hundreds of three-wheelers in Gurugram.

"We are expecting to put 10,000 EVs, a mix of two and three-wheelers, on the road by the end of March 2020. We are very committed to make it happen," he said adding the company was are looking to deploy these in whichever viable pockets of the country that were willing to work with it.

Delhi, Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, AP and could be some of the places, he said.

Reiterating that Ola is still "actively working on electric four-wheelers", he said, "We are testing electric cars. We have tried every that exists in today, but we think it's going to take some time for rapid four-wheeler EV adoption at scale."

On investments for electric mobility, Shah said, "We have raised Rs 400 crore from some of our early investors -- Tiger Global Management, Matrix That money will be spent on meeting these milestones, on getting the technology right, getting the business model right and we will keep growing from there."

Elaborating on the experience from the project, he said,"There needs to be more four-wheeler EVs, when we started in there was literally only one make of available in the market."

Besides, he said there has to be for Indian conditions and usage along with a proper understanding of infrastructure utilisation to strike balance between usage of land, power and time of the day.

Shah further said is also a very significant input although now the government is beginning to address this.

First Published: Sun, May 12 2019. 11:36 IST