SoftBank-backed cab aggregator Ola today said it plans to add 10,000 electric vehicles, a majority being e-rickshaws, to its platform over the next 12 months as part of its 'Mission Electric' programme. The Bengaluru-based company is aiming to get one million electric vehicles on its platform by 2021 to boost the electric vehicle ecosystem in the country.
"Three-wheelers are a vital means of transportation and a source of livelihood for millions of people every day. It also represents an immediate opportunity to improve outcomes for all stakeholders while reducing pollution across towns and cities," Ola co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said.
In May last year, Ola had launched its first electric vehicle project in Nagpur. The project includes electric cabs, electric auto rickshaws, electric buses, rooftop solar installations, charging stations, and battery swapping experiments.
"After more than 4 million 'electric' kilometres travelled and many lessons learned, we are significantly expanding our commitment to electrify mobility in India," Aggarwal said.
He added that the company is looking at working with state governments and other partners to introduce accessible, affordable, and sustainable mobility solutions at scale. The company said it will further expand its EV fleet to three other Indian cities but did not disclose the names.
Ola said the EV programme in Nagpur provided significant insights into effectively managing vehicles, batteries, and operations and the company plans to continue its experimentation with ways to optimise batteries and charging "to develop a strong business model for EV deployment in the country."
The company said it is in discussion with "several state governments to create an appropriate policy environment to deploy electric three-wheelers." It is also talking to OEM partners and EV innovators globally to bring vehicles on the road in a planned and phased manner, the statement added.