Ola E-scooters and Hypercharger Network to Hit Market in July 2021

Ola Electric, the electric vehicle arm of homegrown ride hailing firm Ola, announced yesterday that it will launch its much anticipated electric scooter in India as well as global market by July 2021, along with establishing a Hypercharger Network which will comprise 1 lakh charging points across 400 Indian cities. The company claims that the Hypercharger Network, which is built along with partners, will be the widest and densest electric two-wheeler charging network in the world, helping the firm move one step closer to its aim of making mobility more sustainable, accessible and interconnected.

In December 2020, the company announced its plans to invest 2,400 crore into the ‘world’s largest’ e-scooter factory in Tamil Nadu, which is expected to produce 20 lakh units initially and create around 10,000 jobs upon completion. Ola Chairman and Group CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said that sale is scheduled to start in July, right after the plant’s completion. “To get adoption of electric vehicles, a strong charging network is required. Today, one of the key infrastructure gaps in our country is charging network…(Our) Hypercharger Network will be the largest fast charging network for two-wheelers,” he explained.

While the company has not released details about the price of the scooters, it has confirmed that over 5,000 charging points will initially be set up across 100 cities in the country, and that the network so created will charge about half of the Ola Scooter battery in 18 minutes, enabling it to run for 75 km before recharging. The charging stations will be available both as independent towers and as part of crowd-friendly places like malls, office complexes, IT parks, cafes, etc, so there is no dearth of charging points for customers. Additionally, the customers will be provided a home charger (with no need for installation) as well to charge their scooters at home using an ordinary wall socket, enhancing their convenience. An Ola Electric app will allow riders to monitor the charging progress and easily pay for it when they use a public charging station. No revelation has been made regarding the amount invested into developing the charging infrastructure, but Agarwal has said that the company and its partners are funding it.

It seems that the current global pandemic has not suspended Ola’s plans, perhaps because the company has been building some components of the scooter on its own and is thus not deterred by constraints in supply. Aggarawal said, “As the next few weeks evolve, things might change but as of now we have, we are not foreseeing any major disruption in our rollout of the charging network or the factory.” Coronavirus has, however, affected cab aggregators. Agwarwal insists that his mobility business has recovered reasonably, while managing through he second wave in India, and that his international businesses in the Commonwealth countries are doing well. “We are one of the leaders in micro insurance, micro lending etc, that’s growing well. So we are also very gung-ho about our consumer internet businesses,” he says.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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