Taxi aggregator Ola on Monday announced its "Mission: Electric", with a commitment to place 10,000 e-rickshaws and electric auto-rickshaws in its service in the next 12 months.
The company will develop "Mission: Electric" as a platform to bring one million electric vehicles (EVs) on the road by 2021.
"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," said Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder, and CEO of Ola.
"Less than a year ago, we launched India's first multi-modal electric pilot in Nagpur. After more than four million electric kilometers traveled and many lessons learned, we are significantly expanding our commitment to electrify mobility in India. Ola leads by example, and we look forward to working with state governments and other partners to introduce accessible, affordable, and sustainable mobility solutions at scale," he added.
From cycle rickshaws to shuttles and last-mile transport, three-wheelers continue to be a dominant form of daily transit for many people across the nation.
Building on the pioneering electric vehicle pilot by the company in Nagpur, Ola believes electrification can improve outcomes for drivers, customers, and its business model.
Ola launched its first electric vehicle project in Nagpur on May 26, 2017.
This was inaugurated by Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways & Shipping, in the presence of key dignitaries and thousands of citizens in Nagpur.
The project includes electric cabs, electric auto rickshaws, electric buses, rooftop solar installations, charging stations, and battery swapping experiments.
The electric vehicle program in Nagpur has provided Ola with significant insights into effectively managing vehicles, batteries, and operations.
Ola plans to continue its experimentation with ways to optimise batteries and charging, to develop a strong business model for electric vehicle deployment in the country.
Moreover, as India's largest private vehicle fleet operator, Ola represents a natural catalyst for the electric vehicle technology.
Ola will work with driver-partners, cities, vehicle manufacturers, and battery companies to make sustainable technologies cost-effective and viable in daily mobility.
The company is also in discussion with several state governments to create an appropriate policy environment to deploy electric three-wheelers. It is also talking to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners and electric vehicle innovators globally to bring vehicles on the road in a planned and phased manner.
With the addition of 10,000 vehicles across three cities this year, Ola is quickly set to become one of the largest electronic vehicle fleet operators in the world.
Ola is the market leader in app-based hailing and intends to leverage its scale to bring cleaner, more comfortable, and safer products to market.