As the Indian market for electric mobility garners increased investor attention, leading cab aggregator Ola, has picked up its pace in the sector by setting up an independent company — Ola Electric Mobility Pvt Ltd.
With an independent charter to develop platforms and infrastructure to make electric mobility, a reality at scale, Ola Electric has now raised funding of $56 Mn (INR 400 Cr) from Ola’s early investors, Tiger Global and Matrix India among others.
Lee Fixel, partner, Tiger Global Management said, “We are excited to invest in Ola Electric Mobility, which we believe is the early front-runner in this space and well-positioned to build the ecosystem for electric mobility. As Ola’s first institutional investors, we are excited to begin this new journey with Ola Electric and partner in creating yet another impactful mobility business.”
The company will be led by Ola executives Anand Shah and Ankit Jain and is primarily focused on deploying charging and battery swapping networks focused on the commercial electric vehicle segment.
Anand Shah, head, Ola Electric Mobility said, “The first problem to solve in electric mobility is charging: users need a dependable, convenient, and affordable replacement for the petrol pump. By making electric easy for commercial vehicles that deliver a disproportionate share of kilometers traveled, we can jumpstart the electric vehicle revolution.”
Ola’s first venture in electric mobility was a pilot programme in Nagpur in 2017, which was followed by Ola’s Mission: Electric in April 2018. With Mission:Electric, Ola aimed to place 10K e-rickshaws and electric auto-rickshaws in its service in the next 12 months. The company had earlier committed to putting 1 Mn electric vehicles on road by 2021.
Since then, it has been running several pilots to deploy electric vehicles and charging solutions, including battery swapping stations, electric 2-wheeler and 3-wheeler services among others.
Ola Electric has partnered with several OEMs and battery manufacturers, and intends to work closely with the automotive industry to create seamless solutions for electric vehicle operations.
Ola had last secured $100 Mn commitment from Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Investment as part of its $1 Bn Series J funding round. The fund raise is important for the company as it expands its operations to international markets. In 2018 the company launched its operations in Australia, UK, and New Zealand. The company also reportedly set up teams in Dhaka, Bangladesh and Colombo, Sri Lanka.
According to a report by the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles, there has been a 37.5% rise in the sale of EVs in India in recent years. The market for electric vehicles is growing rapidly in India, thanks to the government’s unceasing efforts to ensure 30% electric mobility in India by 2030.