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Ola in talks to set up largest EV plant in India amidst the country’s EV push

Written by Ben Jiang Bin Published on 

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The clean energy driven facility is expected to churn out over two million units annually.

Ola Electric, the EV (electric vehicle) manufacturing arm of Indian ride-hailing stalwart Ola, is looking to set up the largest e-scooter plant in the country, local newswire service PTI (Press Trust India) reported citing sources.

Ola has been in contact with several state governments, including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra, to explore setting up a plant that would churn out two million units annually.

The manufacturing facility, promised to be solar-energy-driven with zero discharge of liquid, is expected to take up 100-acre land and start humming in one to two years from now.

Ola’s move comes at a time when India’s EV market penetration is predicted to reach 25 – 35% for electric two-wheelers and 65 – 75% for three-wheelers, respectively, by 2030, according to a joint report by KPMG India and CII, the Confederation of Indian Industry.

The growth is owing to several factors including the increasing availability of charging infrastructure, reduced battery prices that bring down the cost, favoring policies, as well as better customer awareness.

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“EVs are on course to fulfill their promise as a game-changer for the automobile industry. Two-wheeler and three-wheeler auto segments are likely to lead the adoption curve,” Rohan Rao, a partner at KPMG India said.

The report noted that charging stations will be a vital piece in driving EV adoption in India. Currently, the charging stations in the country are few and far between. There are over 300 charging stations in the country as of now.

“One of the biggest hurdles India currently faces is our limited ecosystem for EVs,” Jeffry Jacob, a partner at KPMG India said.

The number of charging stations is expected to balloon, though.

Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), the energy service company of the Indian government, said in June that it plans to disperse over 10,000 EV charging facilities across the country in the next two to three years with 2,000 to be installed in the fiscal year of 2020-21.

Ola’s archival, Uber, is also working on an EV push. The U.S. ride-hailer has tied up with EV fleet operator Lithium Urban Technologies to deploy around 10,00 EV sedans—with an aim to double the figure—across its Uber Rents and Premier service offerings in several selected cities including Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru.

In May, Ola acquired Dutch e-scooter maker Etergo BV with an aim to launch its own electric two-wheelers globally by next year, KrASIA reported. The acquisition was followed by Ola’s plan in August to hire over 1,000 engineers.

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