Indian ride-hailing startup Ola will create a network of more than 100,000 two-wheeler charging points nationwide to accommodate the company’s electric scooters slated for launch later this year.
The Ola Hypercharger Network will start out with a first-year push to install 5,000 charging stations in 100 cities—”more than double the existing charging infrastructure in the country,”—the company says.
Plans are for 100,000-plus charging points in 400 cities in five years. They will be compatible with Ola two-wheeler products, including the Ola Scooter due out in the coming months.
Backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group, Ola offers a ride-hailing app serving mostly India. In 2020, it announced the acquisition of Dutch manufacturer Etergo with the aim of building electric two-wheelers. Talent hailing from General Motors and elsewhere has been brought on board.
Ola is constructing a INR 24 billion (USD 320 million) electric-scooter factory in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The facility will have an initial annual capacity of 2 million units, according to the company.
India is home to the world’s largest market for two-wheelers. Roughly 15 million units were sold in the fiscal year ended March, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. Electrics remain only a small part of the total. But annual retail sales of electric scooters and motorcycles will climb to 1.08 million units by 2025, Indian market research firm Prescient & Strategic Intelligence predicts—roughly seven times the 2019 volume.