Indian taxi hailing outfit, Ola has secured an investment of $56 million for its electric car arm, according to an announcement today and will now devote itself to creating a realistic electric mobility infrastructure in the country. Ola is currently Uber’s main competitor in the country, and the electric mobility space is now the next frontier in India, which is why the investment on Ola Electric is not much of a surprise.
The investment round was financed by Tiger Global and Matrix India, two entities which were one of the earliest investors in the Indian taxi hailing company. The electric car space is expected to grow in a big way in the years to come, and Ola Electric is apparently going to be engaged in building infrastructure as well as platforms that will make it easier for electric mobility to go mainstream quickly.
Lee Fixel, who is a partner at Tiger Global spoke about the investment and 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 new company is Ola’s foray into the electric mobility space, and the company had actually conducted pilot projects regarding the same in 2017 and 2018. Ola is not going into the electric car business, which is expensive and prone to failure, but instead trying to have three wheeler e-rickshaws and electric powered auto rickshaws on its platform. The company projects a combined 10000 vehicles of the kind to be on its platform over the next year.
However, it is the larger target of Ola Electric that is more interesting. They want to flood Indian roads with a staggering 1 million electric vehicles by 2021, and that is where the true scope of the project comes into the picture. If they manage to do that, then there is no doubt that it will grab a huge slice of the public transport market in India and the investors could end up with a handsome return on their investment. Anand Shah, who is going to be the chief of Ola Electric Mobility stated, “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.”