Ola Plans to set up the world’s largest Electric Two-Wheeler Charging Network

Ola Gigafactory

Ola Gigafactory

Ola Electric on Thursday revealed its plans to line up the world’s largest electric two-wheeler charging network. SoftBank-backed Ola Electric plans to supply charging solutions to all or any of its electric two-wheeler customers. It unveiled the Ola Hypercharger Network, the charging network for its upcoming two-wheeler products starting with the Ola Scooter to be launched within the coming months.

The Ola Hypercharger Network is going to be the widest and densest electric two-wheeler charging network within the world, with quite 100,000 charging points across 400 cities. Within the first year alone, Ola is fixing over 5,000 charging points across 100 cities in India, quite double the prevailing charging infrastructure within the country. Ola alongside its partners would set it up at an estimated cost of $2 billion over a period of 5 years.

“For us to make sure aggressive and enormous scale adoption of electrical vehicles, a robust charging network is required,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, chairman and group CEO, Ola. “One of the key infrastructure gaps in our country has been the charging network.”

Ola Scooter
Ola E-Scooter

Aggarwal said ‘electric’ is the way forward for mobility and Ola is reimagining the whole user experience of owning an electric vehicle. The plans to create a comprehensive charging network may be a key piece of this. “By creating the world’s largest and densest 2-wheeler charging network, we’ll dramatically accelerate the customer adoption of electrical vehicles and rapidly move the industry to electric,” said Aggarwal.

In India, Ola is now in direct competition with electric two-wheeler makers, like Ather Energy, Hero Electric, and TVS Motor Company. However, Aggarwal said the charging network won’t be available to other electric vehicle players and only the purchasers of Ola Electric.

“It may be a conscious strategic choice,” said Aggarwal. He said by controlling both ends of the ecosystems–the vehicle and therefore the charging infrastructure–the firm would be ready to offer an excellent “seamless” experience to the purchasers . He said Elon Musk’s Tesla and Chinese electric vehicle maker Nio had also unrolled their own proprietary charging ecosystem and strategy.

“With a Hyundai electric , you can’t charge on Tesla’s supercharger network. it’s for Tesla people,” said Aggarwal.

Bhavish Aggarwal
He is Ola’s Cofounder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal

Ola will offer the foremost comprehensive set of charging options to its electric vehicle customers. This is able to be done through a mixture of widely deployed high-speed Ola Hyperchargers and therefore the home-charger which will come bundled with the Ola Scooter.

Ola Hypercharger also will be the fastest two-wheeler charging network. The Ola Scooters are often charged 50 per cent in only 18 minutes for a 75 km range, providing superior range confidence. Ola Hyperchargers are going to be widely deployed across cities and can be found in city centres and dense business districts as stand-alone towers also as in popular locations like malls, IT parks, office complexes and cafes, ensuring that Ola Electric customers always have a Hypercharger nearby.

The Ola Hypercharger network, being built by Ola alongside partners, are going to be complemented by the house charger which will be bundled with the Ola Scooter. the house charger would require no installation and can provide Ola customers with the convenience of charging reception by simply plugging into a daily wall plug for overnight charging.

Ola Hypercharger network, alongside the home-charger and Ola Scooter’s industry-leading range, will make sure that customers have complete range confidence when choosing Ola’s electric vehicles.

The company said Ola Hypercharger network will offer an easy and seamless charging experience to Ola customers. they need to easily reach a charging location and plug their scooter into the charging point. Customers can easily monitor the charging progress in real-time on the Ola Electric app. An equivalent app is often wont to seamlessly buy the charging also .

Ola Facility
Ola Facility For E-Scooter

“We have also built navigation features,” said Varun Dubey, head of selling at Ola Electric and Ola Financial Services. “If you’re going from point A to B, our app would automatically know whether you’ve got enough charge.”

The much-anticipated and soon-to-be-launched Ola Scooter may be a tech-driven electric vehicle with industry-leading range and speed. it’ll be manufactured at the Ola Future Factory which is being built at record speed in Tamil Nadu , India, with its first phase to be ready this summer. The power is being built with an investment of Rs 2400 crore on 500 acres of land.

The company said the electrical two-wheelers are going to be priced aggressively to form it accessible to all or any and can help accelerate India’s transition to sustainable, clean and electric mobility.

The Ola Scooter has already won several prestigious awards including the IHS Markit Innovation award at CES and therefore the German Design Award. The firm said it’s industry-first smart features that reimagine the whole scooter experience for patrons in India and round the world. The scooter features a sophisticated design and a singular banana-shaped battery that’s easy to get rid of and charge anywhere.

In July 2019 Ola Electric Mobility (Ola Electric), the ride-hailing firm’s electric vehicle arm raised $250 million from Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank. it had been just a two-year-old firm at that point . The investment made the fledgling venture a “unicorn”, or a start-up valued at quite $1 billion.

Covid-19 impact

Coronavirus Cartoon
Coronavirus Cartoon

At a time when the second wave of Covid-19 has wreaked havoc within the country, Aggarwal doesn’t foresee any major disruption presently, within the roll-out of its charging network, vehicles and fixing of the longer term Factory. He said there have been supply chain issues before the second covid wave also . “We don’t forecast any major issues ourselves, but the subsequent month goes to be critical.”

Ola’s mega-factory will have an initial capacity of two million units a year in phase 1 around June this year. It’ll function as the company’s global manufacturing hub for its range of electric-powered scooters and two-wheelers across India and international markets including Europe, UK, Latin America , Asia Pacific, Australia and New Zealand.

Aggarwal said the automotive sale got hampered thanks to coronavirus waves, but EV penetration went up drastically in regions like Europe, China and therefore the US.

“I feel EVs are so disruptive,” said Aggarwal. “EV penetration will actually thrive and go up significantly (due to) any quiet demand issue.”

Ola Electric said its technology within the new charging network is leading edge compared to innovations in other countries. Aggarwal said the bulk of the electrical two-wheelers in China use lead-acid batteries rather than lithium-ion batteries because the country had started electrification a few years back.

Few of the industry executives have called Aggarwal’s plans for the electrical vehicle business ‘outlandish claims’.

“I would really like to ask them, what have they been doing,” said Aggarwal.

He said the US and China are before India during this space and therefore the players here have remained circumspect.

“Why is that the world before us? we would like to place India on the worldwide map,” said Aggarwal. “For that, we’ve to create research and development and therefore the manufacturing capabilities.”

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