Ola Electric Mobility raised ₹400 crore from Ola’s early backers Tiger Global and Matrix India, among others, the company said on Friday. This marks the first external investment into Ola’s fledgling electric vehicle company, which has been struggling to take off in India.
Ola Electric Mobility will be led by Anand Shah, who had previously worked with the likes of Audi and BMW, and Ankit Jain, who headed Ola’s connected vehicle platform.
The new infusion is expected to help the company in its goal of bringing one million electric vehicles on Indian roads by 2022. The company had previously claimed to achieve this target by 2021.
Ola Electric is currently running several pilots to deploy electric vehicles and charging solutions. In April, the company claimed that it would introduce a fleet of 10,000 electric vehicles (EVs) over the next 12 months.
“The first problem to solve in electric mobility is charging: users need a dependable, convenient, and affordable replacement for the petrol pump,” said Shah, head of Ola Electric Mobility.
This infusion comes at a time when Mahindra & Mahindra, the biggest electric car maker in the country, announced a foray into the shared mobility space. The company recently launched an app called Glyd to deliver personalised transportation needs through electric vehicles.
Previously, Ola had tied up with Mahindra to launch a pilot for electric vehicles in Nagpur in 2018. However, the project failed to take off as the drivers were unhappy with the electric vehicles and some of them even returned the vehicles, according to several news reports.
Despite this, Ola’s chief executive Bhavish Aggarwal remains optimistic.
“At Ola Electric, our mission is to enable sustainable mobility for everyone,” said Aggarwal. “India can leapfrog problems of pollution and energy security by moving to electric mobility, create millions of new jobs and economic opportunity, and lead the world.”
The cab-hailing platform has raised money in tranches over the last few months, with the latest one being $92 million from Flipkart’s co-founder Sachin Bansal. Ola is currently valued at around $5.7 billion, making it the second most valued start-up in the country.
This article was first published on livemint.com