SoftBank-backed Ola to roll out 100,000 scooter chargers in India Leave a comment

MUMBAI — 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 24 billion rupee ($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.

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