India-based shared mobility player Ola’s electric mobility arm, Ola Electric Mobility Pvt. Ltd, plans to foray into electric scooter manufacturing;
Bakar Sadik Agwan, Senior Automotive Consulting Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:
“Electric two-wheelers, particularly electric scooters, offer unique opportunities in India and the segment is witnessing the entry of new players and innovative business models. Ola, which made several key innovations in the Indian shared mobility market, would combine the manufacturing with its strengths in shared mobility to drive two-wheeler electric mobility in a major way in the country.
“The move follows Ola’s acquisition of the Netherlands-based electric scooter manufacturer Etergo BV in May 2020. The company aims to debut its electric two-wheeler in India in 2021. Etergo’s tech-savy scooter with swappable high energy density batteries will compete with companies such as Ather Energy and Bajaj Auto, which offer premium scooters. Ola is reportedly in talks with several OEMs to plan local assembly of its electric two-wheelers. The company will be significantly benefited by its existing expertise in electric mobility through the on-going pilot projects, including some with the government to develop EV charging/swapping infrastructure and influx of sufficient funds from its key investor Softbank.
“There are several favorable factors for the growth of electric two-wheeler segment in the country, including the growth in delivery business model, increasing fuel prices, shift in consumer preference towards affordable personal mobility, government’s FAME II initiatives as well as the permission of sales of electric two and three-wheelers without batteries. The electric two-wheeler segment presents significant opportunities, but the top two-wheeler manufacturers have not been chasing them aggressively. Ola, a company that already offers innovative solutions, now with its own two-wheeler swappable battery product, can bring in innovative business model that can shift a significant chunk of six million conventional two-wheeler market towards electric.”