In a bid to further bolster its operations in the country, cab aggregator Ola is planning to introduce fully electric cabs on a pilot basis in major Indian cities.
“There is a lot of focus on electric vehicles. We shall be rolling out electric cabs in top cities in three months,” Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and chief executive officer of Ola, said in an interview with Livemint.
Although the names of the cities proposed for the project haven’t been announced, the pilot phase is expected to begin in the next three months. Besides bringing down repetitive driver disputes with the ride-hailing company in the name of incentives, the proposed project will also boost sales of electric cars, which have failed to take off despite attempts to promote them through government incentives.
Notably, this will also lower energy import bills for the country, which are expected to cross $300 million by 2030. Though the Indian government has an ambitious target to sell six million electric vehicles by 2020, factors such as high vehicle costs, power outages, and a scarcity of facilities for eco-friendly disposal of batteries limit its mass-adoption.
Last December, SoftBank Group Corp. chairman Masayoshi Son in a statement said that Ola may introduce a fleet of one million electric cars in partnership with an electric vehicle maker and the government.
While the proposed move will bring down pollution levels in cities, Aggarwal said that the decision to scale up the rollout of electric vehicles will be taken on the basis of the feedback it receives after the pilot.