India, Ola Electric Mobility to invest $2 bn in battery charging network

Ola Electric Mobility Pvt. Ltd., Bengaluru, Karnataka, India, which is setting up a mega factory to produce e-scooters, will invest $2 billion in the next five years to build an electric two-wheeler charging network along with its partners, said a top executive, reports.

Called ‘Hypercharger Network’, Ola said it will provide super-fast charging solutions to all its electric two-wheeler customers, including the scooter that it plans to launch in July.

Ola plans to set up a network of 100,000 EV chargers across 400 cities, of which 5,000 charging points will be installed in 100 cities in 2021-22.

The charging network will have both vertical tower chargers as well as standalone chargers in popular locations such as malls, office complexes and cafes. Ola’s customers can charge their electric two-wheelers at home as the home charger will come bundled with the vehicle. The home charger will require no installation and will provide Ola customers with the convenience of charging at home by simply plugging into a regular wall socket for overnight charging.

The new Ola scooter can be charged up to 50% in 18 minutes for a 75km range, and to charge the vehicle’s battery to its full capacity will still take less than an hour, the company said.

Bhavish Aggarwal, chairman and group CEO of Ola, said at a virtual press meet on Thursday that the charging network will be launched in sync with the scooters and will be installed before the sales process in a particular city commences.

“Electric is the future of mobility, and we are reimagining the entire user experience of owning an electric vehicle. Our plan to build a comprehensive charging network is a key piece of this. By creating the world’s largest and densest 2-wheeler charging network, we will dramatically accelerate the customer adoption of electric vehicles and rapidly move the industry to electric,” Aggarwal said.

Customers can monitor the charging progress in real-time on the Ola Electric app and can use the same app to pay for the charging as well.

“Just like Tesla has its proprietary charging network, we are building our own. In the early adoption phase, consumer experience is paramount,” Aggarwal added.

The Hypercharger Network will have a capacity of 12 kilowatts. Its standalone chargers installed at public locations will have a slower rate of charge, but the company said that a bulk of the chargers it will install will be Hyperchargers.

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