Home >Auto News >Ola in talks with CESL to supply  electric two-wheelers

NEW DELHI/BENGALURU : The electric vehicle arm of ride-hailing firm Ola is the latest to show interest in supplying electric scooters to state-run Convergence Energy Services Ltd (CESL) that is running India’s biggest-ever push for green mobility, two people aware of the matter said.

Ola joins Hero Electric, Mahindra Electric Mobility and Kinetic Green Energy and Power Solutions who are also in talks with CESL to supply electric two and three-wheelers as well as charging infrastructure, as reported by Mint earlier.

Ola is currently building a factory in Tamil Nadu’s Krishnagiri district that will eventually have a capacity to make 10 million e-scooters a year, making it the largest two-wheeler maker globally.

“Despite the long lockdown due to the second wave of the pandemic, Ola’s plan (for the new factory) is on track," one of the two people cited above said, requesting anonymity.

SoftBank Group-backed Ola’s ambitious EV manufacturing foray is spearheaded by Ola Electric Mobility Pvt. Ltd. The unit, which was set up in 2017, said in April it will invest $2 billion over five years to build an electric two-wheeler charging network along with its partners.

An Ola spokesperson said: “We welcome all government measures that enable faster adoption of EV. The recent FAME-II (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles) amendments was one such great move that will help make electric two-wheelers affordable. Similarly, the CESL procurement for states will help bring electric two-wheelers to a large number of consumers. We are in discussions with several organizations including CESL to bring our EVs to as many consumers as possible."

As part of its plans to supply 200,000 two-wheeled EVs and 300,000 three-wheeled EVs across India, CESL, a unit of Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), recently signed an agreement with Goa and Kerala to procure more than 30,000 electric two- and three-wheelers. Around 22 million two-wheelers are sold every year in India that are fuelled by petrol.

“We commend the bold approach taken by Ola Electric—working at breakneck speed, looking to produce millions of EVs very quickly and deploying equally fast. No better time than now to match the government’s massive EV boost given that FAME II has been remodelled," said Mahua Acharya, CESL’s chief executive officer and managing director.

The Union government on Friday modified the marquee Fame scheme by increasing the incentive for electric two-wheelers to 15,000 per KWh and allotted the demand aggregation of electric three-wheeler and electric bus component to EESL. The Centre may also extend the Fame scheme, created to curb vehicular emissions and dependence on fossil fuels, by two years till 31 March 2024.

EESL is a joint venture of NTPC Ltd, Rural Electrification Corp. Ltd, Power Finance Corp. Ltd and Power Grid Corp. of India Ltd.

Ola Electric plans to build a network of 100,000 EV chargers across 400 cities, of which 5,000 points will be installed in 100 cities in 2021-22. Ola said in March that it plans to start production in June-July.

CESL’s plan entails creating customized solutions for each state for the B2C (business to consumer) scheme, wherein the empanelled original equipment makers will be asked to supply EVs. CESL will structure the financing of the two-wheelers and firm up service level agreements.

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