Ola is also discussing with original equipment manufacturers (OEM) partners and EV innovators across the globe to launch the vehicles at the planned time. The project includes electric cabs, electric auto rickshaws, electric buses, rooftop solar installations, charging stations and battery swapping experiments.
As three-wheeler cycle rickshaws and auto-rickshaws are a common transport mode in cities and towns across the country, the company said their electric version would improve outcomes for drivers and commuters alike.
In May a year ago, Ola had launched its first electric vehicle project in Nagpur.
Ola, which operates in 110 Indian cities and has over a million driver partners, said the electric three-wheelers will be introduced in three cities but did not name them.
Building on this effort, Ola believes that electrification can improve outcomes for drivers, customers, and its business model.
Ola says the EV program in Nagpur has translated to more than 4 million electric kilometers traveled and has provided the ride-hailing company with valuable insights.
The Bengaluru-based group believes that EVs cannot only help the environment, but it can also provide better outcomes for drivers, customers, as well as with its overall business model for EV deployment in India.
The project, which started in May 2017, has already given the ride-hailing firm a good sense of how to effectively manage vehicles, batteries, and operations. "The company plans to continue its experimentation with ways to optimize batteries and charging, to develop a strong business model for EV deployment in the country" the company said in a statement.
The company announced that it will be working with driver-partners, cities, vehicle manufacturers, and battery companies to make sustainable technologies cost-effective and viable in daily mobility. Ola plans to aggressively expand its area of operations and place 10,000 e-rickshaws and electric vehicles in key Indian cities by 2019 with an aim to enhance last-mile connectivity.
Additionally, the company is in discussion with several state governments to create appropriate policies for deploying electric three-wheelers. Ola intends to leverage its scale to bring cleaner, more comfortable, and safer products to market. The company launched a trial EV program past year in the city of Nagpur, but has reportedly run into some recent road bumps.