The development of an electric vehicle (EV) industry in India has been stuck in a chicken-and-egg situation for years now. Consumers have hesitated to embrace the environmentally-friendly mode of transportation because of a lack of supporting infrastructure such as charging stations, and companies have held back from investing heavily in the technology because demand remains subdued.
However, there are a handful of companies who have decided to break this limbo and develop an ecosystem of their own. Among them is Bengaluru-based Ola.
In May 2017, the ride-hailing giant partnered with the Indian government and carmaker Mahindra & Mahindra to launch an “electric mass transport project” in Nagpur, a large city in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. Ola initially invested Rs50 crore ($6.96 million) in the project to build charging infrastructure, and bring 200 electric vehicles—including cars and auto-rickshaws—on to its app.