Ola keeps adding EVs to its mobility roster, but can it catch them all?
Remember Dutch electric scooter manufacturer Etergo? When we last heard from them in 2018, the company had just received an infusion of cash to put its AppScooter electric scoot into production. At the time, Etergo was notable because it used swappable battery technology, not unlike Taiwan’s Gogoro.
Now a new player has entered the arena, in the form of Ola Electric. It’s an Indian company that’s concentrating on the larger electric vehicle picture. Rather than simply be interested in electric scooters, motorcycles, or other bikes, it’s thinking much bigger. City buses and auto rickshaws, as well as passenger cars, are all electric vehicle developments that Ola is currently pursuing.
Ola Electric just bought Etergo outright, to add to its growing wall of electric vehicle types. To be an electric vehicle master, apparently, someone told Ola you’ve gotta catch ‘em all, so that’s what they’re doing. However, to make electric vehicles with swappable batteries a viable option, infrastructure needs to be sufficient to support regular people making the change away from gas and diesel-powered vehicles. Thankfully, Ola is already hard at work on this in Nagpur City, Maharashtra, India.
It’s unclear how similar Etergo’s swappable batteries are to the batteries currently used in other Ola electric vehicles. It’s also unclear whether Ola has any plans to integrate the swappability of Etergo’s system into some of its existing fleet, or whether that’s even feasible. The company is currently developing battery swapping and charging stations to work across India’s capital, New Delhi.
“The future of mobility is electric, and the post COVID world presents an opportunity for us to accelerate the adoption of electric mobility globally. Every year, almost twice the number of two-wheelers are sold across the world compared to cars. With electric, digitally connected capabilities, two-wheelers will further emerge as the most preferred urban mobility paradigm around the world and empower every consumer. We look forward to building the best global capabilities in engineering, design, and manufacturing for these products to be made here in India,” Ola Electric founder and chairman Bhavish Aggarwal said.
For its part, Ola Electric will continue to operate in Amsterdam after this acquisition. It’s unclear how the division of scooter manufacturing labor will commence, but perhaps more details will come to light going forward. One thing we do know is that Ola intends to release its first electric two-wheeler for the global market in India in 2021, but no other details are available at this time.