Investment In Self Manufacturing Is Absolutely Essential: Ola Group CFO G R Arun Kumar spoke to us on the challenges in EV adoption on the sidelines of the India Energy Week in Bengaluru

By S Shanthi

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G R Arun Kumar, Group CFO Ola and CFO Ola Electric, firmly believes that it is time that the industry came together and invested in technology. "Fundamentally, the sooner the industry invests in technology, the better it is for our industry. The industry should commit to the customers like how leading players like us do," he told Entrepreneur India at the India Energy Week in Bengaluru.

The event was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who also launched three initiatives, namely 'Unbottled' project of the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, a solar cooking system and E20, an ethanol-blended fuel that will be available in select cities before being supplied across the country.

Kumar said that the industry should stop all the cheap imports and supply chains should go deep. "Investment in self-manufacturing is absolutely essential. Plus, we need the right skill sets for a faster transition to EVs (electric vehicles). Lastly, we need to set up manufacturing at a global scale so that the economies drive costs down," he said while sharing the key things he thinks the EV industry should do in India.

Talking about skepticism among consumers after many fire incidents in EVs were reported, he said, "I believe consumers have evolved and a revolution is on its way. Yes, some not-so quality players were here and we kept warning the whole industry about them. But, I think the consumers are very clear. Every consumer has a sustainability goal at heart.

Kumar predicts 100 per cent EV transition in two-wheelers by 2025-2026 and in four-wheelers by 2030.

Ola Electric has today (Feb 9) launched two new variants of electric scooters at lower price points. Ola Electric co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal announced that the new Ola S1 model comes with a 2 kWh battery capacity providing a range of 91 km with a top speed of 90 km/h. In January, Ola Electric reported an increase in registrations, according to Vahan portal. The company's total EV registrations stood at 18,220 units during the month, an increase of 5 per cent from 17,346 units in December 2022r.

Ola also recently announced to pilot EV cab service in Bengaluru with 1,000 cars. It said that it aims to take the number of EV cabs to 10,000 in a year.

"Electrification of the riride-hailing is the next frontier for the industry and a huge step in the direction of the future of mobility. Our roadmap of developing in-house core technologies and products that can be leveraged across group level gives us a very strong competitive advantage in the ride-hailing business," said Aggarwal earlier.

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S Shanthi

Senior Assistant Editor

Shanthi specializes in writing sector-specific trends, interviews and startup profiles. She has worked as a feature writer for over a decade in several print and digital media companies. 


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