Ola’s arch-rival Uber also started its pilot electric cab services in certain parts of the Delhi-NCR last year.
Homegrown ridesharing company Ola is planning to begin its own electric vehicle cab services, according to a report by The Economic Times. The cab company will commence its pilot in the Sothern Indian city of Bengaluru with around 1,000 EVs, the report added.
Furthermore, the cab service provider aims to scale up the number of electric taxis to more than 10,000 in a year in Bengaluru. Users can find Ola EV cab as a separate category on its app.
This is not the first time Ola is entering the EV cabs market. In 2017, the IPO-bound company launched a pilot EV project in Nagpur only to be turned down due to high operating costs and long waiting time at the charging stations.
The effort seems to be a merger of Ola’s cab services and EVs ambitions. On India’s 75th Independence Day, the company’s CEO and founder Bhavish Agarwal announced that the much-awaited Ola electric car is scheduled to launch in 2024. Aggarwal did not reveal much information about the same but claimed that Ola intends to create two vehicle platforms and six distinct models of cars, all of which will be produced in its expanded Giga facility in Tamil Nadu.
Ola’s arch-rival Uber also started its pilot electric cab services in certain parts of the Delhi-NCR last year. Uber Green cabs are available only for pre-scheduled rides currently. Customers can choose a pick-up time for the ride up to 30 days in advance and cancel the scheduled trip an hour before the ride at no cost.
For a long time, the Indian cab service market enjoyed a duopoly. Customers have often complained about a surge in cab prices and canceled rides, among several others. Ola and Uber drivers, on the other hand, have to have asset ownership and are usually unfairly paid.
Both Ola and Uber scored zero out of 10 in Fairwork India’s fourth annual study of the work conditions of workers on digital labor platforms in the country in 2022. The research agency collaborated with Oxford University and evaluated 12 platforms, including Amazon Flex, Big Basket, Dunzo, Flipkart, Ola, PharmEasy, Porter, Swiggy, Uber, Urban Company, Zepto, and Zomato. The companies were assessed against five principles: Fair Pay, Fair Conditions, Fair Contracts, Fair Management, and Fair Representation.
Tackling some of these concerns, the Gurugram-based taxi service provider BluSmart Mobility began its electric cab services in Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru. The startup promises its customers zero cancellations, on-time rides, and no surge fee. Moreover, BluSmart owns cars that remove the burden of asset ownership from the drivers. For this purpose, the Deepika Padukone-backed company leases electric vehicles from leading manufacturers, owns the EVs, and operates them. The company claims that its drivers could easily earn Rs 20,000 to Rs 24,000 monthly, according to a report by YourStory.