Ola Chairman and Group CEO Bhavish Aggarwal shared his vision of the future of mobility – New Mobility – on Thursday, ranging from electric scooters to cars to drones and flying cars. Only 2% (30 million) of Indians own a four-wheeler, and only 12% (160 million) own a two-wheeler. “That means that more than a billion people in India have been denied mobility because of this system!” Bhavish wrote in a company blog post.
This antiquated system is being remedied by new mobility, which makes mobility universally accessible, sustainable, personalised, and convenient. To accomplish this, India will see a significant increase in both shared and personal mobility as a result of a combination of purpose-built EVs lowering costs, digital retail driving convenience, and the cloud enabling personalisation.
Ola’s new ecosystem
According to Aggarwal, SoftBank-backed Ola is constructing this New Mobility ecosystem with the consumer at the centre. This new ecosystem’s three pillars are new mobility services, energy vehicles, and auto retail. As part of an integrated Ola New Mobility Platform, these three pillars amplify and enhance each other’s impact.
Ola now provides multi-modal mobility access to 100 million people through taxis, auto-rickshaws, two-wheelers, day hires, and outstation services. However, this represents only 7% of India’s population.
“We will bring this multimodal mobility to all 1.3 billion people through Ola-designed EVs customised for the diverse shared mobility needs,” Aggarwal said.
He claims that because EVs (electric vehicles) are 80% less expensive to operate, the service will be more affordable and accessible to all. Furthermore, with miniaturisation and high energy density (both of which are not possible in traditional vehicles), Ola claims that its EVs enable custom vehicle form factors to serve a broader range of use cases.
The company’s multi-modal platform is being widely used across Ola’s 150 cities. As the company expands to 500 towns and provides shared mobility to 500 million people, the multi-modal offerings will expand significantly and will be critical to driving affordability and access for these 500 million people.
According to Aggarwal, vehicles are responsible for 40% of India’s air pollution. This is at a time when only 15% of Indians own a vehicle. This figure will skyrocket as the company offers more affordable options for shared and personal mobility. “So we’ll do it with EVs,” he explained.
Ola Electric: Present and Future
The company has already made progress here with its Future Factory, the world’s largest two-wheeler factory. It is producing the first scooter in the company’s lineup, the Ola S1. “We will expand our EV range with more scooters, bikes, and cars in the coming quarters,” said Aggarwal. “Our EVs are intelligent, connected AI machines that will outperform today’s personal vehicles, which are dumb mechanical devices.”
He thinks they will suit a wide range of purposes in a variety of form factors, including kick scooters, e-bikes, drones, and flying cars while costing up to 80% less to run than internal combustion engines. This will result in vehicle ownership reaching 40% of the population in the coming years, with 50 million 2Ws and 10 million 4Ws sold per year in India.
Not just the automobiles, but also the 100-year-old model of dealership-based sales and servicing, conventional financing and insurance, and unorganised used vehicle sale and purchase, according to Aggarwal, are outdated and must be replaced.
He says that the firm has already established a formidable digital retail platform that is not reliant on physical infrastructure and that the introduction of the Ola S1 was the largest automotive launch ever. In the future, the company will open up this platform to other OEMs as well, providing them with unparalleled digital distribution. It will provide consumers with a wide range of multi-brand options online, as well as at-home test rides, personalised financing, and insurance. In the future, the existing dealer ecosystem will play a significant role, albeit in a new way.
This will also result in a more trustworthy used vehicle e-commerce marketplace with real-time pricing and digital access. This is what the company is doing with Ola Cars: reimagining the entire ownership experience of used and new vehicles, not just the buying and selling. Ola Cars currently operates in 30 cities and plans to expand to 100 by next year.