Ola Electric, the ride-hailing firm is planning to start producing electric cars in the country by 2024, the company’s CEO Bhavish Aggarwal told Reuters on Monday August 15, 2022. According to him, the vehicles will have a range of up to 500 kilometres.

The company, which has already begun producing e-scooters did not say how much its investor, Japanese conglomerate Softbank Group will be putting in, or what sort of production targets the company was looking at for the future. 

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Aggarwal told Reuters that while Tesla‘s vehicles were more suited to Western countries, Ola Electric had an opportunity to make India a leader in the production of small cars, scooters, and motorbikes, for which there is a higher demand globally.

So far, Ola has sold over 70,000 electric scooters across the country and has been in the process of setting up electric charging stations across metros, Aggarwal told Reuters.

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However, the roll out of the electric scooters has been far from a smashing success. Soon after launch, there were incidents reported where the e-scooters would burst into flames. The increasing frequency of the fires led to outcry on social media as well as an investigation from the government. 

Ola Electric announced a recall of more than 1,400 e-scooters and tasked its internal experts with identifying the cause of the fires. According to a Reuters report, the issues stemmed from problems with the battery cells as well as the battery management system.

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The company was set to roll out its initial public offering and raise up to $1 billion through it in the first half of 2022 but has chosen to postpone it in light of the severe volatility of the market. The Softbank-backed company has been in the running against Uber for a while now and has been making moves to expand its offerings to personal finance services as well as micro insurance.