Ola Electric will soon let users subscribe to its e-scooters, instead of making an upfront purchase, founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Aggarwal ran a poll on Twitter asking if users would take the Ola scooters on subscription for a few weeks, instead of buying it. About 77% of over 8,500 users said they would be interested in doing so while the remaining said no.
Convinced by the response, Aggarwal told reporters that the electric two-wheeler manufacturer would soon roll out the service, but did not provide a timeline. “We are not just a manufacturing firm, we are also a consumer internet company and we see that many of our users and stakeholders have shown interest in a subscription-based model and we will introduce the same,” Aggarwal said.
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This comes at a time when Ola wants Indians to stop buying internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by 2025. On the path to that goal, Aggarwal said that EV two-wheeler penetration in the country has climbed to a high of 90%, up from about 25% twelve months ago. Further, he predicts that “by next year our Ola S1 platform will be outselling the (Honda) Activa” which is currently the most sold two-wheeler in India.
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Aggarwal said Ola Electric would open a new plant with a capacity of 5 gigawatts (GW) by end of 2023, to increase lithium-ion cell production capacity, in its Krishnagiri facility in Tamil Nadu.
Asked on how the funding company plans to fund the expansion plans, Aggarwal said, ”Our EV business will turn Ebitda positive in 2023 and we’ll use the cash generated from that to invest in our expansion plans.”
Ola has also expressed plans to manufacture electric bikes, light commercial vehicles and cars in the space over the coming years.