Ola, India’s largest cab-hailing company, made its entry into the realm of sustainable mobility early this year with its announcement of the Ola electric scooter. The company further demonstrated its commitment to the cause by setting up the Ola FutureFactory in Bangalore, claiming that a majority of the operations within the factory will be powered by renewable energy sources. Earning countrywide praise for its endeavors to better the electric vehicle scene in India and promote the adoption of EVs on a larger scale, Ola divulged its intentions to take its electrification initiative to international markets.
In April 2021, Ola Electric took its plan of action to a whole new level by unveiling its intentions to set up the world’s largest and densest two-wheeler charging network. Naming it the Ola Hypercharger Network, this initiative, if successfully brought to fruition, would certainly be a giant leap forward in the EV landscape of India.
In this article, we take a look at just what Ola’s Hypercharger initiative brings to the table and what it means for electric vehicle owners or potential buyers in India.
The Ola Hypercharger network: What issues would it address?
If you are someone who has been looking into the sustainable mobility situation in India for some time, it is probably no news to you that the current state of EV charging infrastructure in the country is paltry at best. An easily accessible and widespread public charging network is, without a doubt, one of the key factors that can truly promote a shift towards green mobility. Lack or inadequacy of such infrastructure discourages early adopters from purchasing electric vehicles. The most significant problem associated with electric vehicles is what is commonly called range anxiety and inadequate charging infrastructure leaves this issue unaddressed and untreated.
Roughly 1 million public electric vehicle charging points have been installed around the world. Of that number, a meagre 0.1% is available in India. While EV Steering Committees at the state level in some parts of the country are making attempts to include provisions to pre-existing building codes as well as government regulations to better regulate the construction of charging stations, the results are rather slow and form a minuscule part of a much bigger scene.
In a nascent industry such as the electric vehicle industry, therefore, Ola’s Hypercharger Network initiative promises to singlehandedly further the progress and, by relieving potential buyers of range anxiety, encourage adoption of electric two-wheelers.
What would the Ola HyperCharger network entail?
As soon as the under-construction FutureFactory in Tamil Nadu is complete and production of the Ola Electric scooter is in full swing, Ola’s next big step in the direction of sustainable mobility will be the Ola Hypercharger Network. The charging stations in this network are set to consist of Ola Hyperchargers which are essentially high-speed chargers that are designed to charge the Ola Electric scooter up to a good 50% in around 18 minutes. Once charged to 50%, the scooter is good to go for a range of 75 kms. The charging stations will come with vertical tower chargers as well as standalone charging points for the home charger that is to come with the Ola Electric scooter.
CEO Bhavish Aggarwal has revealed plans to initially set up roughly 5000 points spanning across 100 of the major cities in India. The number will then be increased to over 1 lakh charging points spread across 400 cities in the nation. The first 5000 charging points are expected to be set up within the very first year, which is roughly double the currently available number of charging points in the country. After this, the company will gradually work itself towards the 1 lakh charging points target. No time period has been specified for the latter half of the project and the CEO has refrained from commenting on the company’s total investment behind this project, although some sources state that it is as much as $2 billion.
The charging speed and the range that the Hypercharger promises would make it the fastest EV charger in the country. Overall, the Ola Hypercharger Network, upon its completion, would be the world’s densest electric two-wheeler charging network. The charging points will be strategically located in important city centres, malls, business complexes, IT parks, and so on in a way that you can count on a nearly unlimited range.
The only downside to the Ola Hypercharger network, however, is that it will not be accessible to all-electric two-wheeler owners. Access to these charging stations will be restricted only to Ola customers.
A few more pointers about the Ola Hypercharger
Ola Electric’s soon-to-be-launched scooter will integrate and work in perfect harmony with the Ola Hyperchargers.
- A dedicated mobile app connected to your scooter will come up with smart navigation suggestions. It will route you through charging stations along the way so that you do not have to worry about running out of charge en route.
- The charging system is fully automated and you can get your scooter charged without having to worry about the hassle of paying with cash or card.
- The connected Ola Electric app will track your Ola scooter’s charging status and notify you once you are good to go.
An extensive charging system is the key enabler of large-scale EV adoption and Ola Mobility seeks to achieve just that through its Ola Hypercharger initiative. On top of being able to reap the benefits of the fantastic specs of the Ola Electric scooter, owners will not have to break a sweat over limited range or running out of charge when they are on the road.
Featured image: olaelectric.com