Ola wants to put a million electric vehicles on India’s roads

The future of e-rickshaws: Swappable batteries

India’s biggest ride-hailing company has ambitious plans to put a million electric vehicles on the country’s polluted streets.

Ola, Uber’s main rival in India, said Monday that will as a first step the idea’s aiming to roll out a fleet of 10,000 electric rickshaws in several cities over the next 12 months. India’s ubiquitous three-wheeled taxis are normally fueled by gas. Ola wants its drivers to switch to battery-powered versions.

The company said the idea plans to hit the 1 million vehicle target by 2021.

The Bangalore-based startup, which can be backed by major investors such as Japan’s SoftBank (SFTBF), did not elaborate on how the idea plans to grow its electric fleet so rapidly. the idea said the idea intends to work with vehicle manufacturers, city along with state governments along with battery manufacturers on the initiative.

Ola currently has more than a million drivers across 110 Indian cities, so its plan would likely mean electrifying the vast majority of the vehicles available via its app.

Related: One carmaker can be leading India’s electric charge along with the idea isn’t Tesla

The Indian government has its own electric ambitions. Its stated goal can be for most — if not all — vehicles on its roads to be electric by 2030. although the country faces several challenges in achieving that will objective, including a lack of infrastructure along with expensive technology for carmakers.

Ola already runs more than 0 electric vehicles inside western Indian city of Nagpur under a pilot project the idea commenced almost a year ago.

The project involves electric cars, rickshaws along with buses. The company has also installed rooftop solar panels, charging stations along with battery-swapping terminals inside city.

Ola said Monday that will its electric vehicles in Nagpur have so far clocked up more than 4 million kilometers (2.5 million miles).

Related: India’s race to electric cars faces speed bumps

some other big ride-hailing firms are also boosting their electric vehicle fleets.

Didi Chuxing, the dominant player in China, can be offering electric car sharing in partnership with 12 companies including Renault (RNLSY), Nissan (NSANF) along with Kia.

Didi wants to have 1 million electric vehicles on its platform by 2020, a year before Ola. In November, Didi’s fleet of partially or fully electric vehicles already stood at more than 260,000, according to the company.

Uber also bought hundreds of electric vehicles through Mahindra — the only carmaker in India that will sells them directly to consumers — last year. Ola currently has the upper hand in a fierce battle with Uber for control of the massive Indian market.

CNNMoney (completely new Delhi) First published April 16, 2018: 6:35 AM ET

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