Ola Electric delivers a shock, only gets 1,766 registrations since Dec. 15- Technology News, Firstpost

According to the government’s Vahan dashboard, Ola Electric has clocked approximately 1,766 total electric vehicle (EV) registrations in the country since December 15, compared to 4,000 scooter shipments the company claimed to have made in the month of December.

A majority of these registrations were made in Maharashtra and Karnataka, followed by Gujarat, Odisha and Tamil Nadu.

The company registered about 238 EVs in December, about 1,102 EVs in January and 424 EVs in the first week of February, data shows.

To be sure, the Vahan dashboard does not record any data from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Lakshadweep which makes the number of registered EVs in these states unavailable.

An Ola Electric spokesperson told Moneycontrol that Vahan is not an accurate reflection of their shipping and sales data, as there is a “long delay in updating data on the dashboard” and it only captures permanent records.

To put things in context, according to the Vahan dashboard, EV registrations for rival Ather were 1,880 in the month of January, while the company said it sold 2,825 units during the month.

This development comes on the heels of Ola Electric which has raised more than $200 million at a $5 billion valuation from Tekne Private Ventures, Alpine Opportunity Fund, Edelweiss and others.

Delayed deliveries

Ola Electric, which emerged from major motorist Ola in 2019, had started deliveries of its electric scooters on December 15, a significant delay from the original plans of an October delivery timeline.

As of December 30, the company claimed to have shipped nearly 4,000 scooters in December, claiming to have delivered more than a few thousand vehicles across the country. But the Vahan dashboard had shown fewer than 100 deliveries, Moneycontrol had reported.

Ola had told Moneycontrol at the time that the discrepancy in the two numbers was because different state RTOs upload their data on Vahan at a different rate, as some of them are using the older version of Vahan.

It’s worth noting that Ola has taken a direct-to-customer approach, delivering the vehicles directly to customers’ homes, rather than the traditional dealer model. On December 31, Ola Group CEO, Bhavish Aggarwal, had said on Twitter that the registration was taking longer than expected as a fully digital process was new to all stakeholders.

“Lots of lessons for us on varied RTO systems, regulations in different states. Will be faster with registration in the future!” he said on Twitter.

In a statement to Ola Electric customers on Jan. 14, Ola Electric had stated that deliveries of scooters could take 10-20 days after being shipped from the manufacturing facility, depending on the customer’s location and RTO process requirements in their city.

Delayed production of Ola S1 scooters

In the same communication, Ola also said that it has prioritized the production of its more expensive variant S1 Pro (which costs Rs 1.3 lakh) as a “vast majority” of its customers have bought this variant and will make it the S1 variant. (which will cost Rs 1 lakh) until the end of 2022.

All customers who booked the S1 variant were now “automatically upgraded” to S1 Pro hardware. Users can unlock the Pro features such as extended range, hyper mode, hill hold, cruise control and voice assist by paying an additional Rs 30,000.

The company noted that this software upgrade was optional and that customers can also choose to take advantage of this choice at a later stage. An Ola spokesperson said those who receive the S1 Pro will still benefit from a better range of 105km, which is less than the actual 135km range of the software-enabled S1 Pro, but more than that of the S1.

“If you do want to buy our S1 variant, we’ll let you know as soon as we’ve put it into production and you can then make the final payment,” Ola said in a January 14 communication.

Hyperloader rollout

Meanwhile, Ola Group CEO Bhavish Aggarwal recently announced that they have started rolling out its charging network points called Hypercharger in cities, starting with residential complexes and key BPCL petrol pumps (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited).

“We are installing all over India and will be operational within 6-8 weeks. They will be free to use for all customers until the end of June 2022,” said Aggarwal.

The company plans to install more than 4,000 charging stations by next year, he said. In April 2021, Ola Electric had announced plans to invest $2 billion with its partners over the next five years to set up more than one lakh charging stations in 400 cities.

Ola Electric is also one of the 10 companies that have submitted bids under the Rs 18,100 crore production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) battery storage, the government said on Jan. 15.

The Bengaluru-based mobility company is gearing up for a public market debut later this year. On December 16, it raised $500 million in debt financing from major international institutional investors through a term loan B route, joining companies such as Byju’s and Oyo.

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