Hyundai had recently announced an investment of $300 million in the homegrown ride hailing startup Ola. Now there are reports coming in that the South Korean car giant has decided to develop cars that will be made for the ride hailing service Ola only. These cars will be electric vehicles that will be inducted into Ola’s existing fleet of cars. These new electric vehicles will be developed under the Smart EV program of South Korean company Hyundai. The initial work regarding development of these cars has already started and these cars will most probably hit the market around 2021. Some reports state that the cars may even arrive in the market as early as 2020, if the carmaker decides to expedite the process.
Sources at Hyundai’s Indian division that are very close to the development of electric vehicles in India stated,
The investment in Ola was made with an intent of testing these vehicles as electric mobility in India will gain traction in cab services rather than personal usage. The electric vehicles will be launched most likely in 2021, but with Hyundai’s capability, it can hit the market in 2020 as well. Hyundai knows that in India and other parts of the world, electric mobility will be first adopted by cab service providers and other commercial fleet operators. The investment in Ola gives it a ready-made platform to test its vehicles. While, for Ola, this will help it induct quality but low-cost electric vehicles, custom made from one of the leading manufacturers in the world.
The government is also promoting the use of electric cars in India and has announced the FAME-II (Faster Adoption and Manufacture of Electric Vehicles) subsidies that will provide relief to electric car customers in India. The commercial electric vehicles too are set to benefit from the scheme as the cab operators and aggregators who buy electric vehicle under this scheme will get the maximum benefit of the subsidies in India. This means that apart from receiving the Hyundai electric cars, Ola will also benefit from government subsidies on the same.
Apart from the heavily localized electric cars that the South Korean car giant will manufacture for Ola in India, the company also has plans to introduce other electric cars in the country. These cars will be primarily targeted at the private customers and will come packed with segment leading features as has always been the case. One among these launches will be the Kona electric SUV that will hit the Indian market some time in 2019.