Ola Electric has shipped almost 4,000 scooters this month and are being delivered to customers across cities in India, a top executive told Moneycontrol. Of this, the company claims to have delivered more than a couple of thousands of vehicles across the country.
Ola Electric, which was spun out of the ride-hailing major Ola in 2019, had started the deliveries of its electric scooters on December 15, a significant delay from its initial plans of an October delivery timeline. The company has also taken a direct-to-customer approach, wherein it is delivering the vehicles directly to the customer's homes.
To be sure, the government's Vahan dashboard shows that Ola has clocked about 88 electric vehicle (EVs) registrations in the country in the past fortnight, at the time of writing this article.
Of this, 52 registrations were made in Karnataka while 23 were made in Tamil Nadu, 11 in Rajasthan and 2 in Maharashtra at present. The dashboard does not capture data from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, and Lakshadweep, due to which the number of registered EVs in these states are not available. From what we understand, Vahan also takes temporary registrations into account for its database.
To put things into context, registrations for rival Ather was at 1,704 for December (until December 30) and 15,816 for the entire year so far. Hero Electric currently leads the market with 45,772 registrations in 2021 to date.
The overall electric vehicle registrations was at 3.07 lakh for the entire year, more than double of 1.19 lakh in 2020.
That said, a person familiar with the matter said different RTOs upload their data on Vahan at a different pace, and several of them upload only after permanent numbers are generated, which might be the reason for the discrepancy in the numbers.
Issues with Electric scooters
Moneycontrol had reported on December 24 that several customers who have received these scooters are facing issues ranging from damaged vehicles with cracks and dents all over the body, lower mileage (range), delayed charger installations, and discrepancy in insurance policy among others.
Ola Electric chief business officer Arun Sirdeshmukh said most of these issues were caused during transit and have been resolved in a swift manner.
"Every customer is important to us and while we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from nearly every customer, the very few customers who faced some issues, mostly caused during transit, have been resolved swiftly" Sirdeshmukh said in response to Moneycontrol's queries.
Sirdeshmukh also added that each customer has a dedicated "brand champion to ensure we are always close to our customer as we scale up our deliveries across the country".
Meanwhile, Ola group CEO Bhavish Aggarwal announced on December 28 that they have begun the rollout of its charging network points called Hypercharger across cities, starting with residential complexes and key BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited) petrol pumps.
"We’re installing across India and will make them operational in 6-8 weeks. Will be free for use till end June 2022 for all customers" Aggarwal said.
The company plans to install over 4,000 charging points through next year, he said. In April 2021, Ola Electric had stated plans to invest $2 billion over the next five years along with its partners to set up more than one lakh charging stations across 400 cities.
Ola is also automatically upgrading customers who have bought the S1 scooter to its premium variant S1 Pro, although customers will have to shell out Rs 30,000 more to access the software features including extended range and reduced charging time among others.
Ola's new fundraising
After selling nearly Rs 1,200 crore worth of scooters in September 2021, Ola has been facing heat from customers for delays in providing test rides and delivery of scooters.
The Bengaluru-based mobility firm is gearing up for a public market debut next year. On December 16, it raised $500 million debt financing from marquee international institutional investors through a Term Loan B route, joining the likes of Byju's and Oyo.
Prior to this, Ola Electric had raised about $52.7 million (Rs 398.3 crore) from investors such as Temasek, IIFL, Edelweiss, Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s VSS Investco and DST Global's Rahul Mehta, Moneycontrol reported on December 9. This financing came a couple of months after it raised $200 million financing led by Falcon Edge, SoftBank and others, at a valuation of $3 billion in September this year.
Separately, Ola also raised about $139 million (Rs 1,048.6 crore) from a clutch of investors including IIFL, Edelweiss, and Sunil Munjal-led Hero Enterprise, in what appears to be a pre-IPO financing round.The company has witnessed a spate of exits in recent weeks, including its Chief Financial Officer Swayam Saurabh, Chief Operating Officer Gaurav Porwal, General Counsel Sandeep Chowdhury, and Ola Electric's Head of Quality Assurance Joseph Thomas, among others.