Indian ride-hailing firm Ola plans to start producing electric cars in 2024


FILE PHOTO: An employee speaks over his phone as he sits at the front desk inside the office of Ola cab service in Gurugram, previously known as Gurgaon, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, April 20, 2016. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -Indian ride-hailing firm Ola Electric plans to start producing electric cars in India in 2024 with a range of up to 500 km (310 miles), Chief Executive Bhavish Aggarwal said on Monday.

Ola, which is backed by Japan's Softbank Group and currently makes e-scooters, did not give an investment figure or production target.

Aggarwal said that while companies like Tesla are leading the way in building electric vehicles more suited for Western markets, India can lead in the area of small cars, scooters and motorbikes for which global demand is higher.

Ola's electric car with the most advanced features would go from 0 to 100 km per hour (62 miles per hour) in four seconds, he said.

The company was setting up an electric vehicle ecosystem, aiming to produce cars, two wheelers and batteries all at a single plant in the state of Tamil Nadu, he said.

The company has sold over 70,000 electric two wheelers in the last seven months, and was in the process of setting up 100 hyper charging electric stations in major cities in India, Aggarwal said.

Ola had planned to go public in the first half of 2022, but the initial public offering has been postponed, possibly due to volatility in the market and lacklustre listings of some start-ups in India this year.

(Reporting by Manoj Kumar, Editing by David Goodman and Susan Fenton)

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