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Old 30th May 2017, 10:41   #1
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Default Mahindra-Ola partner for electric vehicle project in Nagpur

Mahindra and Ola have joined hands for the country's first multi-modal electric vehicle project. The said initiative has also been given support by the Government of India, as part of its aim to promote the use of EVs in the country.

Under this project, Ola will add around 200 electric vehicles on its platform, for the first phase. This will include 100 units of the Mahindra e2o Plus, while the remaining line-up will include e-buses, e-cabs, e-rickshaws and e-autos from various manufacturers like Tata Motors, Kinetic, BYD and TVS among others.

Ola has set up an electric charging station at the Nagpur airport and has also installed more than 50 charging points at 4 different locations across the city. The taxi aggregator will also be providing training to drivers regarding maintenance and use of in-car technology, especially in all-electric vehicles.

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Old 30th May 2017, 11:33   #2
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Default Re: Mahindra-Ola partner for electric vehicle project in Nagpur

Good initiative. OLA seems to have concrete plans for electric vehicles in future. They are expanding this to 8 more cities by March 2018. As per OLA CEO Bhavish Agarawal, they are looking to invest $2 billion (~ Rs 13,000 crores) to run 1 million electric vehicles across India by 2020. This is what OLA's major shareholder Softbank chairman Masayoshi Son said in December 2016.

If this materializes as per plans, then it will be great for many cities in India.
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Old 30th May 2017, 12:39   #3
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Default Re: Mahindra-Ola partner for electric vehicle project in Nagpur

The present EV technology in India is far from being called as mature. The trained manpower for repairs is not present even in tier I cities. I have seen owners struggling with minor software niggled and the service outlets are clueless !

Unless major players bring their successful products in India along with strong after sales, the OLA dream will be far from reality or they will simply blow away investors money.

e2O for one is not meant for commercial operations, space being other limitation with this car. What kind of success these guys are looking at and why will the Ola Partner / Driver pick EV over conventional cars is another issue that is required to be addressed. If there is some information around this? and can be shared in the forum?

Cheers !
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Old 30th May 2017, 12:52   #4
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Default Re: Mahindra-Ola partner for electric vehicle project in Nagpur

Bangalore-based Lithium Urban Technologies (http://www.project-lithium.com/) has been in this business since 2015. They have a fleet of Mahindra e2Os across Bangalore and New Delhi, if I'm not wrong, that serve a network of corporates. I think for short haul urban transport, e2O is a wonderful vehicle.
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Old 30th May 2017, 14:30   #5
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Default Re: Mahindra-Ola partner for electric vehicle project in Nagpur

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Originally Posted by sri_tesla View Post
Good initiative. ... As per OLA CEO Bhavish Agarawal, they are looking to invest $2 billion (~ Rs 13,000 crores) to run 1 million electric vehicles across India by 2020....
This is scary. We simply may not have enough space in our cities for so many cars. Government should look at making public transport lucrative to the rich as well instead of private players bringing in personal mobility options. I know I may be hanged for making this statement in a forum of petrol heads, but that unfortunately is the reality staring at us in the not so distant future.

“A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It's where the rich use public transportation.” - Gustavo Petro
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Old 30th May 2017, 14:36   #6
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Default Re: Mahindra-Ola partner for electric vehicle project in Nagpur

Ola/Uber are munching millions of miles per day. The least thing government could do is to mandate at least a percent of the miles should be electric. This is one of those things where it actually makes sense but still needs a bit a push.
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Old 31st May 2017, 10:13   #7
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Default Re: Mahindra-Ola partner for electric vehicle project in Nagpur

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Originally Posted by sri_tesla View Post
As per OLA CEO Bhavish Agarawal, they are looking to invest $2 billion (~ Rs 13,000 crores) to run 1 million electric vehicles across India by 2020. This is what OLA's major shareholder Softbank chairman Masayoshi Son said in December 2016.
That's a load of bull. For starters, where will they source those million EVs ? The only real manufacturer of electric cars today - Mahindra Electric - has a production capacity of 400 / month!

End of the day, this is all a PR exercise. Ola isn't here to be environmentally-friendly; it's sole aim is to make profits. They will definitely adopt electric cars, but when the rest of India does & when it's financially feasible + practical to run one. As of date, and in the short-term future, neither of the two are true.
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Old 31st May 2017, 11:16   #8
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Default Re: Mahindra-Ola partner for electric vehicle project in Nagpur

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
That's a load of bull. For starters, where will they source those million EVs ? The only real manufacturer of electric cars today - Mahindra Electric - has a production capacity of 400 / month!

End of the day, this is all a PR exercise. Ola isn't here to be environmentally-friendly; it's sole aim is to make profits. They will definitely adopt electric cars, but when the rest of India does & when it's financially feasible + practical to run one. As of date, and in the short-term future, neither of the two are true.
I am betting Ola will make a play and buy out Lithium Technologies in order to corner the Eco transportation market
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Old 10th March 2018, 12:21   #9
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Default Re: Mahindra-Ola partner for electric vehicle project in Nagpur

From Reuters.com. Frankly, on expected lines:

Quote:
Ola drivers, unhappy with long wait times at charging stations and high operating expenses, want to return their cars and switch to fuel-guzzling variants.

Out of 20 Ola electric car drivers interviewed by Reuters in Nagpur, more than a dozen said they have either returned their electric taxis and switched to diesel, or are planning to do so.

Ola had said it would make 50 charging points available across four locations in Nagpur - a city of about 2.5 million people - for its fleet of 200 electric vehicles, but on a visit to the city in late January, Reuters found only about a dozen charging points. Ola has since added 10 additional charging points but is still short of its target.

Getting infrastructure built in the world’s biggest democracy where a not-in-my-backyard culture proliferates is a barrier for a lot of businesses in India. And it is proving to be the same for charging stations - Ola was forced to close one in Nagpur last year after protests by residents angered by traffic jams caused by drivers. It took more than five months to get government clearances to begin operating another station.

A shortage of stations and the limited range of cars - about 100 kilometers - has meant longer queues to recharge. During summer months when batteries discharge faster and need to be recharged more, the situation may worsen unless more charging points are added, said several drivers, none of whom wanted to be named as they feared retribution from the company.

The cars are owned by Ola and leased to drivers for 1,000 rupees a day, but many complain that the amount is too high and they need to work for 12-16 hours to make a decent living, given they waste 3-4 hours a day on charging.

One of the drivers said that after paying Ola the rent for the car and shelling out 500-600 rupees per day for charging, he is left with about 500 rupees ($7.71) at the end of a 14-hour day giving him little time to rest or spend with his family.

“If they don’t give us the (charging) facility, why should we drive these cars,” said the driver, who had just spent an hour waiting for his turn to charge the car, and would have to wait for another 90 minutes while it charges.
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Old 10th March 2018, 14:03   #10
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Default Re: Mahindra-Ola partner for electric vehicle project in Nagpur

Reminds me of the times when CNG was newly introduced in the NCR. Serpentine queues were the norm and everyone was cribbing.

But the benefit with CNG is you can go along for 250-300kms with one fill, while these electrics might need charging every 100 kms or so.
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Old 10th March 2018, 16:37   #11
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Default Re: Mahindra-Ola partner for electric vehicle project in Nagpur

Only solution to this problem is replaceable battery packs. The process can be fully automated. You can be in and out, even faster than petrol/diesel refill from a petrol pump.
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Old 11th March 2018, 15:21   #12
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Default Re: Mahindra-Ola partner for electric vehicle project in Nagpur

Quote:
Getting infrastructure built in the world’s biggest democracy where a not-in-my-backyard culture proliferates is a barrier for a lot of businesses in India. And it is proving to be the same for charging stations - Ola was forced to close one in Nagpur last year after protests by residents angered by traffic jams caused by drivers. It took more than five months to get government clearances to begin operating another station.
Why not charge the car from regular power outlets which is available everywhere and I am sure does not require tons of government clearances?

Quote:
A shortage of stations and the limited range of cars - about 100 kilometers - has meant longer queues to recharge.
In Nagpur, the distance from Railway Station to Airport is about 10 kms. With practical range of, say, 80 kms, a cab can do 8 such trips each lasting near about 40-50 minutes. With downtime between trips included, 1 charge should be sufficient for about 8 hours of duty.

Quote:
One of the drivers said that after paying Ola the rent for the car and shelling out 500-600 rupees per day for charging,
This expense seems to be way too high. The battery capacity for e2o is 11 kWh and assuming the battery is recharged twice a day from fully discharged state, 22 electricity units would be consumed. Even at industrial tariff, the cost of electricity should not cross 250 unless the price of electricity is more that twice the tariff at charging stations.
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Old 12th March 2018, 09:50   #13
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Default Re: Mahindra-Ola partner for electric vehicle project in Nagpur

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Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
But the benefit with CNG is you can go along for 250-300kms with one fill
Nice post, thanks! CNG had other benefits too. You could convert any car to CNG. Plus, it cost under 50 grand (much cheaper than diesel or EVs).

I think we're going to see hybrids enter the market in a big way in India, but EVs have a long time before mass adoption.
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Old 12th March 2018, 15:21   #14
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Default Re: Mahindra-Ola partner for electric vehicle project in Nagpur

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know how are Mahindra Electric's tie-ups with Zoomcar and Uber faring?

Source 1: Mahindra and Uber Join Hands to Deploy Electric Vehicles in India

Source 2: Explore the Majestic City of Mysore with Mahindra E2O P8

On a side note, I have noticed a lot of brand new eSupros being used in the Auroville campus in Pondicherry. These are mainly used to ferry passengers between the Temple and the Visitor's centre as a replacement for the Maruti Omni and Tata Ace vehicles that they had earlier.
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Old 12th March 2018, 18:56   #15
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Default Re: Mahindra-Ola partner for electric vehicle project in Nagpur

The problem in setting up EV charging stations is that the Electricity Act 2003 prohibits any company without a electricity distribution license to sell electricity.
This stops private companies from setting up for profit EV charging stations. As of now, only distribution license holders like BEST, Mahavitaran, BESSCOM, Tata Power, etc. can set up EV charging stations. Even for them, electricity tariffs are approved by each state's electricity regulatory commission (as mandated by the Electricity Act 2003). Now under the existing tariff categories, there is no mention of EV charging, this it comes under a grey area.

There have been talks about amending the Electricity Act 2003 to accomodate not only EV s but also small scale private power generation from renewable sources but there has been no update from the government. Without relevant ammendments to the Electricity Act 2003, EVs are a no-go in India.

To be fair, the Electricity Act 2003 was a very forward looking policy document which enabled power trading in the country and many such advances. But it completely missed the bus on EVs, which is understandable cause it was made in the early 2000s.

Another much needed reform is that Electricity should be bought under GST, or else we'll have a situation like petrol/diesel where each state has different taxes on sale of fuel. If it remains this way, states will impose large a VAT on electricity sale for EV charging and that will be detrimental to the whole EV movement.

Last edited by jalsa777 : 12th March 2018 at 19:00.
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