Ola Electric Mobility becomes India’s newest unicorn
Technology group Softbank is investing the equivalent of 250 million US dollars in Ola Electric Mobility (OEM), the vehicle arm of India’s largest ride-hailing firm. This makes Ola Electric a “Unicorn”, which means that it is now valued at more than $1Bn.
Hyundai & Kia to invest $300 million in Ola
Hyundai and Kia are investing $300 million in mobility service provider, Ola. The strategic partnership includes the production of electric vehicles tailored to the Indian market, the establishment of charging infrastructure and the development of fleet and mobility solutions.
India to focus EV subsidies on ride sharing electric cars
The Indian government has been rethinking their FAME scheme designed to increase electric mobility. The new draft will channel funds away from grants for buying private electric cars and into EVs used by drivers working for shared mobility services such as Ola and Uber.
Great Wall launches dedicated electric car brand ORA
China’s Great Wall Motors (GWM) has officially introduced its new brand dedicated exclusively to new energy vehicles. ORA is the fourth brand under the carmaker’s roof after Great Wall, Haval and WEY and will aim their EVs at young audiences with the first model due this year.
Mercedes, Ola, BMW, Tesla, Ford, London.
Mercedes spreads EQ models evenly as Rastatt is the third plant in Germany that will join in to produce plug-ins for Daimler. The facilities in both Bremen and Sindelfingen had come to an agreement earlier, making the German carmaker’s electric endeavour a national one. For now. A decision to involve factories on other continents will depend on market demand. Mercedes calls the chosen sites “centres of competence” where EVs will be integrated in the regular working of the plants. The agreements had been reached with each workers’ councils and Rastatt will concentrate on compact EQ models such as the one expected to debut at the IAA later this year.
Another Indian EV maker? India’s equivalent to Uber, Ola is reportedly pushing electric transport and wants to put 1m hire EVs on the roads within the next 5 years. To get there it may step into manufacturing itself but has not turned to Mahindra but Toyota rather to allegedly deliver car bodies. Behind this move is SoftBank, the Japanese investor that holds large stakes in the cab-hailing service and now wants to make its investment count. India already is the world’s 4th largest car market and pushes for zero emission vehicles only by 2030. Still, Ola is keeping its options open and is behind the
electric cab pilot in Nagpur featuring 100 Mahindra e2o and another 100 EV of other makers.
BMW i3 make over: The Bavarians will bring a revamped version of their all-electric model to this year’s IAA, including a performance version. While the i3 changes are rather stylistic, the BMW i3S will likely boast 15 kW more in peak power over the standard i3, adding up to a total of 140 kW. This extra push is to help with acceleration without eating into the renewed range of 300 km from the new 94 Ah battery.
Model 3 update: Tesla released some more details as it lists options for its economy EV. Drivers will have a choice between two wheel size options, an optional glass roof, and coil suspension. Furthermore, a picture reveals a first glimpse of the dashboard. which looks like an oversized iPad fixed horizontally.
insideevs.com, electrek.co, dashboard
Ford strengthens is Smart Mobility unit as it lures back its former electric powertrain engineer Sherif Marakby, who left for Uber last year. Marakby will now serve as vice president of Autonomous Vehicles and Electrification under Jim Farley.
As London prepares to ban non-electric cabs from its centre, competitors for the renewed TX5 of the London Taxi Company already line up before its launch. Where the classic comes with a range extender, Nissan bets on an all-electric model. The Dynamo Taxi, developed together with Dynamo Motor Company, is a repurposed Nissan e-NV200 with enough room for a wheelchair. Range is said to be 100 miles only but may be balanced with a recharge time of just 30 minutes. Sales are to start this summer with a London-ready version to be expected by autumn.
EU directive, London, Cologne, PlugSurfing, Ola.
EU calls for more chargers: Earlier reports had already suggested it, now it’s black on white. With its “winter package,” the EU published a directive calling for a place to plug in at at least 10 percent of parking spots of new commercial buildings from 2025. Residential buildings with more than ten parking stalls will be required to at least put in place the necessary wiring for EV chargers.
tagesspiegel.de (in German)
E-buses for London: Mayor Sadiq Khan announced that all new single-deck buses purchased for the city centre after 2018 will be all-electric. Moreover, from then on, no new double-deckers with a pure diesel drivetrain will hit the roads of the British capital.
Electric travel in Cologne: Since Saturday, all buses travelling on the around seven km long line 133 are electric. The eight bendy buses now in service have a range of 90 km, more than first expected, though they won’t travel more than 45 km on one charge. Charging will take place at the first and last stop of the line.
presseportal.de (in German)
PlugSurfing in France: Thanks to a cooperation with Sodetrel, PlugSurfing users are now able to charge at an additional 700 EV chargers in France. Sodetrel has set up the so-called ‘Corri Door,’ a fast-charging network along French motorways that is part of a larger network across 16 countries.
One million EV wish: Masayoshi Son, head of SoftBank, the biggest investor in Uber opponent Ola, wants to offer Ola drivers one million in India produced EVs to use for free. He added that “this is a wish and not a commitment yet,” as local and central governments as well as Ola need to first agree on terms for the project to take off.
Romania, Ola, Uno-X, Z Energy, LightMotion.
Romanian incentives: The Eastern European country launched a 16.6m euro incentive scheme for plug-in hybrid and electric cars. Last year, 495 such vehicles were sold in Romania, where price as well as infrastructure are a problem. The latter might be eased by German discounter Kaufland that is installing EV chargers at some of its locations.
balkaninsight.com (incentives), romania-insider.com (infrastructure)
E-rickshaw via app: Indian transportation app Ola has added e-rickshaws to its platform. Users can book from a pool of 5,100 electric trikes in the Delhi region and the scheme is to be exported to smaller towns. The e-rickshaws are being deployed together with Bhartiya Micro Credit (BMC).
Nordic charging: Uno-X will install a hydrogen fuelling station in Norwegian Sandvika. The station includes on-site hydrogen production via solar power and is part of the plan to install 20 such pit stops in urban Norway by 2020.
Kiwi charging: Z Energy has installed the first fast-charger in Christchurch, New Zealand, as the oil company strives to transform itself into a transport firm. Over the following weeks, five more EV charging stations by Charge Net will be erected in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch.
Smart street lamp: Dutch Lightwell and The New Motion present LightMotion, a street light that serves as EV charge point as well as a WiFi hub. Furthermore, the lantern features CCTV and sensors and is now in mass production.