SoftBank-Backed India’s Ola To Invest $326 million In Electric Scooter Plant

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Indian ride-hailing firm Ola, backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group, said Monday it planned to invest ₹ 24 billion ($326 million) to set up a factory in Tamil Nadu to produce electric scooters.

The plant will have an initial annual capacity to produce two million scooters and will create nearly 10,000 jobs, Ola said in a statement, as it gears up to launch electric scooters over the coming months.

The Indian government has been pushing automakers to move to cleaner fuel technology, especially electric, in an effort to reduce its oil import bill and curb pollution in major cities.

While carmakers have been slow to launch electric vehicles (EVs), mainly due to the expensive batteries and weak demand from buyers, sales of electric scooters and rickshaws have picked up pace and are leading India’s electrification drive.

The country needs an investment of over $180 billion in vehicle production and charging infrastructure until 2030 to meet its EV ambition, according to the CEEW Centre for Energy Finance (CEEW-CEF), an Asian think tank.

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