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Big news! Ratan Tata has invested personally in Ola’s EV business

PW Bureau

Ola is running several pilots involving charging solutions, battery swapping stations, and deploying vehicles across two, three and four-wheeler segments

New Delhi: Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, has invested in ride-hailing app Ola’s electric vehicle (EV) business, Ola Electric Mobility (OEM), Ola said on Monday. The investment, which is part of Ola’s series A round of funding for its EV business, is in Tata’s personal capacity, a statement released by Ola said. The move reflects that the automobile industry in India is gearing itself to shift towards electric vehicle ecosystem in the future.

“The electric vehicle ecosystem is evolving dramatically every day, and I believe Ola Electric will play a key role in its growth and development.” — Ratan Tata

Without disclosing details of the deal, Ola said in the statement, “His investment in Ola Electric will bring his deep experience and mentorship to the company's ambitions to make electric mobility viable at scale.”

Ola’s EV business

Ola had initially established OEM in Nagpur to enable its electric mobility pilot programme. In 2018, the ride-hailing app announced its ‘Mission: Electric’ under which it aimed to bring 1 million electric vehicles on Indian roads by 2021.

OEM raised Rs 400 crore in a funding round led by Tiger Global and Matrix India in March this year. And currently, it is running several pilots involving charging solutions, battery swapping stations, and deploying vehicles across two, three and four-wheeler segments.

The CEO-speak

Tata was one of the early investors in Ola’s parent company, ANI technologies, when it poured funding into the company in July 2015. “The electric vehicle ecosystem is evolving dramatically every day, and I believe Ola Electric will play a key role in its growth and development,” Tata said.

On the other hand, Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO of Ola, said that Tata has always been a mentor to him and has been an inspiration in shaping Ola’s journey over the years. “I’m very excited to welcome him on board Ola Electric as an investor and a mentor.... We are privileged to have his guidance and support once again, as we work towards our goal of a million electric vehicles in India by 2021,” he added.