Ola electric see sharpest drop in EV 2 wheeler sales


At its peak, before the fire episodes rocked the nation, Ola Electric had sold 12,705 EVs in April and 9,258 in May..reports Asian Lite News

Hero Electric has piped Okinawa Autotech, Ola Electric and Ather Energy in selling maximum number of EV two-wheelers in the month of July, with Ather Energy and Ola Electric suffering biggest drop as customers delay purchasing EVs amid battery fire incidents and government probes.

According to the latest VAHAN data, Ather Energy sold a mere 1,095 EV two-wheelers (till July 30) from 3,829 in June, registering the biggest drop among the EV manufacturers.

At its peak, before the fire episodes rocked the nation, Ola Electric had sold 12,705 EVs in April and 9,258 in May.

Hero Electric led the EV two-wheeler market in the country with registration of 8,474 vehicles, up from 6,504 in June.

It has sold 52,559 vehicles this year, indicating an uptick in its vehicles.

Okinawa was second with selling 7,717 EV 2-wheelers in July, up from 6,984 it sold in June. The company has so far sold 54,835 EVs this year (till July 30).

Ampere Vehicles Pvt Ltd which sold 6,542 vehicles in June saw a drop in July to 5,980 vehicles, with a total tally of 39,769 sold this year, according to the VAHAN data.

Last month, Ola Electric said they were prepared to see the impact of supply chain constraints, especially on cell shortage.

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari last week told Parliament that all those EV two-wheelers companies have been served show-cause notices whose vehicles caught fire owing to battery issues.

He said that the Ministry had constituted a committee of experts to suggest safety standards for batteries, battery components, and related systems.

Based on the information of fire incidents available, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued a show-cause notice to the CEOs and MDs of the concerned two wheeler electric scooter manufacturers, to explain the reasons as to why the relevant sections of the Motor Vehicles Act should not be invoked against them.

The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), which comes under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, said this week that it issued notices to four to five EV two-wheeler makers in the light of several complaints raised by the consumers over battery explosions and fire incidents.

The CCPA received several complaints from the EV two-wheeler buyers.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has also been informed. A DRDO probe had revealed defects in battery cells as well as battery design in nearly all EV fires.

Ola headed for massive layoffs

As Bhavish Aggarwal-led Ola aims to ramp up its electric vehicle (EV) business, media reports have claimed that the ride-hailing platform is laying off around 1,000 employees from across verticals.

According to reports citing employee records, verticals like mobility, hyperlocal, fintech, and Ola’s used car operations have included in the layoff process.

However, according to sources close to the company, these layoffs may impact less than 500 employees and not 1,000, and “are a result of restructuring in the Cars and Dash businesses”.

The company currently has nearly 1,100 employees in its core ride-hailing business.

Senior executives at the SoftBank-backed company were recently tasked with identifying team members who can be asked to leave based on performance.

Ola is planning to cut costs amid a challenging funding environment and global downturn.

The company aims at “leaner and consolidated teams” to keep its “strong profitability intact”.

The rilde-hailing major recently shut down its used vehicle business Ola Cars, as well as its quick-commerce business, Ola Dash, as the company shifted focus on its electric two-wheeler and car verticals.

Ola, which has delayed its IPO plans, has also applied brakes on its global investment plans.

The company aims to invest more towards its electric car, battery cell manufacturing and financial services businesses.

Ola Electric, amid several high-profile exits and falling sales, is also facing scrutiny over faulty batteries in its electric two-wheelers, along with other EV players like Okinawa Autotech, Pure EV, Jitendra Electric Vehicles and Boom Motors, by the government.

Alarmed at the unabated EV fire incidents, the Centre has sent show-cause notices to EV manufacturers, warning them why a penal action should not be taken against them for delivering faulty electric two-wheelers to the public.

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