With e-scooter sales going up in smoke, Ola launches 20 experience centres across India

Ola has slipped to the fourth position in terms of EV sales, while the market is currently led by Hero and Okinawa.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, September 29, 2022, 11:46 AM IST
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OLA CEO Bhavesh Aggarwal | Photo: Twitter Image

Electric scooters made up 3.6 per cent of India’s two-wheelers sales between January and June this year, and also account for 56 per cent of all EVs in the country. At the same time repeated incidents of e-scooters catching fire, largely due to overcharging, prompted the government to issue notices to multiple firms this year. Months after having to recall 1400 e-scooters over its EVs bursting into flames on the road, Ola Electric has launched experience centres across India to tackle a drop in sales.

Taking a detour towards e-mobility?

Ola has already slipped down to the fourth position in the EV market, trailing behind Hero, Okinawa and Ather, with sales figures declining every month. It has opened 20 stores across India, so that consumers can experience their products before buying, and will scale up the number of outlets to 200 by March 2023. Ola is reportedly planning to layoff 1000 employees, in order to increase hiring for its EV business.

Apart from its flagship model S1 Pro, Ola has also launched a more affordable sub-variant, the S1, to address declining sales. In comparison, two-wheeler giant Hero’s EV sales experienced a 16 per cent rise in sales between July and August.

Burnt by fire hazards

Ola’s CEO Bhavish Aggarwal was also recently trolled on social media, after asking for suggestions on accessories via Twitter. Netizens listed screen guards and fire extinguishers, while taking a jibe at incidents of the company’s e-scooters catching fire. Many also highlighted the delay in responses from Ola’s customer service, after the CEO reached out to consumers online.

Earlier this year, government appointed experts investigated Ola and Okinawa to detect factors that were causing e-scooters to catch fire. Ola Electric claims that there’s nothing wrong with their battery management system, which is supposed to prevent overcharging.

EVs set to zoom ahead

Eight people lost their lives in the most recent accident involving an EV on fire in Telangana’s Secunderabad. But despite that, year-on-year sales of e-scooters went up by more than 200% for the month of August and are expected to accelerate further.

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