SoftBank’s chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son has already promised to gift around 1 million electric vehicles to Ola over the next five odd years. The Japanese telecom giant is, however, not exactly looking to source these electric vehicles from third-party automakers but is instead planning to transform its Indian investee company into a vehicle manufacturer itself. Oh yeah! A plan along the same lines may be in the works.

According to fresh reports, citing sources privy to the developments, SoftBank is said to have initiated talks with the world’s second largest vehicle manufacturer — Toyota. The details of the ongoing partnership talks are a bit scarce but the source suggests that Ola is prepared for this three-way showdown and has been asked to test some special electric batteries on roads in India. This is said to have ticked off the said plan, where SoftBank (via Ola) and Toyota can amalgate their technology efforts.

Talking about the plans, one of the sources said:

Ola is also in talks with Toyota to give them the car bodies, and the companies will work together on electric cars… Ola will be the largest electric car company in India.

Earlier last week, Ola took an obvious step in the sustainable direction and introduced the netizens to the country’s first-ever multi-modal electric fleet. The pilot project, which cost about ₹50 crores, is presently being kicked off with a huge fleet of 200 vehicles. It includes everything ranging from taxis, buses to e-rickshaws and autos as well.

The ride-hailing giant has extended its partnership with Mahindra, who has provided Ola with a major chunk of the inaugral fleet. The automaker provided the ride-hailing giant with around 100 e20 plus vehicles to commence the operations. Rest of the fleet is being procured from large OEM partners including Mahindra, Tata, Kinetic, BYD, and TVS. It has also set up 50 charging points at four different locations in Nagpur — where the project is being piloted.

Last year, SoftBank claimed that it will be partnering with the ride-hailing giant and the Indian government to deply an enormous number of electric vehicles in the country. It probably had no intentions of turning Ola into an electric manufacturer back then but is now working out a deal to potentially convert it into an electric vehicle maker. The Japanese giant is placing its bet on the advent of electric transportation and is looking to invest even heavily in Ola by picking Tiger Global’s stake for around $700 million.

SoftBank has been banking heavily on the growth of the burgeoning Indian market to support the multiplication its investments. It may be treading the same path and pouring capital into the advent of the electric transport revolution in the country. The Japanese giant is also said to be involved in talks with the centre for low-interest funding of around 2 lakh electric buses that’ll be deployed as public transport across the nation.

The government is presently involved in laying down the basic groundwork for seamless adoption of electric vehicles in the coming months. It is expected to release policies focused on the same by the end of this, with an aim to become completely electric by 2030. This will enabled the country to spur growth in the economy, by further reducing pollution and cost of travel across the nation. The electric modes of transportation are expected to be at least 50 percent more affordable than current fuming diesel vehicles.

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