As Ola and our various businesses grow, I sometimes get asked how they connect with each other. So I want to share our vision of the future of mobility, which we call New Mobility, and how we’re building it.
Through the ages, human progress has been closely tied to advancements in mobility. The wheel, the steam engine, internal combustion and jet engines, cars, planes are all mobility inventions that transformed our lives and made movement safer, faster, efficient, convenient and accessible to more and more people.
The IC engine, automobiles and the related ecosystem is a remnant of the past and assumes unsustainably high ownership of vehicles manufactured by OEMs and sold through dealers. Consumers have been downgraded to being just a cog in this giant wheel. This is best indicated by Henry Ford’s – ‘You can have whatever colour you want, as long as it’s black’. Try saying that to an ecommerce customer today!
In India just 2% (30mn) people own a 4W and only 12% (160mn) own a 2W. That means more than a billion people in India have been shut out of mobility by this system!
New mobility is fixing this archaic system by making mobility universally accessible, sustainable, personalised and convenient. To do this both shared and personal mobility will grow significantly in India through a combination of purpose built EVs lowering costs, digital retail driving convenience and the cloud enabling personalisation.
Ola is building this New Mobility ecosystem with the consumer at the core. The 3 pillars of this new ecosystem are: New Mobility Services, New Energy Vehicles and New Auto Retail. These three pillars amplify and enhance the impact of each other as part of an integrated Ola New Mobility Platform.
New Mobility Services
Today Ola provides multi-modal mobility access to 100M people through Taxis, auto rickshaws, 2Ws, day hires, outstation rides etc. But this is just 7% of India’s population.
We will bring this multi-modal mobility to all 1.3B people by Ola designed EVs customised for the diverse shared mobility needs. EVs are 80% cheaper to run so the service will be more affordable and accessible to all. Further, with miniaturisation and high energy density (neither possible in traditional vehicles) our EVs also create the opportunity for custom vehicle form factors serving many more use cases, better.
As you use our service more frequently, we will create your unique mobility persona in our cloud and will personalise your experience across shared and personal vehicles. This will also enable new usage models like vehicle subscriptions.
We already see strong adoption of our multi-modal platform across Ola’s 150 cities. As we expand to 500 towns and bring shared mobility to 500mn people, the multi-modal offerings will grow substantially and will be central to driving affordability and access for these 500mn people
New Energy Vehicles
40% of air pollution in India is due to vehicles. This is when just 15% of India owns a vehicle today! This number will grow exponentially as we provide more affordable options for shared and personal mobility. So we will do this through EVs to ensure us and our planet can breathe free!
We have already moved forward here with our Futurefactory, the largest 2W factory in the world building the first in our range of scooters – the Ola S1, the best scooter ever made. In the coming quarters we will expand our EV range with more scooters, bikes and cars.
Our EVs are smart, connected AI machines and will leapfrog current personal vehicles that are dumb mechanical devices. They will serve diverse needs through a variety of form factors including kick scooters, e-bikes and yes even drones and flying cars while costing 80% less to run compared to IC engines! This will cause vehicle ownership to explode to 40% of the population with 50mn 2Ws and 10mn 4Ws sold per year in India in the coming years.
New Auto Retail
Not just the vehicles but the 100+ year old model of dealership based sales and service, standard financing and insurance and unorganised used vehicle sale/purchase is also out of date and needs to change.
We have already built a powerful digital retail platform that bypasses physical infrastructure and hosted the largest automotive launch in history with the Ola S1. In future we will open up this platform to other OEMs too giving them unparalleled digital distribution. It will bring consumers wide multi-brand choice online, at home test rides, personalised financing, insurance and more. The existing ecosystem of dealers will play an important role in this future but in a new paradigm.
Ola’s advanced telematics platform (some of which is already built into our S1 EVs) will provide real time analysis of usage and vehicle and road condition data to provide better driving experience, predictive maintenance, better insurance and financing.
This will also create a more trustworthy ecommerce marketplace for used vehicles with real time pricing and digital access. This is what we’re doing with Ola Cars – reimagining not just buying and selling but the end to end ownership experience of used and new vehicles. Ola Cars is in 30 cities today and will scale up to 100 next year.
We are living through a once in a century rewiring of the entire mobility industry. Modes, vehicle form factors, energy sources, distribution are all fundamentally changing. India has the opportunity to leapfrog old mobility and adopt New Mobility.
Ola has a unique and significant advantage here being the only mobility company in the world that does the hardware (EVs), software and service (shared mobility services and auto retail) entirely inhouse plus has the deepest understanding of urban mobility needs of consumers. We will lead the development of new technologies and build this future of new mobility to bring a billion people more choice, convenience and affordable mission. This is our mission – mobility for a billion, sustainability for the future!