Hyundai and Kia have invested $300 million in Ola, Uber’s main rival in India. The companies plan on building electric cars specifically for the Indian market.

Hyundai Motor Group announced the partnership today. Other goals of the collaboration will see the companies extensively collaborating on “developing unique fleet and mobility solutions” and “nurturing best in class opportunities and offerings for aspiring driver partners with customized vehicles, on the Ola platform.”

Along with building India-specific electric vehicles, the companies also plan to develop EV charging infrastructure in the country. The companies will also collaborate on the operation and management of fleet vehicles, a first for Hyundai Motor Group.

Ola is one of India’s top ride sharing platforms, and the partnership aims to help there, as well. Hyundai’s release notes:

“Hyundai, Kia and Ola have also agreed to coordinate efforts to develop cars and specifications that reflect the needs of the ride hailing market (both users and drivers). Data accumulated during service operation will allow the companies to make constant vehicle improvements to better meet local needs and specifications.”

In the press release, the partners continue to push the concept of becoming known as not just car companies, but providers of mobility solutions. Hyundai has been doing this for some time, as we’ve seen with its Ioniq EV.

Ola Electric

Earlier this month, Ola announced that it received $56 million in funding for its Ola Electric Mobility unit. Ola Electric Mobility is to operate as an independent business dedicated to EVs, with a primary focus on charging networks and battery swapping tech.

Last year, Ola announced plans to put 1 million electric vehicles on Indian roads by 2022. Partnering up with Hyundai and Kia may help them hit that goal.

Last week, India’s Mint reported that Ola was in talks with India’s carmakers to build specific electric vehicles. Those vehicles were to be designed by Ola “to some extent.” It’s unclear how this new partnership changes those plans, if at all.

Hyundai recently announced it would build an electric car on its own dedicated EV platform.


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