We tend to be Anglo centric in our news feeds. Because China and India (about one third of the world’s population and a big chunk of the world’s GDP) produce their websites in languages other than English, it is easy to lose sight of what is happening in these two incredibly vibrant and innovative markets.
Take OLA Electric for example. We see their signs on the back of vehicles offering ride share, but we are probably unaware that in India they have built a massive factory and are now selling electric scooters at the rate of two every second. Stop for a minute and digest that. 80,000 were ordered in the first 12 hours they were on offer.
Their factory in Tamil Nadu has an estimated annual output of 10 million two wheelers a year. The scooters are powered by an 8.5 kW electric motor which can power the scooter to between 90 and 115 km/h – depending on which model you buy – using 3 or4 kWh batteries.
The estimated range is 121 km to 181 km (at low city speeds). And the price you ask: A whopping $1350 (in India Rs 99,999).
Although these vehicles are not so popular here (some car drivers think of them as a nuisance) they are the backbone of transport throughout South East Asia.
As such replacing the sometimes noisy, smelly, unreliable petrol scooters of our region (remember your last trip to Bali? Precovid) will be a great step forward in the fight against climate change.
Watch this space!
David Waterworth is a researcher and writer, a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He owns 50 shares of Tesla.