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Ola gets CCI nod to sell stake to Hyundai, Kia as it looks to speed up electric vehicle business

Sandeep Soni
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Competition watchdog CCI on Wednesday announced approval to the acquisition of a stake in cab-hailing company Ola's parent ANI Technologies and its electric vehicle (EV) arm Ola Electric by carmakers Hyundai and Kia Motors. "@CCI_India approves the acquisition of shares in ANI Technologies & OLA Electric by Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors subject to compliance of modifications," it said in a tweet.

Hyundai and Kia had invested $300 million in Ola to develop fleet and mobility solutions; EV and infrastructure along with 'nurturing' opportunities for its driver-partners with customized vehicles, Ola had said in a statement earlier.

Investment in Ola to develop its fleet of smart mobility is part of Hyundai's bigger goal in electric transportation. The company is already an investor in Singapore's ride-hailing company Grab in which it invested $250 million last year. Grab had reportedly said that it will run EV pilots in Southeast Asia by working with Hyundai wherein Hyundai and Kia cars would be used.

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The company had recently unveiled its free ride-hailing service BotRide in the US with a fleet of self-driving Kona Electric SUVs. The service in partnership with Pony.ai and Via will start on 4th November in California for the local community of Irvine.

Interestingly, Ola Electric turned unicorn with its $250 million Series B round of funding in July this year raised from SoftBank. "SoftBank has acquired a 25 per cent stake in Ola Electric Mobility valuing the company at $1 billion," a source familiar with the development had told Financial Express Online earlier. SoftBank's partnership with Ola Electric negated earlier media reports on distancing between the two companies and highlights their long term partnership.

Ola had launched its ‘Mission Electric in April last year to get 1 million EVs on the road by 2021. In June this year, Ola had announced setting up of advanced technology centre in San Francisco Bay in the US to turn vehicles electric, connected, and autonomous.

Importantly, the government is targetting 6-7 million electric and hybrid vehicles in India by 2020 as per the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020.