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Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal on Tuesday said that he disagrees with global car manufacturing giants Hyundai and Tesla after they asked for lower duties for imported EVs in India.
The founder of the ridesharing company, which most recently announced its entry into the EV market, said that the country should have confidence in its home-grown tech and companies. Taking to Twitter, Bhavish Aggarwal said that India should build and ‘not just import’.
Bhavish Aggarwal was responding to a tweet by auto journalist Hormazd Sorabjee, who reported Hyundai MD SS Kim’s backing of Tesla’s call for lower import duties in the country on EVs.
Reportedly, Kim said that the lower duties would help the EV market in India grow. In response, the Ola CEO said, “Strongly disagree with both. Let’s have confidence in our ability to build indigenously and also attract global OEMs to build in India, not just import. We won’t be the first country to do so!”
The strong reply from Aggarwal comes days after Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted about India’s high import duties. Musk claimed that the duties were pushing back the entry of Tesla into the country and wanted to lower the same. Tesla’s entry into the Indian market has been in the pipeline for some time now.
The Indian entrepreneur’s comment has made some heads turn as Ola and Ola Electric had earlier bagged an investment of $300 million from Hyundai. Global auto manufacturer Kia, which has also entered the Indian market, had also invested in Ola.
The trio also kicked off a collaborative effort to develop India-specific electric vehicles and infrastructure.
Ola had also announced the appointment of Hyundai Motors and Kia veteran Yongsung Kim as the company’s head of Global Sales and Distribution, to manage India and international markets for its e-scooter.
The ridesharing company made a huge move to the future, as Ola Electric recently opened reservations for its electric scooter in India. The company opened its bookings for a refundable deposit of Rs 499.
According to the company, bookings for the e-scooter has already crossed the 1 lakh mark and is still counting. Ola is also setting up a 500-acre factory in Tamil Nadu’s Krishnagiri, with a target of producing 10 million vehicles a year, making it the largest two-wheeler factory.