Ola, the ride-hailing giant, is set to revolutionize the e-bike taxi industry with an enticing opportunity for bike riders.
Just a month after launching its e-bike taxi service in Bengaluru, Ola is promising riders the chance to earn a minimum of Rs 70,000 every month.
In a further revelation, Moneycontrol reports that Ola is also providing electric scooters for rent with a security deposit of Rs 5,000.
Ola, founded by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, had announced the relaunch of its e-bike taxi services on September 16 last month.
This service employs Ola Electric’s A1 scooters, offering rides at Rs 25 for distances up to 5 km and Rs 50 for rides between 5 and 10 km.
How to Rent a Taxi Bike
Ola is extending its e-bike taxi service throughout the city of Bengaluru. In a bid to attract more riders, the company has introduced attractive offers and schemes.
Promotional materials distributed by Ola claim that bike taxi riders can earn over Rs 70,000 each month.Ola’s S1 Air bike is available for rent upon the payment of a Rs 5,000 security deposit.
To rent a bike, prospective riders will need a PAN card, Aadhar card, bank details, and a valid driver’s license. Enrollment centers have been set up to facilitate the process.
The charges for the rented bike are based on the number of bookings made. The daily charge is Rs 300 for 10 bookings, Rs 100 for 10-14 bookings, Rs 50 for 15-19 bookings, and no charge for 20 or more bookings.
Ola also offers incentives based on earnings, with no incentive available for fewer than 10 bookings.
Riders can earn Rs 800 for 10-14 bookings, Rs 1,300 for 15-19 bookings, Rs 1,800 for 20-24 bookings, Rs 2,300 for 25-29 bookings, and Rs 2,800 for 30 or more bookings.
Response and Realities
Moneycontrol reporters conducted a field investigation to assess the response to Ola’s offers. During their assessment on October 19, they observed that Ola’s e-bike taxis faced some limitations.
For instance, the battery of the Ola S1 electric bike has a range of only 70-75 km when fully charged, and it takes approximately 6.5 hours for a full recharge.
This led to riders using petrol bikes for the remaining trips. However, some riders expressed positive experiences, highlighting savings on fuel costs and convenient maintenance at Ola service centers.
They also mentioned efficient charging options, including fast charging stations that take just an hour for a full charge.
Despite the growing number of riders joining Ola’s e-bike taxi service, the Karnataka Transport Department has yet to issue licenses for e-bike taxis to Ola, Uber, and Rapido.
In fact, Uber and Rapido have not introduced e-bike taxi services in the state. Karnataka was the first state in India to introduce an electric bike taxi policy in July 2021, with a focus on trips up to 10 km at a flat fare rate.
In December 2022, Bounce became the first to receive an e-bike taxi license from the Karnataka Transport Department, although the service has not commenced.
Ola has applied for a bike taxi license, but it must still provide 100 vehicles, as per regulatory requirements.
Presently, Ola has received permission from the Karnataka High Court to operate e-bike taxi services without a license.
This move has triggered protests from autorickshaw drivers in the state, who are urging the government to reconsider its e-bike taxi policy.