Bengaluru-based cab-hailing unicorn Ola has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Tamil Nadu state government to set up a manufacturing hub for electric two-wheelers in the state, said to be the world’s largest scooter factory.
The company which has refocussed its recent efforts around becoming an automobile manufacturer claims that factory would generate investment of around INR 2,400 Cr from the EV ecosystem in the state and will create employment for up to 10K people. Ola aims to have an initial production capacity of 2 Mn vehicles annually.
Inc42 had earlier reported that Ola Electric plans to launch electric scooters in India and Europe, which will be priced at its maiden two-wheeler lineup at around INR 90,000-INR 95,000 per unit. Ola will compete with the likes of Bajaj Auto, Hero Motocorp-backed Ather Energy and TVS with its electric two-wheelers as it looks to sell these vehicles directly to buyers as well as use them in shared mobility. However, the company hasn’t revealed the exact dates of the launch of the factory.
Branded ‘App Scooter’, Ola’s two-wheelers will have support for charging at home and using public charging infrastructure. The App Scooter is said to have three interchangeable battery modules — each battery has a capacity of 600W per module providing an 80Km range per module.
The electric vehicle arm of the ride-sharing unicorn Ola will look to launch App Scooter in India by February 2021. However, due to the lack of public infrastructure for swappable batteries in India, the electric scooter will now have an inbuilt port for public charging as well, said one of the three people quoted above.
Bhavish Aggarwal, chairman and group CEO, Ola, said, ‘‘This is a significant milestone for Ola and a proud moment for our country as we rapidly progress towards realising our vision of moving the world to sustainable mobility solutions across shared and owned mobility. This factory will showcase India’s skill and talent to produce world-class products that will cater to global markets.”
Ola and its electric vehicle subsidiary Ola Electric had announced in May this year that it would also enter full-stack manufacturing of electric two-wheelers after acquiring Amsterdam-based Etergo BV. Ola’s first scooter after this acquisition will be launched next year.
Besides plans for the manufacturing unit, Ola has ramped up hiring for its electric mobility business. It said it would recruit over 2K people for Ola Electric, which has raised $400 Mn in funding from the likes of Tiger Global, Matrix India, Tata Sons Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata and others.