Also, In our recent EV news article, we spoke about how Ola Electric had signed an MOU with the Tamil Nadu government to set up an electric scooter factory at Krishnagiri, TN with an investment of 2,400 crores, which will generate 10,000 jobs. This will be the world’s largest scooter manufacturing facility and it will have an annual capacity of 2 million units.
We got more details about that from Ola's Group CEO Bhavish Aggarwal from an interview with CNBC-TV18.
We wanted to talk about the top 5 takeaways from that interview :
- SCALE SCALE SCALE!
It’s all about scale guys. The larger the scale, the more affordable EV’s can be and OLA has left no stone unturned when it comes to the EV push. The entire manufacturing unit is a 500 Acre facility and when complete, it will have a 10 million unit capacity for two wheelers. Mr Bhavish said this one giant mega building will house paint shops, weld shops, assembly, battery manufacturing etc. The investment for Phase 1 is a whopping Rs 2,400 CR, which is the largest investment commitment in the EV space.
Mr Bhavish said that this factory will manufacture 2 wheeler scooters to start and then manufacture motorcycles and also Electric Cars. So essentially this is a one stop shop for manufacturing all EVs. Regarding demand, Mr Bhavish said that the 2 wheeler market is under penetrated in India, and countries like Vietnam use more two wheelers per capita than India. And the demand of using an efficient, quiet, tech savvy electric two wheeler will only increase from a younger generation. So there is a lot of scope to expand and capture the market. What we love about the vision is that the facility is Carbon negative all the way and with renewable energy driving most operations.
The first product from OLA is going to be the App Scooter which was developed by Etergo BV, an innovative electric scooter startup, based out of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In May 2020, Ola Electric acquired that startup and this scooter had won multiple awards for its innovative design and engineering. The AppScooter uses swappable banana shaped batteries to deliver a range upto 240km and class-leading acceleration.
Guys, this scooter will be a performance scooter and we feel the 240 km number quoted is the eco mode range. What matters is real world range. In our experience a 120+ km real world range is perfect for an electric scooter. We have been testing the PURE EV NEO electric scooter over the last few months and we are totally happy with 120 km which covers all use cases very well. If OLA can exceed that range, we will be very happy!!
Also Mr Bhavish confirmed that you can charge the battery at home, so the Ola battery will be removable unlike the Ather or the Chetak.
On top of that the design looks fantastic with wonderful bright colors, the banana shaped battery, the Touchscreen display, software updates and features. What more do you need? We are too excited. Are you?
- Distribution via Local Partners
Mr Bhavish said that there will be local partners who will set up distribution and maybe also have experience centers. This is a model which is used by Revolt and Ather.
So if any of you are excited about OLA and want to be part of the disruption, you can become a partner in your city! Contact them and get the ball rolling! We need OLA products all over India and you can make it happen!
- Localization - 95% Made In India Product
Mr Bhavish said that his team has re-engineered the product for Indian conditions. Every electronic component is engineered in house. The battery pack and the BMS are made by the OLA team. They have also designed and engineered the motor and controller. On top of that all the software that is used in the App Scooter is made by Ola team in India.
From the interview, we feel that Mr Bhavish believes in owning the technology instead of using vendors for components. Companies that invest in this kind of RnD will win the EV race and we totally agree.
He also said Lithium cells will be imported from Korea and other countries. But they are exploring partnerships to even make Cells in India.
And it will happen, as recently the Indian government announced the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, where companies setting up Lithium-Ion cell manufacturing can take advantage of ₹18,000 crore worth of government subsidies.
So companies like Tata Chemicals, and automotive and industrial battery manufacturers such as Exide Batteries and Amara Raja all have started plans for Cell manufacturing.
So as you can see again and again we are seeing how the Indian EV industry is way ahead in Make in India compared to Solar, Mobile Phones, Consumer Electronics and Pharma industries.
So next time people say the EV industry is China, it’s your responsibility to educate them. Got it? Okay!
- Ola Electric Car
Mr Bhavish also said that Ola will also work on electric cars and all forms of vehicles.
So all you electric car lovers out there, we will have a lot more options in the coming years and at last we will have a Pure Electric car manufacturer to teach the Dinosaurs like Maruti a lesson who only want to sell pollution cars!
We are really looking forward to the Ola Electric car too!
So guys, Ola has no ICE vehicle baggage and selling EV’s won't be a conflict of interest for them.
This is exactly what we needed! The Existing ICE 2 wheeler dinosaurs like TVS, Honda, Suzuki, Vespa will have to act soon and launch electrics. That is how disruption works!
I mean why would you buy a noisy pollution causing dumb petrol scooter from these dinosaur companies over the high tech, software driven Ola App scooter?
The time for dirty pollution scooters is over guys. Be cool. Ride electric! Ditch that oil habit!
OLA says they will be ready with the sale of their App Scooter by June of this year and there will be a launch event soon where we will get to know the specifications and more information on the App Sooter.
All of us here at PluginIndia are very excited about this disruption and we wish the Ola team the best of luck.