Ola is all set to launch its electric scooter in July and has set up a strategy in place that includes roping in new, experienced professionals and setting up a hyper charger network across the country to cater to its scooters.
The new scooter will be based on Etergo’s Appscooter, a Netherlands-based company that was acquired by Ola in 2020. However, OLA Chairman and CEO Bhavish Bhavesh Agarwal had said that the new scooter had been completely re-engineered, telling CNBC-TV18 in March that all core technologies had been engineered in-house including the motor, battery pack, battery management system, vehicle computer and software.
The anticipated price of the scooter is around Rs 1 lakh.
Details remain scant for the scooter, besides its colour scheme. On June 24, Ola Group Agarwal exuded excitement while tweeting about the same. “Time to order some paint! What color would you like on the Ola Scooter? Already got you covered for Black! What else?” he tweeted.
The Ola Scooter will roll out from the Ola Futurefactory which is being built in Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu. Once fully operational (with phase-4 expected to be completed in 2022), the Ola Futurefactory is expected to be the world’s largest two-wheeler factory with a capacity of 10 million units a year. The factory is expected to have over 3,000 robots that will be run by Ola’s proprietary artificial intelligence and is expected to generate up to 10,000 jobs.
One of the most important steps towards this strategy was the setting up of a Hypercharger Network, which the company says will be one of the world’s largest and densest electric two-wheeler charging networks. The Ola Hypercharger Network will be spread across 400 cities with over 100,000 charging points. Ola aims to set up over 5,000 charging points across 100 cities in India, more than double the existing charging infrastructure in the country. The company has said the network would be exclusive to its vehicles, however, leaving competitors with the task of building their own charging networks.
It is expected that the Ola scooter can be charged by 50 per cent in just 18 minutes for a range of 75km. Ola Hyperchargers are expected to be deployed across cities and will be found in city centres and dense business districts as well as stand-alone towers and popular locations like malls, IT parks, office complexes and cafes.
The Ola Hypercharger network will complement the home charger that will be bundled with the Ola Scooter. The home charger will require no installation and will allow Ola customers to simply plug the charger into a wall socket for overnight charging.
“Electric is the future of mobility and we are reimagining the entire user experience of owning an electric vehicle. Our plans to build a comprehensive charging network is a key piece of this. By creating the world’s largest and densest two-wheeler charging network, we will accelerate the customer adoption of electric vehicles and rapidly move the industry to electric,” Agarwal had remarked on the Hyper charger network.
In addition to this Ola has hired a number of professionals including General Motors veteran Jose Pinheiro as the head of global Manufacturing and Operations for its electric business. Jose will be tasked to spearhead Ola’s ambitions to build its manufacturing facilities starting with its scooter factory and then expanding multiple such facilities across India. A manufacturing veteran, Jose was earlier the Vice President of manufacturing for General Motors Latin America, based out of São Paulo in Brazil. Joe has around more than 45 years of experience.
In addition to this Ola has appointed Wayne Burgess, as the head of vehicle design for its entire product range including scooters, bikes and cars. Wayne brings immense international automotive design experience, having worked on some of the most legendary and iconic cars in the automotive sector including the Bentley Arnage in 1998, Aston Martin’s DB9 in the mid-2000s and more recently, the Jaguar XF, F-Type, F-Pace SUV, XE as well as many others.
There are other high profile appointments that will spearhead Ola’s strategy in India, such as the appointment of Yongsung Kim as its head of global sales and distribution. Kim is a 35-year old veteran who had earlier worked with Hyundai Motor and Kia and brings global automotive sales experience from around the world, including North America, Europe, UK, Middle East, Africa, ASEAN, Asia Pacific and of course India where he spent several years, first with Hyundai Motor and then with Kia. Kim will lead both the domestic and international strategy for sales and go-to-market for Ola Electric as it gears up to launch its first electric scooter across India and multiple international markets including Europe and the UK, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.