After a tumultuous year of Ola’s electric scooter launch, CEO Bhavish Aggarwal has announced an expanded vision to build an EV (electric vehicle) hub, which will at full scale produce 1 million cars, 10 million two-wheelers and 100 GWh of electric battery cells every year. 

To put these numbers in context, two-wheeler sales in India stood at 13,466,412 (13.47 million) units in the period between April 2021 and March 2022, according to data by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). In the past seven months, Ola has sold a mere 70,000 units of its electric scooters even as it has battled consumer backlash for late deliveries, low scooter range and EV fire related incidents. 

Speaking to the media about how Ola will balance its several highly ambitious projects such as battery manufacturing, electric 2W and 4W manufacturing, cab-hailing business and financial services all at once, Aggarwal said: “Ola is a very ambitious and driven company. I deeply care about the societal impact we can bring through electrification, clean energy and bringing access to mobility to everyone. It has to be done in a way that makes India a global leader, and to do that multiple projects have to be run in parallel. That’s the challenge that I take on as an entrepreneur. We have to build world-class teams, execute efficiently, and be ambitious with our goals.”

Rebuilding trust

Further, commenting on the need to re-build customer trust, Anshul Khandelwal, Chief marketing and revenue officer at Ola and Ola Electric said, “A lot of innovation is happening and so, a rare isolated incident (EV fire) can happen. Because of this, for some time there was a lack of trust in the industry, including us. We were setting up our largest B2C network for service and it took us a couple of months to build it up. This concerned our customers for a short while, but right now our service network is the largest and most reliable with 24 hours of service.” 

Unveiling Ola’s electric car vision, Aggarwal said Ola’s four-wheeler will debut by summer of 2024. The new car is expected to go from 0-100 Km/h within four seconds and a range of more than 500km/charge. He added that Ola wants to build electric vehicles across the price range of ₹1 lakh to ₹50 lakh and the electric car unveiled today will be in the higher end of this price bracket. The car will be equipped with features like assisted driving capabilities,  MoveOS software, keyless and handless, etc.

In addition to the electric car, Aggarwal also shared progress on its battery manufacturing plans. The company has set up a Battery Innovation Centre (BIC) where it is working on manufacturing cells for its range of electric vehicles. BIC currently has a 200-member team and Ola wants to take it to 1,000 people over the next year.

Ola is also re-launching its Ola S1 scooter at the introductory price point of ₹99,999. S1 was launched last year but later discontinued by the company as it wanted to re-engineer the scooter.

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