Ride-hailing company Ola has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Tamil Nadu in India to set up the “world’s largest scooter manufacturing facility”, even as the Indian company gives an enhanced thrust to electric vehicles.
The plant, with an investment of around Rs 2400 crore ($326 million), will have an initial annual capacity to produce two million electric scooters and create nearly 10,000 jobs, Ola said.
“We are excited to announce our plans to set up the world’s largest scooter factory. 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," Bhavish Aggarwal, Chairman and Group CEO of Ola, said in a statement.
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Ola has Europe, Asia, and Latin America in its sights
Through the new manufacturing plant, Ola hopes to cater to the markets in Europe, Asia, and Latin American among others.
Aggarwal said "this will be one of the most advanced manufacturing facilities in the world. This factory will showcase India’s skill and talent to produce world-class products that will cater to global markets.”
Ola Electric Mobility, an EV business backed by India’s popular ride-sharing app, had earlier acquired the Amsterdam-based Etergo and will start making premium two-wheelers for India as well as international markets.
Etergo was founded in 2014 and it has developed an all-electric state-of-the-art AppScooter, which also won several awards including an award at CES 2019.
AppScoooter can go from nothing to 45km/hr in just 3.9 seconds. It also comes with a digital interactive touchscreen display. Other key features include 50-litre storage and GPS for navigation.
Ola Electric is planning to bring its first two-wheeler in the first half of 2021.
Ola Electric is simultaneously working on India’s leading power distribution companies towards developing a conducive EV ecosystem through the establishment of battery swapping and charging stations across various States.
E-scooters to take charge of Indian roads
India has been nudging the auto industry towards cleaner fuel technology, especially electric, in an effort to reduce its oil import bill and curb pollution.
Car makers have been a bit tardy in launching electric vehicles (EVs), mainly due to the high cost of batteries and weak demand from buyers, sale of electric scooters and rickshaws have gathered momentum in India.
Ather Energy, for instance, is s one of India’s first electric two-wheeler companies which has started its operations in Bangalore. Its e-scooters have already hit the roads in India.