Upon completion, the factory will create almost 10,000 jobs and will initially have an annual capacity of 2 million units
Ride-hailing firm Ola said on Monday it planned to invest Rs 2,400 crore to set up a factory for electronic scooters in Tamil Nadu, adding it would be world’s largest.
The SoftBank-backed company aims to make India a manufacturing hub for electric vehicles. Ola has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Tamil Nadu government for this facility. Upon completion, the factory will create almost 10,000 jobs. It will be the world’s largest scooter manufacturing facility, which will initially have an annual capacity of 2 million units.
“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,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, chairman and group CEO, Ola. “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,” he said.
The move has put the Bengaluru-based firm in direct competition with electric two-wheeler makers such as Ather Energy, Hero Electric and TVS Motor Company.
The company said that in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision, Ola’s factory is an important step in making an ‘atmanirbhar’ Bharat. It will catalyse the reduction of India’s import dependence in a key future sector like electric vehicles, boost local manufacturing, create jobs and improve the technical expertise in the country.
The factory will also galvanise India’s electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem and establish India as a key player in the EV manufacturing space. Ola believes that India with its unique skill-sets, manpower and demography is well placed to be a global hub for the cutting edge manufacturing of EVs.
Ola’s factory will cater to customers not only in India, but in markets around the world including Europe, Asia and Latin America. The company is gearing up to launch the first of its range of highly anticipated electric scooters in the coming months.
The new manufacturing plant is in line with Ola’s global vision to move mobility into a more sustainable, accessible and connected future.
The factory will produce Ola’s upcoming range of two-wheeler products starting with Ola’s electric scooter which has already won several prestigious design and innovation awards around the world including Marketing Innovation award at CES and the German Design Award. It features many firsts including a seamless design, unique removable banana battery that is easy to carry and can be charged anywhere. It is also equipped with intelligent software that elevates the entire consumer experience of owning a scooter. Ola plans to bring many such design and software innovations to its entire product line of two-wheelers as they come to market in the coming months.
Early this year, Ola Electric Mobility (Ola Electric), the ride-hailing firm’s electric vehicle arm, acquired Etergo BV, an Amsterdam-based electric scooter original equipment manufacturer.
This year Ola revealed plans to hire over 2,000 people for its electric business as it rapidly builds a suite of electric and smart urban mobility solutions for consumers around the world. Recently, the company roped in General Motor Veteran Jose Pinheiro to head its global manufacturing and operations.
The firm recently appointed mobility industry executive Julien Geffard as the director of the go-to-market strategy for its electric business in Europe. The two-wheeler EV market in Europe has seen double-digit growth in 2020, with customers looking for differentiated products that are stylish, smart and lightweight, and available at competitive prices.
Ola will also bring its electric two-wheeler range of products to New Zealand. It would help support the New Zealand government’s goal of on-roading 64,000 new electric vehicles by the end of 2021, while also helping the public sector become carbon neutral by 2025.
Earlier, Ola Electric had also inducted automobile industry veterans like BVR Subbu and Jaime Ardila to its board who bring in their deep industry expertise and global mobility experience. Last year Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, invested an undisclosed sum in Ola Electric.
Last year Ola Electric raised $250 million from Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank. The investment made the company a “unicorn”, or a start-up valued at more than $1 billion.
The global electric vehicle industry garnered $162.34 billion in 2019, and is estimated to reach $802.81 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 22.6 per cent from 2020 to 2027, according to a report by Allied Market Research.