Ola Scooters expunged into the green mobility space with the unveiling of its very first Electric scooter, Ola S1 which costs INR 99,999. The Ola scooter will be available in two trims i.e. S1 and S1 Pro which will be carrying the price tag of INR 99,999 and INR 1,29,999 respectively.
Ola Chairman and Group Executive Officer Bhavish Aggarwal informed the journalists that, “I want to underline that it is going to be the best scooter ever made. It has the best design, performance, and technology,”. He added, “With never seen before technology, design, and features, the company is looking for global leadership in the electric two-wheeler segment.”
The company will be opening the purchase of Ola S1 from September 8 and start the deliveries in over 1,000 cities in October. The company is accepting bookings at INR 499 till September 8. He also pointed out that the Ola S1 resolves a major challenge of hampering the growth of the EV sector in India.
Aggrawal said, “In states with active subsidy grants, Ola S1 will be much more affordable than many petrol scooters. For instance, after state subsidy in Delhi, the S1 would cost just Rs 85,009 whereas in Gujarat it would be only Rs 79,000,”.
He also added, “The company has also tied up with banks and financial institutes for an EMI plan starting at Rs 2,999.”
The Ola S1 is available with a range of 181 km at the top speed of 115 km per hour and is fully charged in under 40 minutes with a turbocharger. It will take around 6 hours with the portable charger which will come along with the scooter which can also be installed at homes.
The Ola scooter has been installed with various features such as reverse, hill fold function, driving moded, and also cruise control. It takes less than 3 seconds to cross over 0-40 km per hour, and also it comes with a keyless lock system and other safety features like an anti-theft alert system and geo-fencing.
Aggrawal said, “Scooters are meant for the young but the industry has made such a vibrant category dull and boring and we are hopeful that we are going to change that,”.
The Ola E-scooter is available in 10 variant colors with in-house development of 8.5 kW motor and 3.97 kWh battery packs. Ola is also planning to set up a manufacturing unit in Tamil Nadu which will be spread across 500 acres of land. The company had before-hand said that they will be investing INR 2,400 crore for the setting up of the manufacturing unit which will eventually create more than 10,000 job opportunities, and also it will be the world’s largest scooter manufacturing unit.
Aggrawal also pointed out that the first phase of the ‘Futurefactory’ is almost completed. He said, “By the end of the month, it is going to be ready. We bought the land in January and we put up the first pillar at April-end,”.
The company will be starting with an annual production of 10 lakh units and then eventually raise the numbers to 20 lakhs along with the demand. With the whole completion of the plant, it will have an annual capacity of one crore units which means that it will be producing 15% of the world’s entire two-wheeler production.
Aggrawal stated, “We are building this scale because it is the only way of accelerating this transition to sustainable mobility,”. He was also asked about the expectations of hitting the one-crore mark, he said, “Ten million production depends on how fast the market scales up. We are estimating it to be within the next two years.”
He said, “Everything is being done by us. We are working with suppliers for mechanical parts but core parts of electrification are being done by us in-house. It is part of our strategy to control the technology ourselves and also to design the components ourselves and then manufacture them on our own, Ola Electric would source items like plastics and tires from outside vendors, and for that, it plans to build an entire ecosystem around the factory.”
Aggrawal also noted the charging infrastructure that the firm would have already established a visage across major cities of the nation by the time of deliveries.
Aggrawal pointed out on the charging infrastructure that the company would have already authenticated an appearance across multiple relevant cities by the time of deliveries.
Aggarwal stated, “Charging station rollout will follow sales rollout, so it will be sales, then charging stations but every city will have at least relevant scale as we begin,”.
Ola said that they would like to install 5,000 charging stations throughout 300 cities nationwide.
He also said, “That’s the goal, we will be targeting that…The company has tied up with various partners and those will get operationalized once deliveries begin,” that adding all kinds of developers, office complexes, and hospitals would be canopied underuse.
He also pointed that the scooters will have a hybrid approach at the time of actual sales. The company will have physical experience centers and also an online channel for the sale of the product.
He said, “The sales outlets or the experience centers would come up across the country over the next few months.”
He additionally said, “The EV revolution is here to stay whether incumbents like it or not. Consumers have shifted in their mindsets and before we know it, people will be buying only electric,”. The executives also added that the firm is receiving strong demand from over 1,000 cities.
Furthermore, Aggrawal said, “When we are going to share our bookings number with you in few days, I can assure you that it is going to be the highest number of reservations ever for any automobile launch in the country.”
On exports, he stated the shipments might start soon.
Aggarwal stated, “We have been very clear about the fact that we can build in India for the world and (demand for) two-wheelers is growing globally. All across the world, especially after COVID, people want personal mobility options and we want to be the global leaders in this segment, “.
“The company’s electric scooter would be relevant in markets like ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), LATAM (Latin America), and Europe, the traditional markets for two-wheelers have been Asian markets, LATAM and Africa have been growth markets for two-wheelers but the large volumes have always come from the Asian markets,” said Aggrawal.
He also said, “Especially after COVID, even the West has opened up and more and more people in Europe want to buy electric two-wheelers, he added. Even in the US and North America, people have started to experience two-wheelers for urban mobility,”.
Further stating that “Over the next four-five years, we will see a lot of evolution. A lot of opportunities will open up globally for two-wheelers and they will have to be electric,”.
Competing with other EV brands, he said, “In two-wheelers, the incumbents have not properly invested for electrification and we believe we will absolutely lead the way as our technology is ahead by a few years”.
He said, “China is not an immediate priority for us” when asked if the company was looking forward to expanding to the Chinese market.
Aggrawal also pointed that the firm is being very careful to source the components from the mother country only and the battery cells from South Korea. “There are enough markets beyond that. The Chinese two-wheeler market is a unique one, while it’s all-electric, it’s all low-speed, low-quality electric vehicles. Transformation is happening there as well,” says Aggrawal.
When asked about the chip shortage situation on a global scale, Aggrawal said that the company is handling the issue and also was able to triumph over the challenge over a short period of time. “It is something that the industry would have to deal with over the next 6-9 months…It is a challenge, so we are trying to deal with it,” he said. The company plans to launch to include an electric car in the segment but Aggrawal is still holding onto the details.