– Feb. 12th 2021 8:52 am ET
Ola, often considered the Indian Uber, knows a thing or two about mobility. After committing to leading in the development of electric vehicle manufacturing with Ola Electric, we’re now getting a look at the company’s near-term plans.
Ola Electric got a jump start on electric scooter design and manufacturing by acquiring the high-tech Dutch smart scooter startup Etergo. The company’s Appscooter was highly anticipated, but financial problems prevented its ultimate release.
Ola jumped in to bring the scooter back to life, which looks like it should be happening fairly soon based on spy shots of the scooter being tested in India.
The Indian mobility company will manufacture the scooter locally in its upcoming megafactory, which is designed to produce 2 million electric vehicles per year.
Indian startups have led the way on much of the world’s electric two-wheeler innovation, but none of the companies is large enough to consider exporting their vehicles to the international market.
Ola looks to be the first Indian electric two-wheeler company with near-term plans for international exports. In addition to providing electric scooters for its domestic market, Ola is planning exports across Europe, the UK, Latin America, Australia, and New Zealand.
To achieve the company’s ambitious 2 million units/year goal, Ola has just signed a deal with leading Swiss-Swedish automation company ABB to provide robotic and automation solutions for the megafactory.
The factory will include around 5,000 manufacturing robots and automatic guided vehicles from ABB.
Despite the high level of automation, Ola still expects the factory to create around 10,000 jobs locally.
As Ola’s chairman and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal explained:
We are delighted to bring on board ABB, a global leader in robotics, machine automation and digital services, as a key supplier and partner for robotics and automation solutions that will be deployed at our scooter mega-factory. ABB’s solutions will be riding on Ola’s own proprietary AI engine and tech stack embedded in our scooter mega-factory. We are bringing in global expertise and stitching up partnerships that will help us build out our factory in record speed and roll out the first of our electric scooters in the coming months.
While we don’t have complete technical specifications yet, a trusted source within Ola has confirmed to Electrek that the electric scooters are expected to achieve speeds of up to 100 km/h (62 mph) and a range of up to 100 km (62 miles).
The scooters will compete locally against other major offerings in the Indian market such as the Bajaj Chetak and the Ather 450X. Internationally, Ola will likely compete against many of the larger Chinese electric scooter companies such as NIU and perhaps even European leaders like GOVECS.
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