Former GM exec Pinheiro to manage operations, manufacturing at Ola Electric

Former GM exec Pinheiro to manage operations, manufacturing at Ola Electric
Jose Pinheiro  |  Photo Credit: Ola
30 Nov, 2020

Ola Electric Mobility, the electric vehicle arm of ANI Technologies that operates ride hailing platform Ola Cabs, has appointed former General Motors executive Jose Pinheiro as the head of global manufacturing and operations.

Pinheiro, who was the vice president of manufacturing for General Motors Latin America and was based out of São Paulo, will lead and expand Ola Electric’s manufacturing facilities across India, a statement said.

“His (Pinheiro’s) deep domain expertise will help us deliver the game changing Ola electric scooter at scale and catalyse the Indian EV ecosystem,” Bhavish Aggarwal, chairman and group CEO of the Bengaluru-based company, said.

In a career spanning 45 years at GM, Pinheiro has held diverse portfolios, including body shop process engineering, manufacturing engineering, plant operations and director of manufacturing. He also managed 16 GM industrial complexes across nine countries.

Ola, which acquired Amsterdam-based electric scooter manufacturer Etergo in May, is gearing up to launch its first electric two wheeler in India. Set up in 2014, Etergo sells AppScooter, an EV that uses swappable batteries to deliver a range of up to 240 km. With its handlebar controls, users can control their phone through bluetooth, answer calls, stream music and navigate.

Ola is also reportedly in discussions with multiple state governments to set up “the world’s largest e-scooter facility”.

Pinheiro will head Ola’s initiative to set up manufacturing facilities, such as the e-scooter factory, and scale them across the country, the statement said. The move, it said, will help the firm bring to market its range of two wheelers that are currently under development.

“I look forward to collaborating with this incredible team and building a world class manufacturing facility to deliver Ola’s range of electric two wheelers, including the upcoming electric scooter. The rapid pace of progress at Ola is impressive and energising and I am looking forward to contributing to Ola’s mission of sustainable mobility,” Pinheiro said.

Ather Energy, the largest funded electric two wheeler manufacturer in India, raised $35 million in a growth round earlier this month, led by Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal. In September, TVS Motor Company invested $4 million in Bengaluru-based electric bike maker Ultraviolette Automotive. 

In the past one year, Mumbai-based engineering company Greaves Cotton has acquired two electric vehicles firms -- Bestway Agencies and Ampere Vehicles.

Last week, TechCircle exclusively reported that Easetronics, which operates multi-brand, omnichannel sales and lease rental platform for electric two-wheelers Welectric, raised an undisclosed amount of angel funding.