Ola Electric co-founder and chief executive, Bhavish Aggarwal, on Tuesday posted the first official image of its electric vehicle (EV) concept car. The teaser comes within a day after Ola Electric, the clean energy subsidiary of parent company ANI Technologies, raised $200 million with the promise of bringing more EVs to roads as well as manufacturing its own battery cells in India.
While Aggarwal had previously teased about Ola Electric entering the four-wheeler segment and had even posted the design sketches, this is the first time that a near-flesh design of the EV has been unveiled. The unnamed vehicle is likely to become the third entrant of Ola Electric’s vehicle portfolio, after its Ola S1 and S1 Pro electric scooters.
On Monday, January 24, Ola Electric announced that it has raised $200 million in its latest round of funding, at a valuation of $5 billion. Succeeding the announcement, Aggarwal said in a statement that the company will look to expand its portfolio in the future to include bikes and cars. Ola’s first and present offering comes with two variants of electric scooters.
Ola Electric is one of the many companies in India looking to catch an early share of a nascent electric mobility market in India. The company produces its scooters out of its factory in Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu, which employs robotic automation to hold the capacity for producing 10 million electric scooters every year.
At the moment, it isn’t clear if Ola’s first electric four-wheeler would also be produced out of its Tamil Nadu ‘Futurefactory’. The latter is what Ola Electric calls its factory as, akin to how Tesla, arguably the world’s most popular electric mobility company, calls its factories ‘Gigafactory’.
Ola Electric is also one of the applicants of the government’s Rs 18,100 crore production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes towards the manufacturing of advanced chemistry cells (ACC) in India. The company seeks to make its own battery cells in India in the future, while it presently assembles its own battery packs out of the Tamil Nadu facility.
Aggarwal has previously also stated that the company will look to set up its own charging network, and announced in December 2021 that the company will be establishing a network of 4,000 EV chargers by 2022. The company is partnering with Bharat Petroleum to help set up its network of ‘Hyperchargers’.
As of now, there is no indication in terms of when the four-wheeler EV will be launched, and if Ola Electric will target both consumers and businesses with its offering. The company will likely target a more mainstream price segment with its offering.
Incidentally, last week, Tata Motors reportedly stated that it could launch three new EVs at under Rs 10 lakh by March 2023, as it looks to ramp up sales of its EVs. The company already offers electric versions of the Tigor compact sedan and the Nexon compact SUV. Going by the teaser image, the first Ola Electric four-wheeler could be a hatchback.
Ola Electric is not the first Indian company to launch an EV. Bengaluru-based Pravaig Dynamics has already unveiled Extinction, and is reportedly set to launch a second generation of it. The company has so far targeted only businesses with its offering, and does not have a consumer version of its EV.
The electric scooter segment, meanwhile, is increasingly populated as demand picks up gradually. Alongside startups such as Bounce and EeVe, established companies such as TVS Motors and Hero Motocorp also have competitively priced e-scooters on sale in the country.