Two days after teasing an image of an electric concept car, Ola Electric on Thursday announced it will invest over $100 million to set up a global center for advanced engineering and automotive design in the United Kingdom.
The Center, christened Futurefoundry, will staff over 200 designers and automotive engineers over the next five years to work across electric two-wheeler, three-wheeler, four-wheeler and new cell technologies, the company said.
To be based in Coventry, UK, a city known for its engineering talent, the center will collaborate with Ola’s core team in Bangalore on the design and development of Ola’s electric car and upcoming range of two-wheelers, Ola Electric said.
India’s EV market has seen rapid growth over the last couple of years aided by government policies like a redesigned FAME-II scheme, and state government incentives for EV adoption. For two-wheelers particularly, the market grew over a hundred percent in calendar year 2021, from just over a 100,000 units annually to more than 2,33,000 units in 2021.
However, while manufacturers of e-two wheelers have been investing to ramp up capacity, India’s skill gap in the EV R&D, engineering, and service space is yet to be addressed fully.
Ola said its Futurefoundry will “partner with world class education and research institutions in the UK to collaborate on technology research and development.”
“Ola Futurefoundry will enable us to tap into the fantastic automotive design & engineering talent in the UK to create the next generation of electric vehicles. Futurefoundry will work in close collaboration with our headquarters in Bangalore, India to help us build the future of mobility as we make EVs affordable across the world”, Bhavish Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Ola, said.
Last year, Ola had appointed Wayne Burgess, a Jaguar Land Rover design veteran, to lead its design efforts in London & Bengaluru.
“We want to create a world class design and R&D team with global sensibilities. Ola Futurefoundry is an important step in building a multi-disciplinary team that is agile, flexible, and responsive to the various needs of our consumers around the world. We are setting up in Coventry a global epicenter of automotive and technology talent. Futurefoundry will supplement and collaborate with our core team in Bangalore, India to deliver exciting new EVs across two-wheeler, four-wheeler and other form factors.” Burgess, Vice President of Vehicle Design, Ola Electric said.