Ola will become a two-wheeler maker with a new electric scooter plant in Tamil Nadu where it is investing ₹2,400 crore

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Ola will become a two-wheeler maker with a new electric scooter plant in Tamil Nadu where it is investing ₹2,400 crore
Bhavish Aggarwal, founder, OlaOla
  • The Softbank-backed Ola is now competing with legacy business houses in India like Hero Moto, TVS Motor and Bajaj Auto as well as with startups like Ather Energy and Okinawa Scooters.
  • Ola says it will set up the biggest electric scooter manufacturing plant in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
  • Ola has been rapidly making a shift from being just a cab aggregator app to an electric vehicle manufacturer. The company in 2017 had floated a subsidiary Ola Electric, which is now a unicorn in its own right with backers like Tiger Global, Matrix Partners and SoftBank.
  • With the pandemic, even as the ride-hailing business took a massive hit, Ola Electric has been ramping up its business.
Six months after it acquired the Dutch startup Etergo, Ola Electric has announced a ₹2,400 crore ($320 million) investment plan to set up, what it calls, the biggest electric scooter manufacturing plant in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Tamil Nadu government is for a factory with an initial annual capacity of 2 million units. “This will be one of the most advanced manufacturing facilities in the world. This factory will showcase India’s skill and talent to produce world class products that will cater to global markets,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, Chairman and Group CEO, Ola in a statement.

The factory will produce two wheeler products starting with the electric scooters and the company said it will create 10,000 jobs in the process.

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The Softbank-backed Ola, whose last reported valuation was $6 billion in May 2019, will now be competing with legacy business houses in India like Hero Moto, TVS Motor and Bajaj Auto, who have decades of experience in the two wheeler space, as well as with startups like Ather Energy and Okinawa Scooters.

Ola is more than a cab aggregator now

Ola has been rapidly making a shift from being just a cab aggregator app to an electric vehicle manufacturer. The company in 2017 had floated a subsidiary Ola Electric, which is now a unicorn in its own right with backers like Tiger Global, Matrix Partners and SoftBank.

With the pandemic, even as the ride-hailing business took a massive hit, Ola Electric has been ramping up its business.
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In August 2020, Aggarwal in an email to employees said that the company plans to hire 2000 people – 1,000 engineers globally over the next quarter and another 1,000 people across other functions. “Looking forward, our aim is to build electric vehicle products and the required BaaS systems for a global market and across all product segments,” Aggarwal had said then and added that the future belongs to electric and connected mobility and that the team at Ola is working hard to bring out the electric vehicle soon.

Targeting the European market, Ola had also brought on board Julien Geffard as the Director of Go-To-Market Strategy for its electric business in Europe. Geffard earlier worked as the Global Commercial Director and a member of the Board of Management at Peugeot Motorcycles, and has also worked with Bentley Motors, Alpine and BMW.

Meanwhile Ola, in the US, had also set up an advanced technology center in 2019 which housed engineers who worked on the next-generation technologies in mobility.
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