Ola Electric said its first electric car, with a range of 500 kilometres per charge and an acceleration capacity of 0-100 km in four seconds, will be rolled out on Indian roads in 2024.
Between 2024 and 2026, the company would make six different cars based on two platforms at the Ola Future Factory in Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu, which would have the capacity to produce one million EV cars, the company said.
Founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said in a press conference on Monday that the proposed electric car would be different from the “dull and boring” cars that are currently in the market.
“We deserve a car that defines the new India,” he said. “An India that is fearless and believes in writing its own destiny. Our car is going to be one of the fastest cars in the country,” Mr. Aggarwal said. “It will be the sportiest, keyless, handleless and with an all-glass roof,” he explained.
According to the EV entrepreneur, the car would come with a Move OS and assisted driving capabilities on a par with global standards. The design would be “futuristic”, while the size would be similar to that of a hatchback.
Although Mr. Aggarwal did not divulge the price of the electric car, he hinted that Ola products would be priced in the range of $1,000-50,000 (scooters included). He also said the average sale price of a car in the Western markets was $70,000 while in India it was $25,000.
He said as the country builds EV infrastructure for itself, it should also emerge as the global epicentre of EV transformation and create an EV paradigm for the rest of the world. The country’s EV penetration was 1% before Ola unveiled its Ola S1 Pro scooters and currently it was 5%, he claimed. Ola had sold more than 70,000 electric scooters in the last seven months.
“Over the last year, EVs have been at the centre of transforming personal mobility. At Ola, we have been at the epicentre of this change, driving adoption, and increasing access and affordability. There is much to be achieved yet,” he stated.
With India poised for strong economic growth, the Indian automotive industry would witness demand for 20 million four wheelers and 50 million two-wheelers each year. “We believe that India needs to become the global epicentre of the EV revolution and command 25% of the world’s automotive market,” Mr. Aggarwal argued.
He said it was important that the country made batteries on its own.
“India missed the semiconductor, electronic, manufacturing and solar revolutions. The West, and to some extent China, are still getting started with electric cells and batteries. If we quickly invest, we will be able to scale up and be a global leader in this space,” Mr. Aggarwal added.
Mr. Aggarwal said in the car project alone, Ola Electric would have 1,000 people comprising engineers, supply chain staff and others. “On the electric front, we are hiring aggressively, in East Asia, the U.K. and in India,” he said.
Responding to a media query on rumours of a possible merger between Ola and Uber, he said, “We have already rubbished this rumour. I will not acquire a loss-making business,” he clarified.
Ola reintroduced its S1 scooter at an introductory price of ₹99,999 and also its own battery manufactured at its facility.