The Ola electric scooter has been officially revealed, and it will be launched in India in the coming months. The factory where it will be made will be ready by June, and so, expect a mid-year launch.
The Ola electric scooter looks an awful lot like the Etergo AppScooter, from which it has been derived. Colour scheme and branding changes aside, the instantly visible difference is the Indian model featuring thin LED turn indicators on the front panel instead of the handlebar. It has the same rectangular headlight that, in the words of Thomas Swart, Etergo’s Design Team Lead, gives the scooter a character that is “happy and intelligent.”
According to a new report from YourStory, the Ola electric scooter will have two portable battery packs weighing 10.5-11 kg each. A new report from Moneycontrol says that fully charging the battery packs will take only an hour. Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-Founder and CEO, Ola, has told the business publication that the company is designing, engineering, and manufacturing the battery packs in-house. The motor and software will also be made by Ola.
The Indian model weighs approximately 100 kg and offers enough storage space to fit two helmets. The dashboard has a built-in sim card to allow the rider to enable phone calls on the go, and it’s possible to play music and activate safety features also using it. Other recent reports say that the top speed and range will be 100 km/h and 100 km, respectively.
Ola Electric Scooter to be made in Tamil Nadu
Construction of the Ola electric scooter’s plant in Hosur, Tamil Nadu began last month. Ola Electric plans to bring the world’s largest two-wheeler factory up in record time in an estimated 10+ million man-hours. A short video reveals that the construction work began on the 7th of this month and shows the progress made so far:
Video Source: youtube.com/Ola Electric
The first phase of the “mega-factory” will become operational in the coming months, and that will provide Ola an initial capacity of 2 million units a year. With the completion of Phase 1 at the 500-acre site, the company will be able to start manufacturing the Ola electric scooter.
Ola has partnered with ABB for robotics and automation solutions for the world’s largest scooter plant. It will utilise ABB’s automation solutions in the main manufacturing process lines of the “mega-factory,” including the painting and welding lines.
The European technology company’s IRB 5500 paint robots, IRB 2600 Integrated Dressing robots will be in charge of the painting and welding lines of the Ola plant in Tamil Nadu. The Indian mobility company will source ABB IRB 6700 robots as well, and that will be for assembly and material handling in the battery and motor assembly lines.
In January, Ola announced a tie-up with Siemens for the upcoming electric vehicle plant in Tamil Nadu. The partnership with the German conglomerate will allow the company to access its integrated Digital Twin design and manufacturing solutions for digitalizing and validating product and production before beginning operations.
Ola plans to build its factory on Industry 4.0 principles, which Siemens claims to be a global leader in. This highly advanced manufacturing facility will make use of almost 5,000 robots. The company has also said that the Ola electric scooter will “reimagine” the expectations of customers from a scooter.
The Hosur factory will be AI-Powered with Ola’s own AI Engine and tech stack integrated within every aspect of the manufacturing process, continuously self-learning and optimising every aspect of it, says the company.
The plant will serve domestic and markets in Asia-Pacific, Europe (incl. the UK), Latin America and more regions. The company will launch a range of electric scooters in the coming months.
Ola Electric has roped in General Motors veteran Jose Pinheiro to head its global manufacturing and operations. Pinheiro previously held the post of Vice President of Manufacturing for GM Latin America, based out of Sao Paulo, and has 45+ years of leadership experience. The plant is expected to be operational by December this year.
For the record, the world’s biggest petrol scooter production plant is also in India. Owned by Honda, this plant is located in the State of Gujarat and manufactures, as you rightly guessed it, the Honda Activa.
An exclusive report from The Economic Times said that the company is planning to raise $300 million a year and a half after it received the $250 million investment from SoftBank, for brand building and distribution.
Varun Dubey, Executive Director, Ola Electric, has suggested that the Ola electric scooter will have a lot of tech features. Below is what he has said, as per ET’s report:
The engine is not the core of the product. Technology will be the soul of this category and it will be far more tech-driven product.Varun Dubey, Executive Director, Ola Electric to The Economic Times.
Ola Electric looking to establish a network of vehicle chargers
The availability of a widespread charging network will be key to the success of the Ola electric scooter in India. Like several mainstream companies selling EVs in the country, Ola Electric has taken matters into its own hands and plans to install EV chargers.
According to a report from livemint.com, Ola Electric is searching for potential locations to set up EV charging stations in 50 cities across India. Moreover, the company is following this approach in Europe as well, where it has appointed ex-Peugeot Motorcycles director Julien Geffard to head the region’s operations. The company-owned EV charging stations should feature at least one DC fast charger.
Crosstown rival Ather Energy is working on improving the charging station network in the country for electric vehicle users. It has plans to increase the number to 6,500 charging points by end of 2022.
In September last year, a report from livemint.com stated that Ola Electric is searching for an OEM that can manufacture the Ola electric scooter it plans to launch in India next year, but it is clear now that Ola plans to ride solo. The company was in talks with big companies like Bosch and Samsung for the same. Bosch and Samsung supply parts to auto companies in India and the Ola Electric scooter would have a high level of localized content. Top-quality electric scooters Bajaj Chetak and TVS iQube source their electric motor from Bosch.
Ola Electric wants to set up the whole supply chain for the Ola electric scooter in India, a person aware of the developments had told the business publication. Like Bajaj Auto in the case of the Chetak electric scooter, the company is in the process of reducing dependence on the global supply chain, much of which translates to Chinese origins.
In a report in December 2020, livemint.com said that Ola Electric will hire 2,000 people for the EV business. The hiring will happen in India and globally for senior positions in product development, manufacturing, marketing and design, it added, while Ola Electric has announced that its new plant will create almost 10,000 jobs.
First Ola electric scooter reaches homologation
According to a report from Inc42 the Ola Electric scooter has passed the prototype phase and is in the final stages of securing a homologation certificate from Indian authorities.
Ola Electric is a strong proponent of battery swapping model as it brings down the per km cost of operation further from distributed charging model. The report adds that Ola Electric is targeting a price of around Rs 95,000 for its electric scooter.
Ola Electric Scooter launch & ownership models
A report from livemint.com in September 2020 talked about the ownership models of the Ola Electric Scooter. Ola Electric acquired Etergo BV, a Dutch electric scooter company, in May last year. With this acquisition, the company hopes to release its first electric scooter quickly in the market without having to go through the long and expensive journey of developing a platform and product.
The Etergo AppScooter has won several awards for its innovative design and engineering. Amsterdam-based Etergo was founded in 2014 and they revealed the AppScooter in 2018 with an innovative design and features LED DRLs, headlamp and tail lamps, single telescopic suspension in the front and horizontally mounted shock at the rear, a 7.0-inch touchscreen display that can be connected to a smartphone and controlled through handlebar buttons. In the Indian version of the electric scooter, LiveMint says that Ola Play, the company’s own connected platform and NavIC, the Indian global positioning system, would be installed.
One of the major highlights of the electric scooter is its range of 240 km. The scooter can be fitted with three battery modules, each with 1.16 kWh capacity and 80 km range. The electric motor makes a maximum power of 6 kW and a maximum torque of 135 Nm at the wheel, which allows the scooter to go from 0 to 45 km/h in 3.9 seconds. The software is based on Android OS, compatible with iOS, has WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity and can receive over-the-air updates. The AppScooter also boasts 50-litre under-seat storage.
Ola Electric scooter to be exported to New Zealand
By the end of this year, the Ola Electric scooter would see introduction in New Zealand. The launch of the Ola electric scooter in New Zealand is part of the government’s ambition of having 64,000 new electric vehicles on the road by the end of this year, and a step towards making the public sector achieve carbon neutrality by 2025.
Aggarwal has said the company is excited to accelerate development of sustainable solutions and is tackling climate change through sustainable solutions. Ola Electric hopes to contribute meaningfully to establish New Zealand as a zero-carbon economy.
AppScooter Image Gallery
Experts believe that electric two-wheelers will become more relevant in the post-COVID world and Ola Electric is aiming to transform the global two-wheeler market into a clean energy future. Ola Electric is currently involved in various pilots to deploy electric vehicles and charging solutions across cities. Previously, Aggarwal said that electric mobility is the future and there is an opportunity in the post COVID world to accelerate the adoption of electric mobility globally. He added that he is very excited to welcome the entire Etergo team to Ola Electric and is looking forward to making Ola’s vision a reality by working closely with them.
|Etergo AppScooter Specifications||Figures|
|Wheel Base||1345 mm|
|Seat Height||800 mm|
|Wheel Size||12″ Aluminium Alloy|
|Suspension||Front: Telescopic single shock headstock|
Rear: Horizontally mounted shock absorber with progressive geometry
|Brake System||Hydraulic slotted disc brake with fully floating calipers|
|Brake Disc Size||Front: 200 mm|
Rear: 180 mm
|Storage Volume||50 L|
|Kerb Weight||74 kg|
|Motor Type||AC Brushless|
|Max Motor Output||6 kW|
|Nominal Motor Output||3 kW|
|System Voltage||48 V nominal|
|Max Torque||50 Nm|
|Max Wheel Torque||135 Nm|
|Acceleration||0-45 km/h in 3.9 seconds|
|Battery Capacity||1155 Wh per module|
|Max Discharge Power||3 kW per module|
|Max Regenerative Power||1250 W per module|
|Max Charge Power||600 W per module|
|Battery Weight||8.5 kg per module|
|Audio||2 x 10 W Full range audio|
|Companion App Functionality||Remote lock/unlock|
Find my scooter
|Internet Connectivity||4G (LTE), 3G, GPRS, WiFi|
|Device Communication||Bluetooth, WiFi|
|Built-in Software Functions||Navigation|
|Smartphone Compatibility For Pairing||iOS and Android|
|Electric Range||80 km per module at 20 km/h|