Ola electric scooters to roll out of world’s largest scooter plant in TN [Update]

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.

A report on livemint.com says that 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.

Ola Electric Scooter manufacturing plant in Hosur, Tamil Nadu

Ola Electric announced this month that it plans to establish a manufacturing facility of its own for Ola electric scooters, with an investment of INR 2,400 crore, based in Tamil Nadu.

Ola Electric says that the world’s largest scooter plant in Tamil Nadu will initially have an annual capacity of 20 lakh (2 million) units. It will serve domestic and markets in Asia, Europe, Latin America and more regions. The company will launch a range of electric scooters in the coming months.

The Ola Electric factory in Tamil Nadu will be located in Hosur, which is just 40-odd km away from Bengaluru and home to also TVS Motor Company’s two-wheeler plant. The TVS iQube’s manufacturing also takes place in Hosur.

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 2021.

It was earlier reported that the company is holding talks with several state governments to procure 100 acres of unencumbered land for building this massive production facility. 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 which manufactures, as you rightly guessed it, the Honda Activa.

In September, 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 recent report, 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; launch in Feb 2021

Earlier in the month Inc42 said that the Ola Electric scooter has passed the prototype phase and is in the final stages of securing a homologation certificate from Indian authorities. The electric scooter’s battery swapping option would be disabled for the Indian market and for the moment charging would have to be through a household socket or public charging points, Inc42 reports. The company is a strong proponent of battery swapping model as it brings down the per km cost of operation further from distributed charging model but is waiting for the infrastructure to expand before offering the solution.

The report adds that Ola Electric is targeting the launch of the scooter in February 2021 and a price of around Rs 95,000.

Ola Electric Scooter launch & ownership models

A report from livemint.com in September talked about the ownership models of the Ola Electric Scooter. Ola Electric acquired Etergo BV, a Dutch electric scooter company, in May this 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 2021, 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 2021, and a step towards making the public sector achieve carbon neutrality by 2025.

Bhavish Aggarwal, Chairman and Group CEO of Ola, 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 SpecificationsFigures
Length1860 mm
Height1155 mm
Width700 mm
Wheel Base1345 mm
Seat Height800 mm
Wheel Size12″ Aluminium Alloy
SuspensionFront: Telescopic single shock headstock
Rear: Horizontally mounted shock absorber with progressive geometry
Brake SystemHydraulic slotted disc brake with fully floating calipers
Brake Disc SizeFront: 200 mm
Rear: 180 mm
Storage Volume50 L
Kerb Weight74 kg
Motor TypeAC Brushless
Max Motor Output6 kW
Nominal Motor Output3 kW
System Voltage48 V nominal
Max Torque50 Nm
Max Wheel Torque135 Nm
Acceleration0-45 km/h in 3.9 seconds
Battery Capacity1155 Wh per module
Max Discharge Power3 kW per module
Max Regenerative Power1250 W per module
Max Charge Power600 W per module
Battery Weight8.5 kg per module
Audio2 x 10 W Full range audio
Operating SystemAndroid
Companion App FunctionalityRemote lock/unlock
Find my scooter
Charging control
Internet Connectivity4G (LTE), 3G, GPRS, WiFi
Device CommunicationBluetooth, WiFi
Built-in Software FunctionsNavigation
Phone control
Advanced diagnostics
Smartphone Compatibility For PairingiOS and Android
UpdatesOver-the-air updates
Electric Range80 km per module at 20 km/h