Ola Electric is gearing up to enter the Indian electric passenger vehicle (PV) segment. While its strategy for the e-two-wheeler market is well known, the company’s plans for foraying into the electric four-wheeler category have started gathering steam. Ola wants to gain an early mover advantage in this nascent EV space that just has a handful of players.
There are no details on what the Ola electric car will be like, but according to sources, it will be built on a born-electric skateboard platform, have a futuristic design and will fundamentally be a compact city car with limited range, but at a very attractive price.
● Ola Electric to launch a compact city car with an attractive price
● Ola’s global design centre for electric PVs to come up in Bengaluru
● The firm could also open its Hypercharger network to its electric car customers
Ola electric car: Global design centre
The Indian mobility start-up plans to develop its electric car indigenously and is working on setting up a global design centre for its electric car division in Bengaluru. The facility will be equipped with all the requisite facilities, including those for clay modelling as well as a CMF (colour, materials and finish) lab. Ola has already poached a few Tata designers for its electric PV project.
Ola electric car: Charging capabilities
With a lack of a robust charging network said to be one of the major impediments towards EV adoption in India, Ola will be looking to offer a practical solution to its customers. Like other electric carmakers, then, expect the company to provide home charging equipment with its cars.
On the public charging front, Ola had recently announced its plan to set-up a Hypercharger network across India over the course of the next five years. The company is aiming to install about 1,00,000 charging stations across 400 cities in the country.
As of now, although Ola has only publicly revealed its intentions of creating the infrastructure for its scooters, the hypercharger network could be made to double-up and be capable of even catering to its electric car customers.
Ola’s interest in the electric car market
Manufacturing plans for Ola’s electric PV are yet to be revealed. However, the company is constructing a factory for its electric two-wheeler division at an investment of Rs 2,400 crore. The Tamil Nadu plant will be capable of an annual capacity of about 2 million e-two-wheelers.
As per media reports, at the commencement of the plant’s construction earlier this year, Ola’s CEO and chairman, Bhavish Aggarwal, had said that while the company was starting off with e-two-wheelers, it was also aiming to enter the electric car market at some point.
Ola has had its eyes on this segment for quite some time now. While it’s finally stepping into the space as a manufacturer, it has been associated with other EV brands in the past.
Back in 2017-18, it was planning to induct a limited number of units of the Jayem Neo, a battery electric version of the Tata Nano which was being worked on by the Coimbatore-based Jayem Automotives, into its fleet. However, the move failed to materialise, with plans for the electrified Nano being dropped. Ola is also known to have used Mahindra’s E2O as part of its fleet in certain cities.
Though details of Ola’s latest stab at the EV market are limited, its all-new electric car is likely to be offered in two versions – one for private buyers and the other for the fleet segment.
However, with its roots in the ride-hailing sector, the firm could face challenges in overcoming the mindset of buyers who might end up drawing parallels between a private Ola vehicle and a cab.
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