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Ola unveils Ola S1 scooter; plans to launch sporty electric car in 2024

By Ranjani Raghavan

  • 15 Aug 2022
Ola unveils Ola S1 scooter; plans to launch sporty electric car in 2024

Ola Electric, the electric mobility arm of ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd, said on Monday it will debut its four-wheeler in India by the summer of 2024. 

The car will be one of the ‘fastest’ and the ‘sportiest’ cars to be built in India, with the ability to go from 0-100 km/hour within 4 seconds and have a range of 500 km after every charge, Bhavish Aggarwal, chief executive officer and founder of Ola Electric claimed in a video presentation while announcing the launch on microblogging site Twitter.  

Ola Electric’s car will have an all-glass roof, be keyless (like Ola scooters) and not have handles. It will have Ola’s MoveOS software and have a drag co-efficient of 0.21, according to Aggarwal. 

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“The cars we build in India now are dull and boring,” Aggarwal said, adding that India’s car image had evolved from the ‘sturdy’ Ambassadors to the ‘efficient and reliable’ Marutis. “Countries and generations get associated with the cars they build,” he added. 

While Aggarwal has posted teasers about the car earlier too, even telling reporters that the company may launch the car as early as 2023, this is the first time he has provided specifications of the planned electric car.  

Comparing car makers across the world, Aggarwal said Americans were associated with ‘large gas-guzzling trucks’; German car makers had a reputation for well-engineered luxury cars; Italians had the image of ‘super sports cars,' while Japanese car makers had an image of high quality and efficient cars.   

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“Indian car makers are conservative, thinking that we only want small cars or maybe mid-sized cars. Global automakers think that Indian market is not ready for world class technology and sell their 'hand-me down” tech in India,” he added. “We need to change this,” he said.   

Aggarwal did not specify what the price of the electric car would be, but noted that the average cost of a car in the west is $70,000, while the average cost of a car in India is around $20,000. The electric car would be tailored to Indian markets, he said. 

At full capacity, Ola Electric’s manufacturing hub in Chennai will produce a million cars, 10 million two-wheelers and a 100 GW/hour of cell capacity every year, according to Aggarwal. He, however, did not specify if the manufacturing of Ola’s electric car will require additional investment.  

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Ola Electric was last valued at $5 billion in January 2022, after it raised $200 million in a funding round from Tekne Private Ventures, Alpine Opportunity Fund, Edelweiss among others.  Before that, Ola Electric secured $200 million from Falcon Edge, SoftBank and others at a valuation of $3 billion in September 2021.  

Aggarwal also unveiled its plans for a low-cost electric scooter version of Ola S1 Pro on Monday, while elaborating on the company’s plan to manufacture its own lithium-ion batteries at its Future Factory facility in Chennai.  

Ola S1 will be available at the starting price of Rs 99,999, which is a discount on the price of Ola S1Pro, which is available at Rs 1.4 lakh.  It comes with a 3 KWh Lithium-ion battery pack, and has an ARAI (Pune-based Automotive Research Association of India is the government backed agency for testing and certifying vehicles) certified range of 141 kms, the company said.   

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The scooter has faced criticism from some customers after a few caught fire earlier this year, causing injuries to some customers.  Some others also complained of range and quality issues.   

Aggarwal did not address these issues, but said that the launch of S1Pro last year had increased the electric vehicle penetration to 5% from 1% before that. Ola Electric has sold over 70,000 S1 Pro scooters over the last seven months, he said. 

Aggarwal said that the company will be upgrading the technology in the scooters to MoveOS-3 by Diwali, which would include additional features such as digital key sharing, proximity unlock and document sharing, he said.  

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Last month, Ola Electric announced a $500 million investment in a Research and Development centre for developing batteries in Bengaluru. 

"We missed the semiconductor, solar, electronic and other manufacturing revolutions. Everyone in the world is just starting out on this with cells and EVs. If we invest now and at scale, we can do this,” Aggarwal said. 

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