Ola’s latest venture, Ola Electric Mobility, is building the world’s largest scooter factory spread across 500 acres in Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu, after signing an MoU (Memorandum Of Understanding) with the Tamil Nadu Government for a 2400 crore investment. Construction of the 90 percent automated electric vehicle facility only began a few weeks ago but is underway at high speed with approximately 10 million man-hours of work being put in, in the hopes of launching the first phase of the factory by June 2021.
After the first phase of construction, the factory will have an annual production output of 2 million units. By 2022, the completed factory will be able to put out 10 million units annually—15% of the world’s capacity—with one scooter produced every 2 seconds.
Sharing our vision of the Ola Futurefactory! With 10M units/yr, it'll be the largest 2W factory in the world, 15% of world’s capacity! With 3000+ robots, it'll be the most advanced & with 100 acres of forest, carbon negative operations, it‘ll be the most sustainable. @OlaElectric pic.twitter.com/1iSjFCMJIS
— Bhavish Aggarwal (@bhash) March 8, 2021
Though the factory, being called Future Factory, will be AI-powered and run by over 3000 robots, the plant is still expected to generate upwards of 10000 jobs. The factory will be built on Industry 4.0 principles which will ensure the usage of smart technology for efficient and smooth machining and processing.
It will have separate stations for painting, welding, motors, assembly, test track suppliers, etc. Ola founder and CEO, Bhavish Aggarwal, claims that this factory will be the most advanced two-wheeler factory in the world and will be highly sustainable. The factory will boast 100 acres of vertical forest area and will be entirely powered by a solar rooftop. The excavated soil and rocks from the site will be used in the factory as well. The CEO also shared some images of the upcoming facility on Twitter.
The plant will eventually branch out to manufacture electric four-wheelers in addition to two-wheelers, and will also act as an export hub for Ola EVs in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
Ola has also recently revealed images of its new electric scooter model that supposedly features innovative design, brilliant performance, removable battery, and a range of other new technology. It can connect to the cloud, play music, and make and receive calls. The scooter has some similarities to the Etergo AppScooter produced by Etergo BV, an Amsterdam-based startup that Ola acquired last year. It has already made a mark in the industry by winning several awards such as the German Design Award and the IHS Markit Innovation Award at CES.
The company aims to be fully vertically integrated in the near future i.e. developing and producing all the parts that they need for manufacturing electric scooters. They have been prototyping charging stations and batteries, battery swapping stations, etc. Producing all the components themselves will optimize costs and enable them to provide their vehicles at lower rates than their competitors.
Though not firmly revealed yet, the scooter is expected to be priced at about 1.2-1.3 lakh INR. The relatively low cost is set in an effort to offer competitive pricing as the CEO believes the high price points of most electric vehicles are what put off the majority of the public from switching to electric transport.
The introduction of this electric scooter is CEO Bhavish Aggarwal’s first step towards building an electric vehicle ecosystem and promoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative to give India a seat at the world EV table. He said that it was prudent for them to start with two-wheelers since it is the primary mobility product in the Indian market.
Their initiative has attracted significant interest from investors. The recent infusion of 250 million USD from SoftBank has increased their valuation to over 1 billion USD, earning them the tag of unicorn startup, along with the likes of Zomato, Flipkart, etc.