Mobility giant Ola's electric cars could be a reality as soon as early next year with the Bhavish Aggarwal-led firm currently scouting for land for its four-wheeler manufacturing ambitions, top sources privy to the ongoing developments at Ola Electric told Business Today.
Ola Electric’s four-wheeler ambitions are taking a serious shape with some concept designs almost ready. The designs have been floated by a team of engineers who were onboarded from leading auto firms. The team is being led by ex-Jaguar design director Wayne Burgess who joined Ola Electric as vice president of design last year. Ola electric.
“Ola Electric is furthering its EV ambitions with a new four-wheeler factory set up, which is going to come up soon. A formal announcement is definitely on the cards. And a few fantastic concept designs for the electric car have also been handed in, one amongst which was shared by Bhavish ,” a source familiar with the process said.
The sources said that Ola Electric has also set its eyes on producing its EVs for global markets and is planning to use the recent fundraise to expand the two-wheeler future factory as well as setting up a new four-wheeler facility.
“There are a few designs being considered and a finalisation is yet to come,” said a source on condition of anonymity.
A company spokesperson declined to comment on the developments.
Wayne was roped in by Ola in May last year from Jaguar where he designed some of the iconic electric vehicles of the luxury automaker.
On Tuesday, Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal took to Twitter by posting a photograph of what seemed like a prototype model of this new Ola electric car. The Ola logo was also clearly visible on the car.
In December 2020, Ola started the production of its electric scooters in Tamil Nadu via land acquisition and signing a Rs 2,400 crore Memorandum of Understanding with the state government, which the company claimed is the largest scooter factory globally.
Ola Electric has also given a major boost to its two-wheeler S1 scooter production by increasing the capacity to manufacture 1,000 scooters per day in the factory. The company has said that it will open its second purchase window for S1 and S1 Pro scooters by the end of January this year. However, the company, of late, has been besotted with challenges of meeting delivery timelines ever since it first started accepting orders for its first batch of scooters.
While the company attributed the delivery delay to the worldwide chip shortage, some customers BT spoke to also mentioned that there were some software applications and design issues they faced and were promised a replacement.
On Monday, Ola Electric announced that it had raised $200 million from a clutch of investors, including Tekne Private Ventures, Alpine Opportunity Fund, and Edelweiss. The fresh funding round values the company at $5 billion.
The company was last valued at $3 billion in September last year when it raised $ 200 million from Softbank and Falcon Edge. This also marks the eighth funding round of Ola Electric with a cumulative capital raise of $800 million.
Notably Ola Electric was also one of the 10 companies that submitted a bid under the Advanced Chemistry Cell Battery Storage Programme in India under the production-linked incentive scheme for battery manufacturing capabilities with a budget outlay of Rs 18,100 crore in line with Bhavish Agarwal’s EV expansion plans.
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