Cab aggregator Ola said on Monday that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Tamil Nadu to set up "the world's largest scooter manufacturing facility" in the state, which would create 10,000 jobs. The SoftBank-backed firm will invest about Rs 2,400 crore to set up the factory, which would have an initial capacity to produce 2 million electric vehicles in a year.
The development is part of the company's plan to foray into electric scooter manufacturing and expanding reach of its services to smaller cities and towns across the country. The company ventured into two-wheeler business in 2016 and has created livelihoods for over 300,000 people in India.
The company is gearing up to launch the first of its range of electric scooters in the coming months, while the new manufacturing plant is expected to be operational in a year's time.
Ola, in a statement, said the facility in Tamil Nadu would improve the country's import dependence in electric vehicle market and serve customers not only in India but in markets around the world including Europe, Asia, Latin America and others.
"In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision, Ola's factory is an important step in making an Atma Nirbhar Bharat. It will catalyse reduction of India's import dependence in a key future sector like electric vehicles, boost local manufacturing, create jobs as well as improve the technical expertise in the country," it added.
The firm, which is already in the cabs business, said India with its unique skill-sets, manpower and demography, is well placed to be a global hub for cutting edge manufacturing of electric vehicle (EVs).
"We are excited to announce our plans to set up the world's largest scooter factory. This is a significant milestone for Ola and a proud moment for our country as we rapidly progress towards realising our vision of moving the world to sustainable mobility solutions across shared and owned mobility," Ola Chairman and Group CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said.
He added that this factory will be one of the most advanced manufacturing facilities in the world.
"This factory will showcase India's skill and talent to produce world class products that will cater to global markets," he said.
Earlier this month, Ola had said it will launch its electric two-wheeler range in New Zealand to help support the New Zealand government's goal of bringing on road 64,000 new electric vehicles by the end of 2021, while also helping the public sector become carbon neutral by 2025.
By Chitranjan Kumar