Ola Electric, India’s largest maker of electric scooters, launched its most affordable ride on Tuesday, in an attempt to woo more customers and expand its electric two-wheeler lineup.
The Softbank Group-backed company launched its new entry level electric scooter S1X with introductory price of Rs 79,999.
The Bengaluru-based startup also unveiled four premium electric motorbikes, with sales and deliveries starting in a year, at a gala event at its Ola Future Factory in Tamil Nadu.
The new S1X comes in three variants, S1X (with 2kwh battery), S1X with 3kwh battery and S1X+ also with 3kwh battery but with more connected features, company founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said at a customer event held at Ola Future Factory in Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu.
The S1X with 2kwh battery variant has been launched at an introductory price of Rs 79,999 for the first week and will be priced at Rs 89,999 afterwards, he said.
Bookings will start immediately and deliveries will begin by December, Aggarwal said, adding the entry level electric scooter is aimed for daily commutes of around 10-20 km.
The S1X variant with 3kwh battery has been launched at an introductory price of Rs 89,999 for the first week and afterwards it will be tagged at Rs 99,999.
The variant can be booked immediately and deliveries will begin in December, he said.
“We are passionate about what we are building in this new category (motorbike). We feel we will reinvent this category for the whole world,” Aggarwal explained.
“The world hasn't seen a successful electric motorbike till today. Our design and engineering teams have been passionately working to build these,” he said.
Over 40,000 customers (physically and virtually) joined the event from across the country where Ola gave a sneak peek into its ambitious future plans and products.
With bikes introduced across all popular categories, the firm plans to further expand its portfolio under each of these categories to cater to consumer demands across all form factors and price points.
The company said its deep investment in research and development and cell manufacturing will serve as the basis for the success of its future products.
Ola competes with Ather Energy, Okinawa Autotech, Ampere, Hero Electric, and TVS Motor Company.
It also plans to launch an electric sports car in 2024, which will put the company in competition with the Tatas and Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), and global giants like Tesla and Hyundai.
Ramping up manufacturing capacity
Ola has a manufacturing capacity of 1 million electric vehicles per annum in its Krishnagiri facility. It also plans to double that capacity to 2 million in the next nine months.
“This building will be eventually scaled up to 10 million units a year,” said Aggarwal.
“Our motorbikes will also be made in this factory itself. Our manufacturing processes are shared between motorbikes and scooters,” he explained.
During the event, Ola also showcased its first-ever 4,680 cell, which aims to enable India to become a global EV hub.
Located next to the FutureFactory in Krishnagiri, Ola’s gigafactory is well on course to become one of the largest cell factories in the world with a capacity of 100 GWh. It will be operational by early next year with an initial capacity of 5 GWh.
The firm is also planning to tap global markets by next year, especially within the Asia Pacific (APAC) and other neighbouring countries.
He said that FY22 was an investment year for the company and it started selling the products only in January 2022
“FY23 has been a very strong revenue year for us and the bottom line has improved significantly. For this year, I may not be able to share a forecast, but you will be positively surprised to see the numbers,” said Aggarwal.
“We have a strong balance sheet and investors who continue to back the company's vision. We have a lot of capacity to invest in our future products,” he added.