Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal dwells on plans to build electric sports car
Bhavish Aggarwal, founder and chief executive officer of Ola, said that the mobility firm is planning to bring a new electric sports car for Indian consumers.
“We are going to build the sportiest car ever built in India,” said Aggarwal on microblogging platform Twitter on Saturday.
Aggarwal recently stepped back from day-to-day operations to focus more on engineering functions, team building, and products, apart from focusing on long-term strategic projects, such as two-wheelers, cars, and innovations in quick commerce and international expansion.
The other strategic projects include cell research and development (R&D), building the Pune tech centre, and Futurefoundry UK.
“Over the next two years, you will see many two-wheeler roll-outs. We are also building an (electric) car,” says Aggarwal, who gave a sneak preview of a red electric car, during a customer event in Tamil Nadu.
Ola Electric has laid out its vision to become a vertically integrated electric mobility player across two-wheeler and passenger vehicle segments. The company calculates the opportunity size at $1 trillion at a volume of 155 million units, according to a Kotak Institutional equities report.
The company plans to launch a series of new EV products across scooters, motorcycles, sedans and SUVs. This includes unveiling its mass scooter by the end of CY2022 and launching its premium motorcycle in CY2023. This would be followed by the mass market variant and sports motorcycle.
On the passenger car front, the company plans to launch a premium SUV and premium sedan in CY2024 followed by mass market variants for both of them.
“The company plans to launch Robotaxi with L3 (level 3) autonomous capabilities to complete its suite of products,” said the Kotak report.
The company has invested over $100 million in setting up an R&D centre for battery technology. It employs over 200 researchers and plans to expand its strength to more than 500 PhDs in the next few years. The technology headquarters will be in Bengaluru with research centres in San Francisco in the US, Coventry in the UK, Pune and Japan.
Ola expects the current cell cost of $150/kWh to reduce to $100/kWh as it moves this in-house from its current vendor LG Chem. The company expects this move to lead to a 10-20 per cent reduction in the total cost and an 8.5 per cent improvement at the EBITDA level
On Saturday, Aggarwal also shared plans for the upcoming MoveOS 3 software update to the S1 series of electric scooters. “MoveOS 3 launch for everyone on Diwali this year. If MoveOS 2 was exciting, wait till you experience MoveOS 3,” said Aggarwal.
He also shared a video on the platform where he tested the Moods feature in the upcoming update MoveOS.
At a recent customer event in Tamil Nadu, Ola also launched the MoveOS 2 software update for all its customers at the Ola Futurefactory. With this, Ola S1 Pro customers across the country will get an over-the-air update.
With the software update, the Ola S1 Pro will offer enhanced accessibility. The firm says the MoveOS 2 update also enables bug fixes that were previously found in isolated instances, such as range drop and battery discharge.
The company expects to turn cash-flow positive in three quarters and highlighted that it has more than 60,000 scooters on the road, according to the Kotak report.
The company has experienced one fire incident to date, according to the Kotak report. It said the initial findings of the government suggested issues with battery and battery management systems.
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