Reimagine the future of transport: Ola to bring its electric 2-wheeler range to NZ
Updated: Aug 24, 2021
Ride sharing company, Ola aims to become a game-changer in the electric 2-wheeler market with its industry first technology features, hyper charger network that enables adoption, and a Future Factory that will roll out one scooter every 2 seconds. KiaOra India writer, Priti Garude goes in depth into this new way of mobility.
Part of its broader vision of moving the world towards sustainable mobility solutions, Ola is set to bring its electric 2 wheeler range of products to New Zealand. Popularly known around the world for its ride-hailing services, Ola is India’s largest mobility platform, a Bengaluru headquartered multinational company that has created waves since its entry into the market in 2011.
Serving over 250+cities around the world, Ola Cabs made its New Zealand debut in 2018 and currently operates in over 11 cities around the country.
Welcoming the New Zealand government’s move to carbon neutrality especially in the mobility sector, Ola, with the introduction of its electric scooters will help support the New Zealand government’s goal of on-roading 64,000 new electric vehicles by the end of 2021, while also helping the public sector become carbon neutral by 2025.
Brian Dewil, Managing Director, Ola NZ said the government’s climate emergency announcement puts more responsibility on transport providers to step up and make changes. “Ola wants to play an important part in New Zealand’s journey to become carbon neutral. We’ve witnessed strong and steady growth in the e-scooter and e-bike sector so we believe Ola’s new scooter product will be welcomed by consumers as a way to contribute towards establishing a 0-carbon economy.”
The launch date for these electric scooters in New Zealand is not yet set.
A peek into Ola’s new Electric Scooter
The soon-to-be-launched Ola Scooter is a tech-driven electric vehicle with industry leading range and speed. It is expected to have innovative design, removable battery, high performance, and range as well as a host of industry first technology features.
The scooter has already won several prestigious design and innovation awards including the IHS Markit Innovation award at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) and the German Design Award. The company last month hired Wayne Burgess, as Head of Vehicle Design for its entire product range including scooters, bikes, cars and more. Burgess has worked on some of the most legendary and iconic cars in automotive history including the Bentley Arnage in 1998, Aston Martin’s DB9 in the mid 2000s and more recently, the Jaguar XF, F-Type, F-Pace SUV, XE as well as many others.
Ola plans to bring many such design and software innovations to their global markets, including New Zealand, in the coming months.
Ola Hypercharger network – a tool for rapid adoption of Electric Vehicles
Accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles in India, Ola plans to provide charging solutions to all its electric two wheeler customers with Ola Hypercharger Network. The widest and densest electric two wheeler charging network in the world, the Hypercharger Network will provide more than 100,000 charging points across 400 cities in India.
In the first year alone, Ola is setting up over 5,000 charging points across 100 cities, more than double the existing charging infrastructure in the country.
Ola Hypercharger will also be the fastest two wheeler charging network. The Ola Scooter can be charged 50% in just 18 minutes for a 75 kms range. The Hyperchargers will be widely deployed across cities and will be found in city centers and dense business districts as stand-alone towers as well as in popular locations such as malls, IT parks, office complexes, cafes and more.
Building the future of mobility at the Ola FutureFactory
In December 2020, Ola announced a Rs 2400 crore Memorandum of understanding with the Tamil Nadu government to begin construction on what is billed to be the world’s largest two-wheeler mega-factory on its 500-acre site.
The Ola FutureFactory is expected to have an initial capacity of 2 million units a year in first phase and will serve as the company’s global manufacturing hub for its range of electric-powered scooters and two-wheelers across India and international markets including Europe, UK, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Australia, and New Zealand.
With plans to roll out one scooter every 2 seconds at full capacity, the mega-factory is estimated to employ more than 10 million man-hours to bring the factory up and running in the Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu, India.
Through this entire process, Ola is maintaining its strong focus on sustainability. The company has ensured the conservation of the green belt in the area by preserving and transplanting the trees on site. Ola plans to have a large forest area within the site and reuse the excavated soil and rocks within the factory.
With over 3000 AI-driven robots driving continuous automation, Ola’s mega-factory is built on Industry 4.0 principles and will be powered by Ola’s own proprietary AI Engine and tech stack that will be deeply integrated into all its systems. It is expected to generate over 10, 000 jobs in India.
In 2020, Ola announced plans to hire over 2,000 people for its electric business as it rapidly builds a suite of electric and smart urban mobility solutions for consumers around the world.
Ola Electric has raised about USD 400 million in funding from Tiger Global, Matrix India, Tata Sons Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata and others.
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