Ola to showcase electric car online today 

by Amit Vijay M 15 Aug 2022

Ola Electric will unveil its luxury sports electric sedan online on Monday to coincide with India’s 75th Independence Day anniversary. 

According to top sources, the company will “not display the actual prototype, but only details of its features, range and other performance aspects”. The production-ready vehicle could be showcased by the first half of 2023. 

Ola has given its vendors time till mid-2024 to have the model in place after which it will open the floor for bookings. It is likely to be launched at a price of around Rs 10 lakh to be able to take on rivals such as Tata Motors, Hyundai, Maruti, Toyota, Mahindra, MG Motor and Kia who will have their own share of electric vehicles and hybrids. Talks are on with the governments of Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka for a new facility. 

Vendors believe Ola Electric will have a significant advantage as its gigafactory starts production in 2023 which will translate into a 25-30 percent edge in pricing thanks to local battery manufacturing. “Ola’s electric car will be most likely on a skateboard platform with a flat floor between the four wheels to open up space.  Its wheels may be placed at the corners without any transmission tunnel and this will boost space for occupants with ample knee room,” says a supplier. 

Sources add that the car will have autonomous features with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), a range of 500 km on a single charge powered by a long-range battery pack. Prototypes are being “aggressively tested” as part of the ongoing trials.  

Ola had earlier showcased a demo vehicle moving at a top speed of 20 kmph equipped with two light detection and ranging cameras. Touted to be “the sportiest car”, founder and CEO, Bhavesh Aggarwal's teaser video gave a peek into the four-door sedan's large glass roof, sloping roofline and tyre design.

However, a section of customers have said on Twitter that Ola should first fix its two-wheeler business before expanding into new areas. Incidentally, it is also launching an electric scooter on Monday.

According to a supplier, the top management has learned its lessons and the vendor community is “under pressure” to deliver top quality. Additionally, the company is hiring plant design engineers, material management experts, powertrain system engineers, battery centre personnel etc for its two-wheeler business. 

The car core team, meanwhile, has hired some top names including former Mahindra & Mahindra Chief of Design,  Ramkripa Ananthan, former Chief of Design at JLR and Aston Martin, Wayne Burgess, Jose Pinheiro (ex-General Motors) and YS Kim who was formerly with Hyundai. 

Ola had earlier roped in John O'Connor, formerly with Tata Motors, as its Vice President for car projects. Franco Bellillo, formerly with BMW and Beijing Electric Company, will be purchasing head.  

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