“We started with the premium scooter product, which is the S1 Pro, and yesterday we announced a whole range of products at different price points starting from Rs 80,000 going up to Rs 1.5 lakh,” explains Bhavish Aggarwal, founder and CEO of Ola Electric. Now, we have a portfolio that ranges in price from our entry-level scooters, which are priced at the same as an ICE, to our premium offering, which is, quite simply, the greatest scooter for the money, at Rs 1.5 lakh.
Aggarwal adds that Ola is currently establishing a gigafactory. It is the first and biggest gigafactory in India. When fully operational, the gigafactory will be one of the biggest in the world, producing 100 gigawatt hours in a single place. It will be operational by the beginning of the next year, and Ola will begin utilizing its own Indian-made cells.
Where Ola Scooter is currently
We introduced our first product, the S1 Pro, two years ago, and it was a huge success. We have a market share of 40% or more in the EV two-wheeler category in just two years. We revealed the S1 lineup for scooters in all price ranges yesterday. We now think there are no longer any justifications for people to purchase ICE scooters. The ICE era in the scooter market needs to come to an end.
The two-wheeler or electric scooter market as a whole was off to a tremendous start. It was necessary at the time. For millennials that value the environment, it has a special attraction. However, the duty advantage has somewhat reversed, largely due of FAME. What is going on with affordability, then? India is a price-sensitive market that favors sasta, sundar, and tikau (affordable, alluring, and long-lasting) goods?
India is a market where value for money is really essential, therefore we concentrated on yesterday’s announcement with that in mind. We began with the S1 Pro, a luxury scooter product, and yesterday we unveiled a wide variety of goods with a range of pricing points from Rs 80,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh. We now have a portfolio with scooters priced at the entry level (ICE) and going all the way up to Rs. 1.5 lakh, which I.
Because the upfront cost of EVs is now equal to that of ICE scooters, as well as the fact that electricity is more readily available, less expensive, and that EV vehicles are more effective than ICE vehicles, we believe that consumers will find EVs to be fundamentally superior to ICE vehicles. This is because, unlike gasoline, where prices only go up, using an EV is much less expensive than using an ICE vehicle. An electric car’s operating expenses are typically 10 times less than those of a gasoline vehicle.
Purchasing an Ola EV now saves you between Rs 2,500 and Rs 3,000 each month, or around Rs 30,000 over the course of a year. So, the decision is to get an Ola EV or, to be honest, any EV; there aren’t many at this price point. However, purchasing an Ola EV enables you to do better for the environment, yourself, and your money.
While legacy players may remark that EVs are not the future or that they are not cost-competitive, we changed that yesterday, and now it is up to them to respond and bring affordable EV goods to market. It is obvious that ICE is done with scooters. As part of what we accomplished yesterday, we also displayed our scooter portfolio and outlined our motorbike segment’s goals and strategy. For the upcoming game, we are switching from scooters to motorbikes.
Because you are the market leader and normally when subsidies are decreased, the market leader tends to benefit considerably more in terms of market share and domination, is the fact that the FAME subsidy has been stopped indirectly good news for Ola?
First and foremost, I want to recognize the type of forward-thinking work the government has done over the years, setting up a very clear vision for the electrification of India. A very supportive policy and incentive environment has been created by the government. This is what nations with strategic vision, like as China, the United States, and Europe, have done in their ecosystems, and the Indian government has also been quite forward-thinking in terms of accomplishing that.
The government will gradually reduce subsidies as EV adoption rises, notably in the two-wheeler category, which I think is just fine. Electronics, the size of production and supply chain, as well as technology, are essential to bring down prices. The onus is on manufacturers to step up their game in terms of having the capabilities in technology and manufacturing of new age components like motors, battery packs, etc.
It is our responsibility as manufacturers to do that, and we have been doing so from the beginning.We have actually given many people tours of our facility, and they have seen the type of scale and production depth we have developed across a variety of components, which enables us to lower prices and provide customers choices at various price points.
You made a very significant point, and the fact that you were able to reduce rates in a targeted manner pleased consumers. Do you believe that the natural trend for EVs in India is actually south and north-north, given that two-wheeler EVs are dependent on battery storages and battery storage rates would decrease?
Yes, and if you look at India, the cell is the most expensive portion of an EV, and the cell is now imported from other countries. The cost of the cell, which we import from Korea, is approximately one-third that of the EV. 40% of the time is the cell. Now, we took the initiative to begin manufacturing lithium ion cells in India two and a half years ago. We are the most technologically sophisticated firm using lithium ion technology in India. Additionally, we are developing up our own gigafactory. The first.
When fully operational, the gigafactory will be one of the biggest in the world, producing 100 gigawatt hours in a single place. By the beginning of next year, we will really put the gigafactory into action and begin employing our own Indian-made cells, which will be a crucial step in further lowering costs. We will make sure that we are self-sufficient in terms of energy needs, not only in terms of cost.
Petroleum, mining, and refining are being replaced by material sciences and technology as the paradigm for energy. Therefore, in order to integrate into this next energy storage paradigm, India needs to develop its own strength, capacity, and technology.
Can I assume with confidence that Ola Electric won’t go public until you’re prepared to disclose profits?
I won’t speak precisely about it, but as I said, once we decide to enter the public markets, and as I mentioned, our business model has grown more quickly than I anticipated, naturally we will enter the markets earlier than we had first anticipated. We will be able to present the market with a very strong set of financial figures.