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Opinion: Is Ola’s scooter prepared? | Autocar India

Written by Ravi Kapoor

Revealed On Dec 04, 2021 07:00:00 AM

Hype can solely accomplish that a lot, irrespective of how properly engineered.

India has, to date, seen two approaches to the two-wheeler EV enterprise. Just about each EV at present out there originates from the Chinese language empire and is bought right here with contemporary badges (new bodywork in some circumstances) and the required localised componentry to fulfill FAME II subsidies. Ather, Bajaj and TVS look like the one exceptions who’ve really designed, developed and efficiently put their very own merchandise on sale. Ather being the one start-up to have accomplished so after patiently and painstakingly growing its product for about six years.

Final yr, Ola Electrical broke onto the scene with a novel strategy – throwing large quantities of cash on the downside. In Could 2020, the corporate acquired Dutch start-up Etergo after which early this yr, introduced that it was going to construct the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturing facility. 

Ola’s timelines might need appeared doable if it was merely going to mass produce the scooter Etergo had already developed, however that was not the case. As an alternative, the powertrain was closely re-engineered, the Etergo’s modular swappable battery design was changed with one giant mounted unit and Ola additionally threw in a heap of exceptional options. 

The timeframe to realize this appeared unattainable. Even the world’s prime producers, with their big R&D labs, mature provide chains and over half a century of expertise, take a minimal of three to 4 years to develop a product. 

Ola has by no means manufactured a single factor, not to mention an vehicle – simply essentially the most complicated machine most individuals will ever personal. However the firm mentioned it employed the very best individuals and it was going to shake up the sport, so we waited until the proof of the pudding introduced itself within the type of the a lot delayed first journey opinions.

By now, you’ve most likely learn/watched our opinions of the S1 Professional. In that case, you’ll have seen that there seems to be a lot promise within the platform, however there are additionally important points. What we skilled plainly doesn’t seem prepared on the market. 

That is really fairly regular fare for a majority of the EV ‘producers’ coming out of the woodwork. Nonetheless, none of them declare to have bought Rs 600 crore price of scooters in a single day, or raised a valuation of roughly $three billion. And completely none of them have an estimated lakh of individuals eagerly awaiting supply for a scooter that has both been partially or utterly paid for.

Ola’s monumental PR build-up is the way it has been in a position to declare such mind-boggling numbers. However hype can solely accomplish that a lot, irrespective of how properly engineered. It’s now time for the corporate to ship, and its response to the problems we and others confronted with the overview items was that they may all be mounted on the client scooters by software program updates.

The query that is still is what Ola does subsequent, as a result of there’s no hiding from the response as soon as actual clients get actual scooters. Citing semi-conductor points, Ola has already pushed the supply timeline ahead to mid-December. However is that sufficient to make sure the scooter is totally prepared? And if not, what occurs then? The following few months will present all of the solutions.

About the author

Ravi Kapoor