Ola Electric Mobility Pvt’s new electric-scooter factory aims to build 10 million two-wheelers annually, or 15% of the world’s e-scooters by 2022, in an operation run and managed entirely by women.
Led by Bhavish Aggarwal, the e-mobility business is a follow-up to ride-hailing startup Ola, which is expected to make its debut on public markets next year. The vision for his newest venture is to provide the world “clean mobility, a carbon-negative footprint, and an inclusive workforce,” the founder said.
Bhavish Aggarwal claimed this will be the world’s largest women-only factory and the only such automotive manufacturing facility in the world. He said the company is upskilling its workforce as its factory is far more advanced than what most of the automotive workforce is used to right now.
“This is the first in a series of initiatives we are undertaking at Ola to create a more inclusive workforce and provide economic opportunities for women across the board. We have invested significantly to train and upskill them in core manufacturing skills, and they will be responsible for the entire production of every vehicle manufactured at Ola FutureFactory,” Aggarwal said in a blog post on Monday
“Women-run factories are becoming common, especially in the manufacturing of two-wheeled EVs. Women have been found to be more adaptable in the EV manufacturing sector, particularly when it comes to installing power electronics like sensors and motherboards in the assembly operation of EVs, as such jobs require delicate handling of components,” said Piyush Chowdhary, analyst–smart mobility, CyberMedia Research (CMR).
“An EV typically contains only 20 moving parts, compared to 2,000 for an equivalent internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. As such, automation of EV manufacturing processes is comparatively easier in comparison to ICE vehicles,” said Chowdhary. “Most EV makers buy battery packs from a handful of suppliers. Battery pack manufacturing does not take place in EV manufacturing plants. All this means it’s easier and more cost-effective to automate EV assembly,” he added.
The S1 and S1 electric scooters have a range of around 120 kms and 180 kms, respectively. Ola Electric claims that the e-scooter hits 40 kmph in three seconds and has a top speed of 115 kmph. Available in 10 colour options, the e-scooter can be powered to 50% in 18 minutes using Ola Hypercharger points.
Ola Electric is also aiming to establish and vastly expand charging infrastructure although Aggarwal believes establishing low-cost, slow-charging points in parking lots is the way forward.