Today we are going to talk about one electric brand that’s been on the news for almost every single day over the last few weeks. Well, we're sure some of you have guessed it by now. We are going to talk about and discuss Ola. But before we do that, let’s just talk a bit more about this company’s past.
Well, Ola started as an app-based cabs aggregator a couple of years ago. Since then it has evolved into a mobility company. In fact, it even tried hands in the food delivery space, but that wasn’t as successful as its cab business. Nevertheless, Ola learned its lesson and decided to stick to its strengths and that is the mobility space. And that’s how Ola Electric company was formed.
This company was in someways part of its parent company, which is ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd, because electric cabs came under this brand. But now Ola Electric had kind of a makeover and will focus only on ownership-based personal electric two-wheeler space for now. And that’s where its upcoming electric scooter comes into the picture.
Now let’s talk about the e-scooter in detail. For starters, we don’t think it’s a brand new product. It is most likely based on the Etergo’s AppScooter because you know Ola acquired this company about a year ago, and you really can’t have a scooter ready within a year. So it is obvious this upcoming e-scooter is based on the AppScooter. But there might few changes that have been done to meet the Indian conditions.
From the pictures released by Ola, it is clear that this e-scooter does look modern and carries some nice modern elements. While we haven’t seen the scooter in person yet, we think the overall body proportions are on the slimmer side. Something that might or might not work in Ola’s favour. But there’s one aspect that is definitely going to work in Ola’s favour – the colours. This EV will be sold in 10 colours and we honestly don’t remember the last time a scooter was available in so many cool colours.
Now we aren’t going to talk much about the electric motor and the riding range simply because Ola hasn’t revealed any of these information. But have one reference and that is the Etergo’s AppScooter. This one had a 6kW motor and the company claimed 80kms in one full charge but at 20kmph speed. The riding range can be increased to 240kms by adding two more batteries. But these figures are at really low speed. The range are bound to decrease considerably when the speed is higher.
For the Indian market, we don’t think Ola will do removable batteries because of the kind of marketing they have been doing over the last few weeks, they are focusing a lot on something called Ola Hyperchargers. The focus is so much that the company plans to build over a lakh charging points in 400 cities. The company claims that these fast charging points can charge upto 50 per cent which is 75kms in 18 minutes. And this kind of revealed the riding range of the product. 150kms which I think is a decent number. But you need to know that there will be more than one variants on offer and the 150kms range could be of the top-spec model. And from our experience, the real world range is always much much lesser than the claimed one.
In terms of features, the scooter will come with a large instrument cluster that could also house a navigation system and could also have access to many smartphone apps. These apps could be controlled via the switchgear. There will be LED light throughout and the company is claiming it to have a really large underseat storage.
The bookings for this Ola product haven’t begun yet, but what has commenced is the reservations. The company says that it received over a lakh reservations in 24 hours. So if you haven’t reserved your e-scooter yet, you might not get an opportunity to book it. You first need to get on the list and once your number arrives, you will have the opportunity to book the scooter. Things like variant and colour selections will be done then.
In terms of deliveries, we have no information on when that will begin, but the company plans to deliver the scooter right at your doorstep. If this indeed happens, then we can expect really less showrooms across the country. But what about service? Well, that will be Ola’s biggest headache. While the internals doesn’t really need any kind of service, but the customers will still require someone to check the brakes and few other things.
Now let's talk about the most important thing - pricing. Well, this aspect could make or break a product. And if Ola’s aggressive entry is to be believed, we think this Ola scooter will be priced extremely aggressively- around the sub Rs 1 lakh price mark for the base version.
In fact, in order to get the required sales volume, considering the fact that Ola will eventually have a production capacity of 10 million units a year and also claim to have the world’s largest two-wheeler factory, there’s a high possibility that the introductory pricing could even come close to some of the 125cc scooter, say the Suzuki Access or the Honda Activa 125.