Will Ola become India’s next Tesla?

Vatsal Jain
2 min readJun 3, 2021

Ola Electric is all set to electrify India’s two-wheeler space.

It is planning to kick off the largest electric scooter manufacturing unit in the world at Rs. 2,400 crores.

The factory will have a yearly capacity of 2 million, which will be stretched to 10 million by as soon as the coming year.

The world is riding the “electric” wave, so the move makes sense.

Moreover, e-scooters will only cost Rs. 0.30/km to run against Rs. 3/km of a conventional scooter.

Despite that, only 143,837 units were sold in FY 2021. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the sales were only 152,000 units in FY 2020.

So, is Ola Electric overstating its potential? How is it so positive?

Aggressive Pricing

The cost of conventional scooters is Rs. 60–80k versus electric vehicles (EV) which cost Rs. 1–1.2 Lakhs. Ola Electric plans to choose an affordable price tag to attract more customers.

Going All-in to Develop the Most Incredible Vehicle

Ola Electric is roping in the best-in-class industry professionals. Their new head of vehicle design has worked on numerous models of Jaguar. Former GE India head will be their chief human resource officer.

They want to manufacture a scooter that is high-quality and feature-rich. How?

The company is not just amassing components to make the scooters, it is walking the longer path of creating the product from square one (Vertical Integration).

This makes them robust and offers them control of the cost.

Fixing “Murgi Pehle ki Andaa?” of the EV Realm

EVs without a proper charging facility serve no purpose. There were only 933 EV charging stations in India by June 2020. This is hindering the adoption.

Now, Ola plans to change that. All on its own.

Here’s what the founder Bhavish Aggarwal announced:

Akin to how Tesla mushroomed in the US, which set up a countrywide charging facility even before its automobiles gained momentum.

While other companies are waiting in the queue for somebody else to make the first move, Ola Electric rose to the top.

Will it get the early bird benefit or will other market giants stump on its infrastructure to eat the bigger slice of the pie?