Ola Electric has made the first move towards its ambition of producing an electric four-wheeler. CEO Bhavish Aggarwal took to Twitter on Tuesday to share the concept design of an electric car, which he has set as the next milestone for the fledgling EV maker.
Going by the image, it will be a small hatchback, suitable for urban roads. The top half of the egg-shaped body is dominated by an end-to-end panoramic roof that starts from the rear of the vehicle, extending well ahead to the front, becoming the windshield of the car. At its end is the grille, with the ‘Ola’ badge under it. The concept sits on a set of alloy wheels with what looks like disc brakes. The clean lines of the vehicle present a very futuristic look.
“Can you guys keep a secret,” Aggarwal captioned the tweet.
As good as it looks, there is a good chance that the final production version of the Ola electric car will be quite different from the concept design the Ola Electric CEO has shared today. The seemingly small size of the car also raises questions over the size of the battery that can be placed inside it, and in turn, concerns over range. Apart from these very initial sneak peek, there is little to no information about how Ola Electric’s first car will turn out to be.
Ola Electric marked its foray into the electric mobility segment last year with the launch of its premium electric scooters — S1 and S1 Pro — on August 15. Deliveries started four months later, to the buyers’ dismay, from December. The scooters are currently being delivered and serviced through a digital-only, at-your-doorstep model. Ola Electric has been holding test drives for customers who have booked their units but there are no brick-and-mortar dealerships or experience centres yet.
Shortly after the launch of Ola’s first electric scooters, Aggarwal had mentioned that the company will produce an electric car by 2023. A source tells Fortune India that the auto company is working on a few concept designs for its planned four-wheeler. The design Aggarwal has teased today is a teaser of the design work that is currently underway, the source further adds.
Moreover, since the current Ola Futurefactory in Tamil Nadu’s Krishnagiri district is capable of producing only two-wheelers, the company will surely have to undertake some form of capacity expansion, and it is likely to be a separate Futurefactory-like facility for cars, the source says.
The biggest challenge Ola Electric will face in producing an electric car will be the global semiconductor shortage that has hit certain sectors hard, including automobile manufacturing . The chip crisis has put supply of auto spare parts under severe constraints, the impact of which has been evident in production figures for the past several months.
Ola too has suffered the consequences of the worldwide chip shortage. Deliveries could only begin in December, after missing several deadlines. Till December 30, only 111 units of the S1 and S1 Pro have been delivered despite lakhs of bookings.
In a tweet on December 31, Aggarwal had claimed that vehicles have been dispatched against all bookings. Some units are in transit, while most are already at delivery centres and undergoing RTO registration process, he had stated.
The development regarding Ola’s electric car comes a day after the company raised over $200 million from a clutch of investors including Tekne Private Ventures, Alpine Opportunity Fund and Edelweiss at a valuation of $5 billion.
Reacting on the funding round, Aggarwal had said that after the S1 scooters, Ola Electric is “now looking forward to bringing our innovative products to more two wheeler categories including bikes as well as cars.”
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