Ola Electric has announced its foray into international markets with the signing of an MoU with CG Motors of Nepal. The latter will partner with the company as local distributors for its S1 and S1 Pro scooters. The scooters will be available in Nepal starting next quarter. Concurrently, it also plans to enter LATAM, ASEAN and EU in the next phase—increasing its presence in up to five international markets.
"Our international expansion not only means that we will as a company be able to serve customers in these similar regions, but it is also a testament to the fact that India will lead the EV revolution for the world," says Bhavish Aggarwal, founder and CEO, Ola Electric. He adds that Ola Electric is committed to creating the EV paradigm for the rest of the world by building half of the vehicles that the world needs right here in India. "The global EV revolution so far has been limited to the West and to China. India will have to be the epicentre of change to take the EV revolution to humanity scale," he says.
The company, which sold 3,351 scooters in August, recently converted 20 of its service and physical touchpoints into a facility called an experience centre—where customers can get the look and feel of the Ola Electric scooter. "Opening up experience centres across the country. 20 already, more than 200 by March! Customers (are) loving the convenience of online purchases and test rides — thousands a day and growing. Experience centres will enable even more people to experience our products," reads a tweet from Aggarwal.
It has also unveiled an ambitious four-wheeler project on Independence Day with the first public reveal of a car with a claim of the best performance, design, and technology ever built in India. Ola Electric is also the only Indian manufacturer of EVs to be selected by the government under its ambitious ₹80,000 crore cell PLI scheme—receiving the maximum capacity of 20 GWh for its bid in March. In addition, it has also won the PLI for manufacturing EVs.
Recently, the company also took the wraps off its first in-house developed Li-ion cell, NMC 2170. The high nickel cylindrical Ola cell—which uses Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt (NMC) on the cathode side; and graphite and silicon on the anode side—will be mass-produced in its Gigafactory in 2023. It was developed at its state-of-the-art Battery Innovation Center (BIC) in Bengaluru, in which the company also made a marquee investment of $500 million. In March this year, Ola Electric invested in StoreDot, an Israeli battery technology company, and a pioneer in batteries with extreme fast charging (XFC) technology. As part of the investment, Ola Electric has access to StoreDot's XFC battery technology that charges a battery from 0 to 100% in just five minutes.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Mission Electric event, Ola Electric's vision for electric mobility, Aggarwal told Fortune India that there is potential to evolve battery chemistries to circumvent the problem of key raw material shortages that India currently faces in scaling-up manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries. "India does not have any lithium reserves, because lithium has not been surveyed in India yet. We are also exploring alternate chemistries to lithium. This will fructify in the long term. We are also working on sulphur-based chemistries, which will also fructify in the long term," he explained.