Adios Prototype, Ola Hype

Bhavish, co-founder of Ola, teased a short 30-second video of its electric car, where the design of the vehicle is inspired by Nissan Leaf EV.
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On 15 August 2022, Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO of Ola, announced that their team is planning to launch their electric car by 2024. This high-performance car is said to reach from 0-100 kmph in four seconds and range of 500 kilometres per charge.

The imaginary Ola Electric car, which is yet to launch its prototype, is said to have more range than the Tata Nexon EV, which covers a range of 437 kilometres per full charge, and almost the similar range to Tesla Model 3, which promises 560 kilometres per charge. Cost-wise, Ola is looking to launch this at the price range of INR 40-50 lakh, whereas Tata Nexon EV costs about INR 15 lakh, and Tesla Model 3 is somewhere in the range of INR 50-60 lakh.

During the Mission Electric 2022, Bhavish teased a short 30-second video of its electric car, where the design of the vehicle is inspired by Nissan Leaf EV. The company plans to build a premium brand for Ola Electric by releasing top-end models before introducing their economic models.

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What’s the hype?

Since its announcement, Ola has been creating a lot of hype around its electric car. The company has been under the watch of Indian consumers with expectations and speculations lining up.

Lately, the automotive industry has attracted a lot of attention, with software companies like Apple, Xiaomi, LG announcing that they are stepping into the industry with electric cars.

The electric vehicle and battery manufacturing industry has been on a rise recently in India. Ola Electric has been on a hiring spree since the start of August, hiring upto 3,000 people for its car project.

The company has been looking to finalise a location for their car manufacturing plant. According to reports, the company is talking to state governments of UP, Telangana, and Karnataka. The current factory in Tamil Nadu is also expected to expand and become the largest EV hub.

On its two-day launch sale in September 2021, Ola recorded a sale worth INR 1,100 crore of their S1 and S1 pro electric scooters. The sales have since then been on a rise competing with Hero electric which is on top of the table in April 2022.

Sales plummets

With the rising hype, Ola was predicted to be on top of the charts by August 2022. But, following several reports of failure of delivery and incidents about the scooter setting on fire, Ola Electric fell down the charts.

Amid the fire incidents across the country, Ola Electric recalled 1,441 units of electric scooters in April. To this, Aggarwal posted on Twitter claiming that fires are common in EVs.

Following all this, Ola Electric fell down the charts by selling just 3,859 units in July, 34.5 per cent less than the 5,982 units in June.

Several media journalists took to Twitter questioning the hype around the announcement.”If you believe Ola is working on a car right now, you might as well believe in fairies and gnomes,” said Pradip K. Saha, co-founder at The Morning Context.

Easier said than done

In response to the increasing number of prototypes of electric cars in the automotive industry, Elon Musk posted on Twitter saying, “Prototype is easy, manufacturing is hard.”

As a part of its “Mission Electric 2022”, Ola Electric also announced the launch of their base-spec Ola S1 electric scooter at a price of INR 99,999. Adding to that, the company also revealed software updates of their Move OS installed on their existing e-scooters.

The company is yet to announce a prototype of their car, which makes them fall behind in the race of the industry. Without an existing car-centric manufacturing plant in India, the plan to release the car within two years seems a far-fetched idea.

Mohit Pandey
Mohit dives deep into the AI world to bring out information in simple, explainable, and sometimes funny words. He also holds a keen interest in photography, filmmaking, and the gaming industry.

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