Ola announces plans for electric motorcycle as it surpasses 100,000 scooters built in a year

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Indian electric scooter manufacturer Ola Electric announced that the company plans to unveil an electric motorcycle to complement its growing electric scooter production.

Ola is known for its low-cost electric scooters that combine tech-forward design with high performance operation.

The company recently surpassed 100,000 units, despite production only beginning less than a year ago.

The company operates a massive electric vehicle production facility known as the FutureFactory, which is staffed and run by an entirely female workforce.

There, Ola currently pumps out electric scooters, but has its sights set on expanding to larger electric vehicles.

The first new electric vehicle currently in the works at Ola is an electric motorcycle, or perhaps a series of electric motorcycles. According to Autocar India, Ola’s founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal plans to eventually unveil electric motorbikes in three categories of mass-mark, mid-segment, and premium superbikes.

Aggarwal was quoted as saying:

I have studied the Rs 80,000 to Rs 10 lakh motorcycle market and such hyper segmentation in EVs is not needed. In bikes, there is a lot more room for bringing a new sphere of technology and we will be announcing this by the end of next year.

That timeline might need to be taken with a grain of salt. In mid-2021, Aggarwal also said that Ola would begin international exports of its electric scooters soon and that US exports would begin in early 2022. Here we are in November, and I don’t see any Ola S1 Pro scooters with US plates.

The company has even longer term plans for its full-size car, which Aggarwal expects to be unveiled in late 2024. Again, you probably shouldn’t use those dates to plan anything critical.

Ola seems to have its hands full as it is, even without a new electric motorcycle or electric car on its plate.

The company recently announced plans for a lower cost S1 Air electric scooter that would take the form factor of the company’s popular S1 and S1 Pro but detune the performance to reach a lower price point.

At INR 139,999 (approximately US $1,690), the Ola S1 Pro is already fairly priced in the market. But the new Ola S1 Air, which just launched in time for Diwali, was unveiled at an even more attractive promotional price of INR 79,999 (approximately US $960).

The Ola S1 Air comes with a smaller 4.5 kW motor and peaks at 85 km/h (53 mph), making it more of a city scooter that can be used for occasional excursions on faster urban roads.

The scooter’s maximum range is 100 km (62 miles), though that is measured in Eco mode. In practice, the real-world range will be somewhat shorter.

At well under a thousand US dollars, a lower-spec electric scooter could help Ola significantly expand its market with a more attractive entry-level price point.

As the company expands in both directions, offering a lower priced entry-level scooter while setting the stage for higher performance and costlier electric motorcycles (and eventually full-sized electric cars), Ola appears to be making progress towards Aggarwal’s goal of becoming a full-fledged electric vehicle maker.

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