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Electric Vehicle Startups

Ola Electric to invest $327 million to build the world’s largest electric scooter factory in Tamil Nadu

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Etergo's electric scooters

Ola Electric, the EV arm of the ride-hailing unicorn Ola, has signed a deal with the Tamil Nadu government to build the world’s largest scooter factory.

The company will invest $327 million (₹2,407 crore) to build the facility which will employ 10,000 people.

The location of this project was a mystery since news reports of Ola’s plans came out last week.

Hosur town has been selected for the factory and it will produce 2 million scooters per annum in the first phase.

This move will boost Ola’s plans to enter several international markets with their electric scooters in the next two quarters.

Ola Electric bought a majority stake in the Amsterdam-based Etergo earlier this year.

Etergo has a fleet of scooters with high energy, swappable battery delivering a range up to 240km per charge.

Bhavish Aggarwal, founder and CEO of Ola Cabs (Source: olacabs.com)

“We are excited to announce our plans to set up the world’s largest scooter factory. This is a significant milestone for Ola and a proud moment for our country as we rapidly progress towards realizing our vision of moving the world to sustainable mobility solutions across shared and owned mobility,”

“This will be one of the most advanced manufacturing facilities in the world. This factory will showcase India’s skill and talent to produce world-class products that will cater to global markets,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, Chairman and Group CEO of Ola, in a statement.

He also said that the company will strive towards developing the EV infrastructure for the country.

And the factory in Tamil Nadu will serve customers in Europe, Asia and Latin America along with other markets.

By entering the Electric scooter market, Ola will compete with legacy business houses in India like Hero MotoCorp, TVS Motor and Bajaj Auto as well as with startups like Ather Energy and Okinawa Scooters.

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Electric Vehicle Startups

Tesla books a single seat office at the Awfis facility in Bengaluru

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Tesla interior

Electric car maker Tesla has booked a one-seat office in the Awfis facility in Bengaluru.

The seat will be operated in the flexible office provider’s facility on Lavelle Road. This is the initial step taken by the California-based company after it officially entered India.

Tesla will dedicate a larger office after it finalizes the location for its R&D facility and a manufacturing plant in the country, as reported by ET.

Indian Introduction

After years in planning and preparation Tesla will finally start selling its electric cars in India this year. The company has announced that Tesla Model 3, the cheapest model in its portfolio, will be the first car introduced in the Indian market.

It is estimated that the car will cost something between $81,760 (₹60 lakh) to $102,201 (₹75 lakh) in India. The difference in its cost is due to the import tax levied on foreign made cars.

In the initial period, Tesla will import cars from its Gigafactory in Shanghai. After receiving feedback from the public in India, it will further decide how and where to scale up its business here.

Plans for a bumpy ride

The company is reportedly scouting for potential locations for its retail and charging facilities in Mumbai. Government officials from the state of Gujarat are also in talks with the company to set up its manufacturing plant, near the Kandla or Mundra port in the state.

Tesla is yet to announce its broader plans for India, which could become the trickiest market to crack for the company. The high price, insufficient charging infrastructure and the lack of public-awareness about EVs would make for a tough ride for the company.

Also read: IESA predicts EV sales in India to reach 6.3 million units per year by 2027

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Electric Vehicle Startups

Tesla Motors officially enters India, registers an office in Bengaluru

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Tesla Model 3

Electric car manufacturer Tesla has officially arrived in India, as it registers with the Registrar of Companies in India at its Bengaluru branch.

The subsidiary will be called Tesla India Motors Private Ltd. and the office will be located at the Richmond Circle junction opposite the Bangalore Club in Lavelle road.

It was incorporated on January 8, according to filings available with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

A long-awaited entry

Tesla’ entry to the Indian market has been long awaited by car enthusiasts, EV devotees and Gov.t authorities. Tesla CEO Elon Musk had hinted the entry time to time, but was yet to officially declare it.

In December 2020, Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport & Highways, said that Tesla would open bookings for Model 3 in January this year.

According to a tweet by Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, the California-based company will set up its R&D Center in Bengaluru as a first step to start business. He also officially welcomed Elon musk to India and Karnataka.

Tesla has also named Vibhav Taneja, Venkatrangam Sreeram and David Jon Feinstein as three directors in the newly formed company in India.

Accelerating the EV Industry

Tesla will start selling its cheapest car Model 3 as the first step in the Indian market. Even that is estimated to cost ₹60 lakh ($81,760) to ₹75 lakh ($102,201) including the import taxes and tariffs.

Though this price would make that car unaffordable for most of the population, it is expected to come down once Tesla establishes a manufacturing plant here, and/or launches an India specific model.

Anyway, Tesla’s presence would make way for further expansion of the EV demand, and help the cleaner means of transportation become mainstream.

Also read: Fiat Chrysler to invest $150 million for a Global Digital Hub in Hyderabad

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Electric Vehicle Startups

EV Cosmos and ChargeNET team up to build 500 EV charging stations in India

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Illustration of an EV Cosmos station

EV Cosmos, an Indian EV charging solutions provider has signed a MoU with ChargeNET to set up 500 charging stations in India.

ChargeNET is a group company of UK based CodeGen, which has a manufacturing facility in Sri Lanka and has established 80 commercial charging stations in the island country.

It is the sister company of Vega Innovations, manufacturer of Vega EVX, South Asia’s first electric super car unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show in March 2020.

Also read : SUN Mobility will setup 100 EV battery Swap Points in Bengaluru

EV Cosmos was founded by Pramod Geetey in 2015. It is a Bhopal based startup which provides charging station solutions for private and Government bodies. They provide equipment, domain expertise, energy management and consultancy for EV projects.

“We shall make strong forays into B-to-B and B-to-C (business to consumer and business to business) segments of EV charging solutions. Our focus will be to create a sustainable EV ecosystem in India by way of providing EV charging solutions that are easy to reach for everyone,” said Pramod Geetey, founder and CEO of EV Cosmos.

An Electric Connection

As per the statement released, ChargeNET is committed to expand its technology and service to different parts of the world, and the tie-up with EV Cosmos is their biggest step forward.

Harsha Subasinghe, Group CEO, Codegen International, UK, said “We shall be providing IOT-enabled fast charging solutions on strategic locations in cities, highways and hotels, where EVs will be charged in 15-30 minutes. This will help fleet owners move towards electric vehicles seamlessly.”

In the next two years, both the companies will together set up 500 charging stations with installed capacity of 50MW.

They will also integrate solar power to those charging stations, going forward with their motto of ‘Clean and Green Technologies for a Sustainable Future’.

Also read : Tesla may enter the Indian market in 2021

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