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[NEWS] Ola Electric to hit UK in 2025 with 310-mile EV
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Ola Electric to hit UK in 2025 with 310-mile EV

Ola electric car9
The car, expected to be named the Ola, will launch in the UK in 2025


Indian firm's ambitious plan is to introduce a range of premium electric cars and scooters

Indian start-up Ola Electric will launch its first car in the UK by 2025, positioning it to take on the Tesla Model 3 with 310 miles of range.

The firm, which plans to launch the car in India in 2024, will also bring a range of electric scooters to Britain and the rest of the globe, including the "premium" S1 and a cheaper alternative.

Announced today on the 75th anniversary of India's independence, the car – hinted to be called just the Ola – will be “the sportiest car ever built in India”, with a sleek design, a bold front light bar, “handleless” doors and 0-62mph in 4.0sec.

It has also been designed for maximum range, with a class-leading drag coefficient of less than 0.21Cd helping the in-house-built battery deliver a claimed 310 miles of range.

This is better than the entry-level Tesla Model 3’s 272 miles and 0.23Cd.

Inside, the Ola gets five seats, an all-glass panoramic roof, the firm’s MoveOS computer system (“one of the most advanced in a car”) and assisted driving capabilities. 

“Cars represent the epitome of industrial and technological capability for any country,” said Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal.

“Today India is a young, energetic and an extremely ambitious country, but the cars we build now are dull and boring. 

“We need to change this. We deserve a car that defines this new India, an India that is fearless and believes in writing its own destiny.

“Our car will have the best performance, best design and best technology ever built in a car in India.”

Other figures, pricing and release dates have yet to be announced. 

Ola's longer-term plans include a number of four-wheeled vehicles, stretching from those that “address urban use scenarios” to others that “have greater [driving] ranges and greater capabilities”, explained design chief Wayne Burgess.

The Brit, who in a previous role at Jaguar worked on cars including the Jaguar F-Type and Jaguar XF, is leading Ola’s designers both at its headquarters in Bangalore and at the technical centre in Coventry that was opened in January.

Ola said it will invest £100 million over the next five years into the Warwickshire site, employing more than 200 automotive designers and engineers.

Best known for its ride-hailing and food-delivery services in India, Ola is now aiming to revolutionise the EV market by making it accessible to all.

Marketing boss Varun Dubey said: “There are three things an Ola product must have: the best design in its category, the best technology – for example, the S1 comes with cruise control – and the best performance.

“Our vision is to be a global EV company, and our timing ambitions are fast. We started in 2016, before it was cool to be electric. We started trying to understand swappable batteries and a bunch of other experiments.

“From there, we learned that if you want to do this really well, you need to look at the big picture. Outside of North America, the rest of the world moves on two wheels. But the world of electric mobility isn’t going to be monolithic. You might own a two-wheeler or a car, or both, or use a ride-hail [service] sometimes.”

Ola will build cars at a different site to its scooter factory, where its first vehicle was built only 10 months after the land was acquired. Dubey confirmed this will be in India.

While the Indian and UK markets are very different, Ola vehicles won’t be targeted at the budget end of the British market.

“We’ve found that as long as you provide the right value to customers, they’re willing to provide the right price, which may not be the lowest price,” said Dubey. “That’s what we’ve done with the S1 and what we will do across the board.

“[Our products] are right up there with the best in the world in terms of quality.”

Q&A: Wayne Burgess, Design Vice-President, Ola Electric

Why set up in Coventry?

“Look at the other brands here: there’s Tata, there’s Mahindra. To achieve our goals, we need to leverage all the experience that’s here, and [CEO] Bhavish Aggarwal was very receptive to that. “If you look at Formula 1 and Formula E teams, almost all of them are within a 50- mile radius. It’s good to have a presence.”

What are you designing?

“It’s about first principles. What’s the best way to get out of a vehicle? It isn’t having a B-pillar. We’re forgetting about engineering challenges. What’s the best way for a customer to wipe a windscreen? Do you need to touch anything any more? Does the car need to know it’s you? Those kinds of things will give us a point of difference, and we will commit to solving these problems in our products.”

Why did you join Ola?

“The whole relationship with mobility solutions is changing, and one of the things that attracted me to Ola is that it already has this app-based ecosystem. You can ride-hail, you can order food [in India]. It might sound unusual for a car designer to say, but the actual transport device has moved down the priority scale. Instead, it’s about the way you engage with the ecosystem, the user experience. That’s our competitive advantage, as it’s where we’ve come from.”






https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-c...10-mile-ev
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