Monday, January 30, 2023

Hop on, Power up – the New Electric Scooter from Ola.

Krisp is an endeavor to simplify the tech stories and share what is easy to understand and relevant to our audience in under 3 minutes.

Ciao Folks! In this article, we’re going to tour you through some majestic aspirations of Ola and understand the reason behind the elevated optimism in the electric scooter industry right now. 

Ola Electric Scooter, which has just launched two very attractive models of electric scooters, has become the newest entrant in the EV scooters segment. The two models, namely Ola S1 And the Ola S1 Pro, are priced at ₹99,999 and ₹1.29 Lakh, respectively. 

Ola Electric Scooter Coverage by Techkzar

Seems costly?

Well, it is for most people, but you’re likely to get a discount on this price if your state government subsidizes the cost. And this is all for the dream of building and marketing an EV scooter at a genuinely competitive price. 

At this point, you have to ask yourself, Is the EV scooter revolution finally and ultimately upon us?

Ummm….Yes and No. 

For starters, the EV industry is, in fact, witnessing the perfect storm. 

The fuel prices for “ordinary” vehicles are tempestuously elevated in recent times; State Governments are fiercely competing to offer subsidies to citizens for EVs; the like of Ola, Ather Energy, and Hero have been hyping up an all-electric future to the population, and big investors are all ready to finance their dreams. And what’s more is, the production cost is witnessing a constant decline too. 

We recently also covered the Industry leader in the EV market and its story in India. If this does not convince you to get an EV for yourself, I don’t know what will! It’s not good to have high expectations, you know. 

Introducing Ola Electric Scooter
Color Range for Ola Electric Scooter

This is the best time to foray into the EV scooter segment!

Speaking stats, last year, despite the pandemic, the EV industry sold out 25,000 odd units, and this year they’ve reportedly sold around 30,000 units in just the first six months! 

While these aren’t record-breaking numbers, the likes of Ola are promising to scale the production of electric scooters by millions this year. 

Millions? Isn’t that too much?

Well, not if you already have close to 100,000 pre-orders for it. 

All of this signifies a bright EV future. 

Well, you can make a case for it. But not everyone is this optimistic. The sales figures are picking up, but you’ll have to reconcile these soaring aspirations with some cold complex realities of building a truly scalable business in the EV domain. 

Global investment in electric transport surged 28% in the 2020 year on year to USD139 billion. The world invested more than USD500 billion in 2020 in energy transition sectors such as renewable energy, electric vehicles and charging, and electric heat,

according to the figures from BNEF.

Ola, for instance, has promised to design, engineer, and manufacture its batteries, motor controllers, motors, and software; and all of this despite acquiring a Dutch EV company last year. Moreover, to sell these vehicles to the masses, the company will also have to build a supply chain. Something that’s not easy when you’re already up against the clock. 

And fun fact, Ola has never done anything of this sort before. And they’re not alchemists to triumph in everything they do (for the first time) without encountering hiccups along the way; it’s going to be challenging to seamlessly manufacture millions of EV scooters.

Even Tesla faced production-related issues and complications while manufacturing their Model 3. It took them forever to solve these constantly niggling issues. Elon Musk had named this situation “production hell.”

There’s also the demand side equation. The moderation in prices will surely encourage more and more people to buy an electric scooter, but if you were gunning for practical utility, you’d still have to tussle with the range problem. For instance, Ola S1 pro is expected to offer 180km of range, but this is by no means an untenable proposition. 

The claimed range seldom tallies up to real-world experience. Also, you better hope that the charging infrastructure scales alongside the production capacity cause you don’t want to be stranded somewhere with your vehicle out of charge.

There still exists some ambiguity surrounding the charging standards and adapter technology. Granted, the government and other industry stakeholders, as we speak, are working on it. But, still, they’ll have to really expedite these discussions if we want to manifest an EV revolution in a couple of years.

Nonetheless, even if the stated don’t fully materialize, it still feels surreal to think about the progress we’ve made so far since the last decade. 

India is going electric one way or the other; the only question we’ve got now is can we get there supersonic? 

This post is part of TECHKZAR’s Krisp Series, each of which is an endeavor to simplify the tech stories and share what is easy to understand and relevant to our audience in under 3 minutes; browse through all the posts here.

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