Ola Electric to leverage Etergo’s design and engineering capabilities to build its smart electric two-wheeler for International and Indian markets
Ola Electric Mobility Pvt Ltd, the Electric Vehicles (EV) subsidiary of Indian ride-hailing startup Ola, announced on Wednesday the acquisition of Amsterdam-based Etergo, an electric scooter Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), to launch its own electric two-wheelers in India by 2021.
Still in the concept stage, Ola Electric plans to set up manufacturing units in India, to build a sizable fleet of premium electric two-wheeler bikes for both the Indian and the global market.
Ola Electric is already working with India’s power distribution companies to develop a conducive EV ecosystem through the establishment of Battery Swapping and Charging Stations in the nation’s capital, New Delhi, the company said.
The company has been working toward building the electric vehicle ecosystem to enable ‘clean kilometers’ at scale. With plans to set up extensive charging and swapping networks around the country, Ola Electric is currently running several pilots to deploy electric vehicles and charging solutions across cities with a focus on 2- and 3-wheelers.
Softbank-backed Ola Electric has also inducted automobile industry veterans like BVR Subbu and Jaime Ardila on their board, who bring in their industry expertise and global mobility experience.
According to the company statement, the deal will bolster Ola Electric’s engineering and design capabilities through Etergo’s extensive vehicle development experience with manufacturers such as General Motors, Tesla, Jaguar, Ferrari, and BMW. Etergo’s team will continue to be based out of Amsterdam as they join Ola.
Founded in 2014, Etergo has developed an all-electric state-of-the-art AppScooter, which was first revealed in 2018. The AppScooter uses swappable high energy density batteries to deliver a range of up to 240km and class-leading acceleration of zero to 45kms per hour in just 3.9 seconds, the company claims.
With European design, strong engineering collaboration and Indian manufacturing and supply chain, Ola Electric aims to transform the global two-wheeler market into a clean energy, digital future, according to the statement.
Although the financial details of the deal were not revealed, according to TechCrunch, Etergo was valued at around $90 million in its previous financing round. The 6-year-old startup had raised approximately $22.3 million before its acquisition, according to Crunchbase.
Founder and Chairman of Ola Electric, and Co-founder and CEO of Ola, Bhavish Aggarwal said, “The future of mobility is electric, and the post COVID world presents an opportunity for us to accelerate the adoption of electric mobility globally.”
According to him, every year, almost twice the number of two-wheelers are sold across the world compared to cars. With electric, digitally connected capabilities, two-wheelers will further cement their position as the preferred urban mobility solution in emerging markets and around the world.
The Indian two-wheeler market, which saw 21.9 million units sold in 2019, is forecasted to grow to 24.89 million units by 2024, while the global market is expected to grow to 62.6 million units by 2025, according to a study by Research and Markets.
Aggarwal added, “We look forward to building the best global capabilities in engineering, design, and manufacturing for these products to be made here in India.”
Bart Jacobsz Rosier, Co-founder and CEO of Etergo said, “Ola is one of the world’s most admired mobility companies and has led the way for many innovations in the space, including its bold ambition for electric mobility. We are looking forward to joining Ola Electric and together, reimagining electric mobility to transform the way the world moves!”
The announcement came one week after Ola announced that it is laying off 1,400 employees (approximately 20% of its workforce) due to a sharp dip in revenue owing to lockdowns imposed across India since March.
According to the note sent to Ola employees by Aggarwal on May, 20, Ola’s revenues fell by 95% over the past two months.
“Today I write to all of you with the toughest decision I have ever taken – the need to downsize our organization and let go of 1400 of our valued employees,” he wrote.
In its Series A round of financing in May last year, Ola had snagged funding from Ratan Tata, the Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, who was also an early investor in ANI Technologies, Ola’s parent company.
While Ola Electric has raised a total of $307.3 million till date, Ola’s total funding stands at $3.8 billion, according to Crunchbase.
Header Image Courtesy of Ola