Things are looking up for electric vehicle maker Ola in 2021. In December, 2020, the company announced that it would invest 24 billion rupees (about $326 million) in building a brand-new scooter manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, India. It’s not just thinking big, though it’s thinking absolutely massive. You see, the plan is to produce two million scooters per year once the facility hits its stride.
While Ola plans to make a broad range of EVs and not just scooters, a diminutive two-wheeled design called the AppScooter is where it’s starting. The company also previously stated that it plans to create 10,000 new jobs in Tamil Nadu once it opens its new factory later in 2021. As time marches on, it’s now clear that the company is thinking even bigger than that.
According to new reporting from industrial publication Assembly Magazine, Ola wants its Tamil Nadu facility to be the single largest scooter assembly plant in the world. While automation in both automotive and powersports manufacturing facilities isn’t news on its own, the fact that Ola’s new factory will be the single most automated factory in India when it opens is notable.
In addition to those 10,000 human workers, Ola plans to deploy a combination of 5,000 robots and automated guide vehicles in order to keep all its processes moving smoothly. After all, those two million electric scooters per year aren’t going to build themselves. At least, not yet.
“The new manufacturing plant aligns with [our] global vision to move mobility into a more sustainable, accessible and connected future,” Ola chairman and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal told Assembly. “The factory will also galvanize India’s electric vehicle ecosystem and establish [India] as a key player in the EV manufacturing space.”
“These advanced technology systems will seamlessly blend with [our] workforce to provide the perfect synergy of humans and machines working in tandem to build the most efficient production system and deliver the highest quality products for [our] customers,” he continued.
Ola is setting its sights on the global market, not only its domestic market—which explains the enormous scope of its current plans. The factory buildout is underway, but it’s only February as I write this. No release date for the AppScooter has yet been made public, and an exact opening date of the new factory also has yet to be announced.