Indian firm Ola Electric Mobility is aiming to build 15 per cent of the world’s electric mopeds by 2022. Its vast new factory opened this week near Bangalore and is set to become the largest all-female factory in the world, employing up to 10,000 women once at full capacity.
In March, Ola announced that it was building a 500-acre, substantially automated factory in Tamil Nadu to manufacture its Ola Scooter. The facility has a maximum annual production capacity of 10 million units.
Women’s participation in India’s manufacturing industry currently stands at just 12%. Writing on the firm’s blog, group CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said there was a need to address this.
“Ola Futurefactory is one step towards our vision of the world’s future – a world with clean mobility, a carbon-negative footprint, and an inclusive workforce.”
Aggarwal said it was, “the first in a series of initiatives we are undertaking at Ola to create a more inclusive workforce and provide economic opportunities for women across the board.”
He said his firm had invested heavily in training and that women would be entirely responsible for the production of every vehicle manufactured.
“Enabling women with economic opportunities improves not just their lives but that of their families and indeed the whole community,” he said. “In fact, studies show that just providing women parity in the labour workforce can grow India’s GDP by 27%”
The Ola S1 offers a range of up to 181km with a top speed of 115km/h and a 0-40km/h time of three seconds. Peak power is 8.5kW with 58Nm of torque.
Features include onboard sensors that unlock the moped when they detect the user’s smartphone nearby, as well as the ability to set different maximum speeds and geo-fencing restrictions for different user profiles.
Ola is aware that sales will be dependent on the presence of a robust charging network. As such, it is also looking to install 100,000 charging points across 400 cities to encourage take-up.
Charging points will be in standalone towers and in shopping centres, commercial parks, office blocks and cafes.
Charging will be high speed with the ability to charge the Ola Scooter to 50 per cent in just 18 minutes for a 75km range.