Ola Electric, India’s largest maker of electric scooters, launched its most affordable scooters on Tuesday, in a bid to attract more buyers as e-scooter prices approach than petrol cars.
The SoftBank Group-backed company also plans to launch four e-scooters by the end of 2024.
The new e-scooter models, the S1X and S1X+, will be priced at 99,999 rupees ($1,199.15) and 109,999 rupees respectively, with the cheapest S1X variant being around 36% lower than the electric scooter. Bangalore-based Ola’s most expensive phone, the S1 Pro, sells for Rs 140,000.
The cheapest petrol scooter in India costs around 64,000 rupees.
Industry data shows that petrol two-wheelers make up the majority of auto sales in India and surpassed the 5 million mark in the last financial year, with electric models accounting for around 15%.
The government wants this ratio to increase to 70% by 2030 and is offering incentives to boost sales.
Founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal told Reuters that Ola has launched cheaper scooters through a new generation platform, which reduces production costs by 25%.
The company first started selling electric scooters in 2021 and competes with startups like Ather Energy, which leads the e-scooter market with a 32% market share. Valued at $5 billion last year, Ola sold about 95,000 e-scooters between April and August 2023, industry data shows.
While the new models will increase Ola’s market share, Aggarwal said his focus is on increasing electric vehicle penetration in India and wants electric models to make up the majority of scooter sales next year.
“Our ultimate goal is to bring the upfront price of an EV on par with internal combustion engine models… without any government incentives.” The IPO company also plans to expand the factory’s annual production capacity to 2 million units from the current 500,000 units, and double the number of experience stores to 2,000.
Ola recorded an operating loss of $136 million on revenue of $335 million for the fiscal year ending March 2023, Reuters reported.
However, Aggarwal said the business has “scaled very well” so far and expects the financial situation to get better. He did not specify a timeline.
Ola also said it has opened 100 more service centers across India, bringing the total to 500.