Simple Energy seems determined to play the volumes game as many as Ola Electric. In phase one, the company’s under-construction facility near Shoolagiri in Hosur intends to roll out one million units each year once operational in early 2022.
In the second phase, the company declares it will make an initial investment of ₹100 crores into its second plant – Dharmapuri- on 600-acre land.
This facility will also host a future-ready R&D center, a ‘world-class’ vendor park, and a testing facility. “With the MoU, we commit to leading the Indian E2W market in India by setting up a resourceful ecosystem that will help the country’s vision to lower carbon footprints at a faster pace. Simple Energy will thus redefine electric mobility in India,” said Suhas Rajkumar, Founder, and CEO at Simple Energy.
It is a battle of a system for makers of electric two-wheelers. With demand consistently rising, Simple Energy wants to ramp up production capabilities.
Simple Energy on Wednesday announced it had approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Tamil Nadu state government for an expense of up to ₹2500 crores for a plant that it maintains would be the world’s largest for electric two-wheelers. A comparable claim had been made by Ola Electric in the past, too, with its facility – called FutureFactory – in the same state ultimately targeting a per annum production of 10 million units.
The demand for electric two-wheelers has been picking pace consistently, an encouraging sign for established and newer players looking to find a firm foothold. As a result, market experts predict sales of electric two-wheelers will eventually overtake conventional scooters and bikes in the coming times.
But an increase in demand has attracted more and more players – each making tall claims about their products and production capabilities. Simple One is one such effort, with the flagship product from Simple Energy making its debut in August of this year. The electric scooter claims to have a per-charge range of 203 km and is available in four color options.
Ola Electric was instituted in 2017 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of ANI Technologies, the progenitor entity of Ola Cabs. The company was incited to reduce Ola’s cab fleet’s emission and fuel dependency and stir to mass electric mobility. A pilot program was originated in Nagpur in May 2017 by installing charging stations across the city and obtaining electric cabs, e-buses, and e-rickshaws from OEM partners. In April 2018, it declared 1 million electric vehicles in its fleet by 2022.
Founder Bhavish Aggarwal bought a 92.5% stake in Ola Electric from ANI Technologies at a valuation of ₹1 lakh (US$1,300), and Ola Electric was spun-off as a separate entity between December 2018 and January 2019. However, ANI Technologies continued to hold a 7.5% stake in Ola Electric to allow the “Ola” brand name.
In February 2019, Ola Electric amassed US$56 million from Tiger Global and Matrix India. On 6 May 2019, Mr. Ratan Tata had spent an undisclosed amount in Ola Electric as part of its Series A round of funding. In addition, it boosted $250 million from SoftBank during Series B round funding in July 2019, at a valuation of over $1 billion.