New Delhi: Ola co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal Tuesday said he disagrees with Hyundai and Tesla that have called for lower duties on imported EVs in India, and exuded confidence in the country’s ability to build indigenously and attract global OEMs to do it.
Ola, which is popular for its ride-hailing services, is set to foray into the electric vehicles (EV) space with the launch of its e-scooters. The company had announced a Rs 2,400 crore investment for setting up a factory in Tamil Nadu for manufacturing these e-scooters.
“Strongly disagree with both. Let’s have confidence in our ability to build indigenously and also attract global OEMs to build in India, not just import. We won’t be the first country to do so!,” Aggarwal tweeted Tuesday.
Aggarwal was responding to a tweet about Hyundai MD S S Kim backing Tesla’s call for lower duties in India on imported EVs, wherein the executive had reportedly said that lower duties will help grow the EV market.
Interacting on Twitter with followers who asked him to launch Tesla cars in India, Tesla CEO Elon Musk had said, “We want to do so, but import duties are the highest in the world by far of any large country”.
“But we are hopeful that there will be at least a temporary tariff relief for electric vehicles. That would be much appreciated,” he had said.
Currently, India imposes 100 per cent import duty on fully imported cars with CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) value more than USD 40,000 and 60 per cent on those costing less than the amount.
Interestingly, Korean automobile major Hyundai and Kia have together invested about USD 300 million in Ola. The partnership, which was announced in March 2019, was formed to jointly develop electric vehicles and charging infrastructure customised for the Indian market.
Ola is slated to launch its e-scooter soon in the Indian market. The impending launch has received interest from many, including Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Sequoia Capital India Managing Director Rajan Anandan and Matrix Partners India Managing Director Avnish Bajaj.
Industrialist Anand Mahindra had also tweeted, saying “No matter how this scooter ultimately fares, it is exciting to see courage & risk-taking being rewarded. The more entrepreneurs that follow the lead of @bhash (Bhavish Aggarwal) & show no fear of failure, the more robust Indian innovation will become…”.
Ola had previously said it has received one lakh bookings within the first 24 hours of opening reservations of its electric scooter. Ola Electric had opened reservations for the vehicle on July 15, wherein consumers could reserve their vehicle by paying a refundable deposit of Rs 499.
The company is yet to disclose the pricing of the vehicle.
Aggarwal has previously spoken about taking the vehicle to international markets, including countries like France, Italy and Germany.
The first phase of Ola’s Futurefactory is nearing completion and will be operationalised soon, while the full capacity of 10 million vehicles per annum will be built by next year.
Upon completion, the factory will create nearly 10,000 jobs and is expected to be the world’s largest scooter manufacturing facility that will initially have an annual production capacity of 2 million units.
Last year, Ola Electric had also acquired Amsterdam-based Etergo BV for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition of Etergo was aimed at further bolstering its engineering and design capabilities in the electric mobility space.
When launched, Ola electric scooter will go up against Hero MotoCorp-backed Ather Energy, Bajaj Auto and others.
Ola, Bhavish Aggarwal, EV