OLA ELECTRIC EMPLOYS ALL-WOMEN WORKFORCE AT ITS FUTUREFACTORY, TO HAVE OVER 10,000 WORKERS AT FULL CAPACITY

As it gears up to commence sales of its maiden electric scooter, the S1, this week, Ola Electric has announced it is employing an all-women workforce at its sprawling ‘Futurefactory’ facility in Bengaluru. In a blog post, Ola Electric chairman Bhavish Aggarwal announced the Ola Futurefactory would be run entirely by women. The company welcomed its first batch of factory workers this week. Once the plant reaches full capacity, it will have over 10,000 female employees, Aggarwal added.

In his post, Aggarwal mentioned that the Ola Futurefactory would become the ‘world’s largest women-only factory’ and ‘the only all-women automotive manufacturing facility globally.’ Ola Electric is working on training and upskilling women in ‘core manufacturing skills so that they are fully in charge of the production process of every vehicle manufactured at the Futurefactory, Aggarwal added.

“Enabling women with economic opportunities to improve not just their lives but that of their families and indeed the whole community. In fact, studies show that just providing women parity in the labour workforce can grow India’s GDP by 27 per cent. But this requires active and conscious efforts from all of us, especially in manufacturing, where participation remains the lowest at just 12%. For India to be the world’s manufacturing hub, we must prioritize upskilling and generating employment for our women workforce”, said Aggarwal.

Sales of the Ola S1 and S1 Pro electric scooters were originally set to commence on 8 September, but that didn’t happen, with the Ola Electric running into major technical issues. As a result, Ola Electric pushed the on-sale date for the Ola S1 and S1 Pro scooters by a full week, and buyers will now only be able to complete the purchase starting at 8 am on 15 September 2021. Ola Electric will let buyers either pay the cost of the scooter directly or choose from a range of finance options, with EMI plans to start at Rs 2,999.

The Ola S1 and S1 Pro will come with a three-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty for their battery packs. For reference, the Ola S1 has a 2.98 kWh lithium-ion battery. In comparison, the Ola S1 Pro has a 3.97 kWh lithium-ion battery – the biggest battery yet seen on a production electric two-wheeler in India. The warranty on the Ola S1 scooter itself is three years or 40,000 kilometres, whichever comes first.

The range for the Ola S1 is rated at 121 kilometers, and for the Ola S1 Pro, the range is pegged at 181 kilometers. Ola Electric will provide a portable 750 W charger with the S1 and S1 Pro, and the company says fully charging the S1 at home will take about four hours and 48 minutes, while a full charge for the S1 Pro at home will take six hours, 30 minutes. Ola is also setting up its ‘Hypercharger’ fast-charging network across India, where users will be able to regain about 75 kilometres of range in just 15 minutes. Ola Electric will have fixed charging stations (including slow- and fast-charging points) in 100 cities across India at the S1 and S1 Pro’s launch and will eventually cover more than 400 cities.

Specced with a performance upgrade accessory, the Ola Electric S1 Pro claims class-leading acceleration. With a nominal output of 5.5 kW (7.4 hp), a peak output of 8.5 kW (11.5 hp), and 58 Nm of torque (at the motor), the Ola S1 Pro will accelerate from 0-40 kph in a claimed three seconds and from 0-60 kph in five seconds flat. For perspective, the Ather 450X – formerly the quickest-accelerating e-scooter on sale in India – does 0-40 kph in 3.3 seconds and 0-60 kph in 6.5 seconds. The Ola S1 Pro also has a top speed of 115 kph and three ride modes – Normal, Sport, and Hyper.

The lower-spec Ola S1, on the other hand, also has the same power output as the S1 Pro but will do 0-40 kph in 3.6 seconds and 0-60 kph in seven seconds, which isn’t exactly slow either. The top speed for the Ola S1 is pegged at 90 kph, and it has two ride modes – Normal and Sport.

The Ola Electric Series S e-scooter has 36 litres of under-seat storage space – almost certainly the largest in its category at present – and can accommodate two half-face helmets. In terms of features, the Ola S1 has a side-stand cut-off function, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, cruise control, hill hold assist, geo-fencing, anti-theft alert, Bluetooth connectivity, GPS and Wi-Fi, four ‘moods’ (that change the way the scooter sounds), a reverse mode, in-built speakers and onboard navigation. Both S1 and S1 Pro have most of these features, with the more affordable S1 missing out only on hill hold, cruise control and voice assistant features. The S1 Pro is available in ten colour options, while the S1 is available in just five – jet black, porcelain white, marshmallow, coral red and neo blue.

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