Ola Electric Plans ‘World’s Biggest’ EV Hub In India

Image credit: Ola

EV maker Ola Electric plans ‘world’s biggest’ electric vehicle manufacturing centre in southern India as it seeks to localise supply chain

Indian EV maker Ola Electric said it plans to build the world’s biggest electric vehicle hub at its manufacturing centre in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, with an investment of 76.1 billion rupees ($920m, £764m) as it seeks to build up a localised supply chain.

The 2,000-acre facility is to be used to manufacture electric two-wheelers, cars and battery cells, with plans to house vendor and supplier parks, Ola said.

The firm said it plans to begin the mass production of battery cells at the factory later this year.

Ola, as well as Reliance Industries and bullion refiner Rajesh Exports are to receive incentives under a $2.3bn government programme aimed at promoting advanced battery cell development.

Image: Ola Electric
Image: Ola Electric

EV supply chain

Ola last year showed its first lithium-ion cell developed at its battery development centre in Bengalulru, following an investment of $500m at that lab.

Over the next decade Ola said it plans to focus on developing a local supply chain for materials as well as components including motors, rare-earth magnets, semiconductors, lithium processing and electrode production from minerals such as graphite and nickel.

Earlier this month Australia-based Recharge Industries said it plans to take over bankrupt EV battery start-up Britishvolt and to carry ahead the firm’s plans for a UK battery production base.

Britishvolt and the EU’s Northvolt are both efforts to localise EV supply chains and make them less reliant on overseas production.

Charging stations angst

Separately, German carmakers Mercedes-Benz and VW have urged the German government to do more to build out the country’s EV charging stations, newspaper Bild am Sonntag wrote on Sunday.

“To speed up the change (to electric vehicles), we need to be sure that the charging station infrastructure is being built up,” the paper quoted Mercedes-Benz chief executive Ola Kallenius as saying, adding that it was “a question for politics”.

VW chief executive Oliver Blume agreed that the construction of charging stations was “a common task of the economy, federal government and communes”.