Ola Electric Mobility Pvt’s new electric-scooter factory aims to produce 10 million two-wheelers per year, or 15% of the world’s e-scooters, by 2022, in an entirely female-run and managed operation.
The e-mobility business, led by Bhavish Aggarwal, is a follow-up to ride-hailing startup Ola, which is expected to go public next year. The founder’s vision for his newest venture is to provide the world with “clean mobility, a carbon-negative footprint, and an inclusive workforce.”
The first group of workers began working at the factory this week, which will cost $330 million to complete. “At full capacity, Futurefactory will employ over 10,000 women, making it the world’s largest women-only factory and the world’s only all-women automotive manufacturing facility,” he wrote on Monday in a blog.
Ola Electric, backed by SoftBank Group Corp. and Tiger Global Management, aims to launch a scooter every two seconds after completing a planned expansion next year. The factory will be heavily automated, with 3,000 robots working alongside an all-female workforce.
Mr. Aggarwal’s ambition is to eventually assemble a complete line of electric vehicles, including three-wheelers and cars. To compete with traditional two-wheelers in India, Ola’s first S1 e-scooter will be priced at 99,999 rupees ($1,360). Exports are scheduled to begin later this year.
“Providing economic opportunities for women improves not only their lives, but the lives of their families and, indeed, the entire community,” Mr Aggarwal said. Women make up only 12% of the local manufacturing industry, according to the founder, and “for India to be the world’s manufacturing hub, we must prioritise upskilling and generating employment for our female workforce.”