Ola to build a design & engineering centre in Coventry

Uber’s biggest rival from India is making further advances in the UK, this time through its manufacturing division. Ola Electric today announced it would establish a global centre for advanced engineering and vehicle design in Coventry – and not just for two-wheelers.

The so-called Ola Futurefoundry will work closely with the design and engineering teams at Ola’s campus in Bangalore, India, so the company will develop both two- and four-wheeled electric vehicles, as well as batteries including cell technologies.

Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal, who arguably runs India’s largest ride-hailing service, recently took to Twitter to show what an electric car from Ola might look like. This is a compact city vehicle with a futuristic design. The tweet does not clarify how close the rendering is to a possible production model or whether it is a purely virtual design study. However, by alluding to “Can you guys keep a secret?”, Aggarwal hinted that it could be a still-secret production model.

In the UK, Ola Electric will invest 100 million pounds (120 million euros) in the centre over the next five years, staffing it with more than 200 automotive engineers and designers. However, the company does not yet announce specific projects to be developed in Coventry in the announcement.

“Ola Futurefoundry will enable us to tap into the fantastic automotive design & engineering talent in the UK to create the next generation of electric vehicles,” said Aggarwal in today’s news. Wayne Burgess, Vice President of Vehicle Design, even envisions a “global epicentre of automotive and technology talent”.

Ola Electric only recently collected 200 million US dollars and is now valued at five billion US dollars. At the time, the money helped Ola to develop further the so-called Futurefactory for making up to two million electric scooters annually.

It remains to be seen what will come out of Coventry.

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