Indian EV manufacturer’s announces plans for ‘global hub’ in UK signalling major boost for UK automotive sector

Indian electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Ola Electric is to invest £100m in a new “global hub” for automotive design and engineering in Coventry to support of its ambition to “build the future of mobility”, the company announced today.

The Bangalore-based firm, which manufactures electric scooters and other two-wheeler EVs, said the new “world class” centre in Coventry would house 200 designers and engineers focused on a raft of disciplines covering both four-wheel and two-wheel EV designs.

Dubbed the Ola Futurefoundry, it said it wanted to attract the best automotive design and engineering talent in the world to the centre, backed by partnerships with education and research institutions across the UK to help collaborate on technology research and development (R&D).

Wayne Burgess, vice president of vehicle design at Ola Electric, said the company’s aim was “to create a world class design and R&D team with global sensibilities”.

“Ola Futurefoundry is an important step in building a multi-disciplinary team that is agile, flexible, and responsive to the various needs of our consumers around the world,” he said. “We are setting up in Coventry a global epicenter of automotive and technology talent. Futurefoundry will supplement and collaborate with our core team in Bangalore, India to deliver exciting new EVs across two-wheeler, four-wheeler and other form factors.”

Orignally founded in 2017 as a subsidiary of ridesharing firm Ola Cabs, Ola Electric has enjoyed rapid global growth over the past five years, after establishing several factories across India. The company is now valued at over $2.7bn, after raising $53m in its latest fundraising round in December.

Ola Electric’s founder and CEO, Bhavish Aggarwal, said the £100m investment in Coventry would be spread over five years.

“At Ola we are building the future of mobility and continue to attract the best global talent across disciplines,” he said. “Ola Futurefoundry will enable us to tap into the fantastic automotive design and engineering talent in the UK to create the next generation of electric vehicles. Futurefoundry will work in close collaboration with our headquarters in Bangalore, India to help us build the future of mobility as we make EVs affordable across the world.”

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