SoftBank-backed Ola targets European market for electric vehicle business

The development of EV charging infrastructure is expected to continue as governments make stronger investments to encourage sustainable mobility solutions aimed at zero vehicle emission.
Indian ride-hailing firm Ola is gearing up to tap the European markets for its electric vehicle business. The SoftBank-backed company is planning to bring the first of its range of electric scooters to Europe in the coming months. The Bengaluru-based firm has appointed Julien Geffard as the director of the go-to-market strategy for its electric business in Europe. He will be based out of the company’s Amsterdam office.

“As we gear up to bring the first of our range of electric vehicles to markets around the world, Julien’s (Geffard) expertise will be key to building our electric business across Europe,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, chairman and group CEO, Ola. “As a rapidly growing hub of EVs, Europe is a key market for us to realise our vision of moving the world towards sustainable mobility solutions.”

In his role at Ola, Geffard will be responsible for building and growing Ola’s European operations for its electric business. He brings over 15 years of deep automotive experience across some of the world’s leading automotive companies. Before joining Ola, he was the global commercial director and a member of the Board of Management at Peugeot Motorcycles. Geffard had a very successful stint at Bentley Motors Ltd as their head of sales and then as head of retail marketing, Europe. He has also worked with Alpine and BMW, where he was responsible for positioning the famous Mini in France as a leading luxury brand.

“I am excited to join Ola and be a part of this incredibly talented, and diverse team that is bringing the exciting range of electric two-wheelers to our customers in Europe and around the world,” said Geffard. “Europe is a key market for us and our tech and digital expertise, coupled with the unique customer experience, will be key for us as we launch our products across Europe,” he said.

The two-wheeler EV market in Europe has seen double-digit growth in 2020, with customers looking for differentiated products that are stylish, smart and lightweight, and available at competitive prices. The development of EV charging infrastructure is expected to continue as governments make stronger investments to encourage sustainable mobility solutions aimed at zero vehicle emission.

Ola’s electric scooter, which is launching soon has already won several design and innovation awards at CES and at Automotive Brand contest, Germany. It comes with sophisticated design and a unique banana-shaped battery that is easy to remove and charge anywhere. To cater to the global demand from customers around the world, Ola is in advanced stages of setting up the world’s largest scooter manufacturing facility in India. Once completed, it will have the capacity to produce over 2 million scooters a year.

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