India: Ola Electric ropes in Wayne Burgess as head of vehicle design

Photo: Reuters

Electric Vehicle (EV) manufacturer Ola Electric on Tuesday announced the appointment of Wayne Burgess, as the head of vehicle design for its entire product range, including scooters, bikes, cars and more.

The announcement comes just days after the company revealed plans to take its electric scooter to international markets, including countries such as France, Italy and Germany, during the current financial year.

With experience in vehicle design spanning across three decades, Burgess has worked with premium car manufacturers, including Rolls Royce, and Bentley in his early career, to Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover, and more recently with Lotus Cars.

“Wayne is a fantastic addition to our leadership team and will bring global appeal and design aesthetic to our industry changing electric vehicles. As the world moves to EVs, the vehicle form factors will be fundamentally reimagined. Wayne’s expertise in designing some of the most legendary vehicles will also be helpful in bringing these new form factors to consumers. I look forward to collaborating with him to build the most iconic range of EVs in the world,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, chairman and group chief executive officer, Ola.

During his career, Burgess was the chief designer for the Jaguar F-Type sports car, and then studio director for the Jaguar F-Pace sports utility vehicle (SUV).

In the past, he has also worked on car designs of Bentley Arnage in 1998, Aston Martin’s DB9 in the mid 2000s and more recently, the Jaguar XF, F-Type, F-Pace SUV, XE, among others.

“I am looking forward to my work at Ola Electric and to the opportunity to lead a team that will work on designing cutting-edge electric vehicles for the world. I am thrilled to be part of Ola as it accelerates on its path to become a leader in global EV solutions,” said Burgess.

Ola Electric has been gearing towards launching its electric scooter in the Indian market by July this year, and is also working on setting up a ‘Hypercharger Network’ to include 100,000 charging points across 400 cities.

The charging network will be capable of charging 50% of the Ola Scooter battery in 18 minutes for a 75 km range, the company said. Last year, Ola had announced a Rs2,400 crore investment for setting up its first electric scooter factory in Tamil Nadu that will initially have an annual capacity of 2 million units.

The company also claims that its Ola Future factory will be the world’s largest two-wheeler factory when fully operational and will manufacture 10 million units per year, by 2022.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.