Ola names General Motors veteran Jose Pinheiro to head its global EV biz

Photo: Reuters

Cab aggregator Ola on Monday said the company has appointed former General Motors veteran Jose Pinheiro as its head of global manufacturing and operations for its electric business.

Pinheiro will head the company’s ambitious electric vehicle (EV) business that includes a new manufacturing plant to help Ola keep to its plans of introducing its two-wheelers in the Indian market early next year.

“His (Pinheiro) deep domain expertise will help us deliver the game changing Ola electric scooter at scale and will help catalyse the Indian EV ecosystem,” Bhavish Aggarwal, chairman and group chief executive officer at Ola, said in a statement on Monday.

The appointment comes at a time when the Indian mobility sector is taking rapid strides towards green technologies to power its plans in the domestic market.

Uber has said it plans to have 3,000 EVs on its platform by the end of 2021 and has also partnered with Lithium, Sun Mobility, Mahindra Trio, Yulu, among other EV infrastructure and enabler companies, to make inroads into this segment. Other two-wheeler sharing mobility startups like Bounce and Vogo have made similar commitments to introduce more EVs in their fleets.

Currently, the EV segment accounts for just about 1% of India’s automobile market which leaves enough room for mobility companies to expand into green technologies for benefits like cheaper operational and maintenance costs as well as bring down its carbon footprint.

Pinheiro was earlier the vice president of manufacturing for General Motors Latin America, based out of São Paulo. He had managed 16 GM industrial complexes across nine countries and two continents. Ola said this deep manufacturing expertise will be critical in building Ola’s entire range of two-wheeler products, starting with the soon-to-launch electric scooter.

“I look forward to collaborating with this incredible team and building a world class manufacturing facility to deliver Ola’s range of electric two wheelers including the upcoming electric scooter. The rapid pace of progress at Ola is impressive and energising and I am looking forward to contributing to Ola’s mission of sustainable mobility,” Pinheiro said in a statement.

Ola had forayed into EVs to supplement its core mobility offering. The company had acquired Ridlr, India’s largest public transportation platform and Amsterdam-based electric two-wheeler OEM-Etergo BV to power its EV portfolio.

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.