Veteran Jaguar designer joins EV brand from Indian Uber rival

This week we learned that electric-vehicle startup Arrival is developing a purpose-built vehicle for Uber drivers.

However, Uber isn’t the only ride-hailing company with this idea. On Tuesday, Indian ride-hailing company Ola announced it hired veteran Jaguar designer Wayne Burgess as its head of vehicle design for its new Ola Electric division.

During his career, Burgess was involved in the design of vehicles like the Aston Martin DB9, Bentley Arnage, and more recently the Jaguar F-Type and I-Pace.

Artist's impression of Ola plant under construction in Krishnagiri, India

Artist’s impression of Ola plant under construction in Krishnagiri, India

At Ola Electric, Burgess will be tasked with designing EVs for sale in India and export markets. Details of the vehicles haven’t been mentioned but we know Ola Electric’s first vehicle will be a scooter. It’s possible the company may also launch a purpose-built vehicle for Ola’s ride-hailing business, similar to the vehicle Arrival is developing for Uber.

Ola Electric is constructing a plant in Krishnagiri, India, which will be operational in 2022 and initially churn out the Ola-branded electric scooter. The company is also developing battery, charging and energy technologies.

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“As the world moves to EVs, the vehicle form factors will be fundamentally reimagined,” Bhavish Aggarwal, Ola’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “Wayne’s expertise in designing some of the most legendary vehicles will also be helpful in bringing these new form factors to consumers.”

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