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Old 16th November 2021, 12:43   #61
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

Thanks for sharing such a comprehensive review of the Ola scooters, Dr CD.

Im not a scooter guy, but as an automobile enthusiast, I could never figure out the reason for all the excitement on this forum for the Ola scooters. Nobody had seen or tested the scooter until recently but everyone wanted to pre-book one. And the initial feedback from journalists and forum members on this potential game changer has been less than promising. As a neutral observer, I would say that the Ola scooter is a disappointment.

If today, so many features are yet to be developed and tested, why not take another 6 months and showcase a finished product instead? Ola seems to have tripped over themselves to get out the door and showcase something, rather than launching what they promised they would.

There is an old saying, you get only one chance to make a first impression.

If I was buying an electric scooter, I would keep my money with me until I know that Ola will deliver a polished product with all the promised feature, at my doorstep.
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Old 16th November 2021, 12:59   #62
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

Using phone for lock/unlock is a pain. I don't take my phone every time I go out for an errand. Sometimes when I need to run to More/Dmart for a quick shopping, I don't take my phone along. Same for many folks. Now one has to take a phone along. Also, people usually lend their vehicles to their friends/relatives often. Should one create profiles for them on phone and add them? Seems too much of a hassle. Key is something that should be physical.
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Old 16th November 2021, 13:19   #63
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by antz.bin View Post
Ather did not cause such a stir because ...
On the other hand, I'd say Ather did cause quite a stir! Let us not forget that the scooter was only launched in Bangalore initially and yet - it did get a fair bit of attention on the forum and otherwise. They did not even have a media fleet for many months and we still went ahead and tested the vehicle using customer-offered bikes.

Not only that - Ather did officially kickstart the proper electric scooter segment, whereas, till then the EV scooter was only viewed as a cheaper, low-cost, Chinese knock-off alternatives to the regular petrol powered scooters. With Hero Motocorp investing heavily into Ather - the others like Bajaj and TVS were forced to respond, even if just for namesake! Ather has built a brand and reputation for themselves - they can still challenge OLA if they go the big-investment and numbers way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Im not a scooter guy, but as an automobile enthusiast, I could never figure out the reason for all the excitement on this forum for the Ola scooters.
OLA promises many firsts once sorted -
1. The first premium electric scooter for many. Only those in Bangalore, Pune and some of the other Tier-I cities had access to the likes of Ather and Chetak.
2. Worry-free range! For a city like Bangalore, Ather had just about enough range, with the last few kilometers obviously going to be stressed out - whereas the S1 Pro can be no-brainer for many. My wife used to ride ~60kms everyday to work during the initial days when Ather came out - which sounded like it stretched the practical 65kms range quite thin.
3. Volumes like never seen before, with a company that promises full commitment (eventually!).
4. Performance like never seen before! Despite the throttle lag and weird calibration with the brake pedals - when it goes, it goes unlike any other scooter in the market! I am actually curious to try the Aerox 155 to see if it can at least come close.
5. Last but not least - petrol crossing Rs 120/- per litre in some places before Diwali discounts, and possibly might happen again in the future. OLA couldn't have timed this better.

That said - a lot of this is still just 'promises', 'promises'. Like you said, they could have made a much better 'first impression' without rushing the timelines so much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FuelInjector View Post
However to folks whom i speak to, they seem to be biased towards Ather. Would that be because of the first entrant advantage or do you feel their product is better?
We tested the Ather a couple of months after it came out in 2019, and it would have undergone many revisions over the past two years. But still, even comparing to our original ride of the Ather - OLA doesn't even come close to being a sorted product.

OLA does promise to be a much better product, eventually - Acceleration in hyper mode is way more than Ather, but owners will be able to enjoy it only once it offers a seamless experience after many OTA updates. Range is also much more useable in OLA, than Ather.

Also - one area where the Ather has an advantage for enthusiasts is the suspension. Whereas the unconventional suspension on the OLA felt unremarkably similar to most scooters in the market (Neither too plush, not stiff. Still handles better than ICE scooters due to the low CG), the suspension setup on the Ather felt sophisticated and fun to throw into corners.

The specs game will move faster now. If Ather comes out with a bigger battery pack and opens up in more cities - they have a chance of stealing some numbers from OLA.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 16th November 2021 at 13:21.
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Old 16th November 2021, 13:47   #64
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

I cant even think of buying powerful scooter without ABS. My Aprillia ABS has saved me n number of times in our famous Bangalore roads.
I doubt if simple one gets abs, Guess i have to wait for long time.
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Old 16th November 2021, 13:48   #65
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
I could never figure out the reason for all the excitement on this forum for the Ola scooters
Because of 2 reasons...
1. Ola brand image
2. Price (both Rs 499 & Rs 99999)

Check the ownership cost of S1 vs 125 cc scooter, the proposition is amazing. EV works bit economical for everyday use & even if the battery is replaced every 4 years. All this happens when we all lust at Ather but cribbing the unaffordable cost!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
If today, so many features are yet to be developed and tested, why not take another 6 months and showcase a finished product instead?
Time my friend, Time!! When did this all hoopla start? Jul 15 & what's today's date? Nov 16. 4 months already over; another 6 more months, market will be dominated by someone else. I was saying to my Wife jokingly that the scooter visits all bakeries & roads except where it should actually go - ARAI

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Ola seems to have tripped over themselves to get out the door and showcase something, rather than launching what they promised they would
They will eventually get over boss

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
There is an old saying, you get only one chance to make a first impression
Not really in this era; Tesla had such setbacks & finally Musk was able to arrest all of those issues night after night. I'm personally a victim of first bad impression but a satisfied owner now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
If I was buying an electric scooter, I would keep my money with me until I know that Ola will deliver a polished product with all the promised feature, at my doorstep.
Absolutely and please add - There's atleast some benefit of moving to EV

And yes...
Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Thanks for sharing such a comprehensive review of the Ola scooters, Dr CD
Super fantastic write-up

Last edited by aargee : 16th November 2021 at 13:49.
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Old 16th November 2021, 14:02   #66
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Im not a scooter guy, but as an automobile enthusiast, I could never figure out the reason for all the excitement on this forum for the Ola scooters. Nobody had seen or tested the scooter until recently but everyone wanted to pre-book one. And the initial feedback from journalists and forum members on this potential game changer has been less than promising. As a neutral observer, I would say that the Ola scooter is a disappointment.
In addition to what CD listed, here is why I feel there is huge enthusiasm for the Ola scooter.

1. Price: Ola S1 (base variant) has similar or better specs, range as Ather 450X and Bajaj Chetak but those cost 40 to 50% higher than Ola S1. It's priced very close to 125cc petrol scooters and slightly higher than 110cc scooters.

2. Range: Ola S1 pro has a ~4 kWh battery which is the highest for an electric scooter in India. Even in worse conditions, you can travel 100+ km with it. For an average user, recharging it twice a week is more than enough. The best thing is, even this high-end variant with a bigger battery, range, etc... costs Rs 15,000 to 20,000 less than Ather 450X and Chetak.

3. Availability: It's the only vehicle that is available all over India. Despite being launched more than 3 years ago, Ather is still available only in a few major cities. Chetak and iQube availability are even worse despite the huge dealership advantage compared to Ather.

4. EV: If Ola had launched an exciting petrol scooter or bike, hardly anyone would care. It being an EV is the biggest reason for all the excitement.

I would have listed it being an EV as the number reason, but it still has to be priced well and has a good range. It's a combination of all the 4 reasons listed above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
If today, so many features are yet to be developed and tested, why not take another 6 months and showcase a finished product instead?
Even with all those missing features, it's one of the best scooters in the market today and it's an EV. It's not like there are competing scooters with hill hold assist, cruise control, navigation, etc... in the market today.

Last edited by sri_tesla : 16th November 2021 at 14:06.
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Old 16th November 2021, 14:30   #67
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

Watched some of the YT videos. The product is riddled with issues.

This is what happens when a tech company launches a physical product. They need to remember that products cant be updated OTA for hardware. Even the software, cant / shouldnt be a promise of the future.

Also, I dont get the trend for Performance scooters (I am furious at this performance scooter without ABS). While we as a forum are bashing Maruti for not focussing on safety, we cant put a product like this on a pedestal. This product is a nightmare from a safety perspective because of the following reasons.
  1. "Performance" Orientation of the Scooter.
  2. Inherent instability of mopeds as a vehicle type
  3. No ABS
  4. Narrow vehicle width with the tunnel (scooters have no leg guard), more likelihood of leg injuries in case of a fall.
  5. Niggles like the "vehicle keeps accelerating for 1/2 a second" after the accelerator is released. (saw it on PowerDrift YT I think)

By the way, who are these customer who want Performance in a scooter?? I would really like to understand their thought process. Is Access level of performance no enough for the application? (which is city usage?) If you want more performance, why are you not considering safer vehicle types like a proper bike??

I honestly want OLA to succeed but this product, doesnt cut it.
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Old 16th November 2021, 14:46   #68
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

None of the reviews that I have seen are talking about this point - what kind of service guarantee is ola offering for these digital scooters! If the software malfunctions and the scooter stops midway, you are stranded. What to do next? You cannot push it to your nearest mechanic right?

* Call the helpline & pray?
* Do they have any SLA for roadside support?
* What if the issue is not sorted out in a couple of hours?
* Do they provide a spare if your scooty is faulty & needs repair?
* What is the benefit of ola insurance beyond traditional coverage against loss & damage?
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Old 16th November 2021, 14:50   #69
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

I feel Ola needs a good 6 months to iron out the kinks and processes to have a product that will have no major concerns.

I feel I should hold of purchase till at least 3 months for Ola to catch up. The Beta testing of the software and the scooter should be complete by then.
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Old 16th November 2021, 15:22   #70
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

As a man north of 100 kgs, would this scooter struggle with the weight.
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Old 16th November 2021, 15:44   #71
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

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Originally Posted by technofunky View Post
As a man north of 100 kgs, would this scooter struggle with the weight.
I don't think so, even traditional scooters do not struggle with much load. I've seen people carrying so many stuff on scooter ( sometimes even livestock - chicken and goats !) So don't worry, this Ola scooter has enough torque got you covered
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Old 16th November 2021, 16:08   #72
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by technofunky View Post
As a man north of 100 kgs, would this scooter struggle with the weight.
With a torque of 58NM it has the torque of a small car. Well almost!!. let alone a 400cc bike. None of the scooters have even half of the torque figure that this Scooter produces

It will lug 4 people with relative ease if you want to test it. The seat is pretty wide and comfortable owing to the large storage under the seat.
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Old 16th November 2021, 16:56   #73
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000rpm View Post
Watched some of the YT videos. The product is riddled with issues.

This is what happens when a tech company launches a physical product. They need to remember that products cant be updated OTA for hardware. Even the software, cant / shouldnt be a promise of the future.

Also, I dont get the trend for Performance scooters (I am furious at this performance scooter without ABS). While we as a forum are bashing Maruti for not focussing on safety, we cant put a product like this on a pedestal. This product is a nightmare from a safety perspective because of the following reasons.
  1. "Performance" Orientation of the Scooter.
  2. Inherent instability of mopeds as a vehicle type
  3. No ABS
  4. Narrow vehicle width with the tunnel (scooters have no leg guard), more likelihood of leg injuries in case of a fall.
  5. Niggles like the "vehicle keeps accelerating for 1/2 a second" after the accelerator is released. (saw it on PowerDrift YT I think)

By the way, who are these customer who want Performance in a scooter?? I would really like to understand their thought process. Is Access level of performance no enough for the application? (which is city usage?) If you want more performance, why are you not considering safer vehicle types like a proper bike??

I honestly want OLA to succeed but this product, doesnt cut it.
The product has a handful of issues on the software side which can be fixed with OTA updates sooner. In a couple of months , there should be a reasonably stable scooter. Mechanically, its a capable scooter with minor issues of fit and finish with few poorly executed elements like the sharp luggage hook, Grab rail and the cheap rubber buttons. Have no doubts on it being a capable and well designed scooter.

I totally agree on the Performance point being the biggest Achilles heel of the Ola which could have been avoided if not for the bragging rights Ola wanted. Some land speed records they are after to please whom god almighty knows

They could have pegged the speed at 90kmph and still most of us would have drooled over it. For the initial lot at least they could have limited the speed and they could have figured out later with better battery management and fixes and then rolled out the speed increase. I see that the underbelly has holes for heat dissipation and wondering if it would need any cooling fan system to augment.

The narrow tunnel couldn't be avoided owing to the initial design of chassis and battery pack housing. Think of it as the initial days Bajaj Chetak and you will get used to it.

ABS is a miss but would have driven costs by another 10K easily which they dint have to plan in the first place if they had toned down the performance part. I will also be concerned with the belt drive quality as well if subjected to higher stress loads at higher speed and spirited acceleration. Testing is a big suspect I feel as they did not share any data on to what extent it has been tested. The vehicle is not that narrow and looks aesthetically well proportioned.

Bhavish is like our PM. Big on blockbuster announcements but a lil lagging in delivery .
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Old 16th November 2021, 17:41   #74
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

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Originally Posted by muni View Post
With a torque of 58NM it has the torque of a small car. Well almost!!. let alone a 400cc bike. None of the scooters have even half of the torque figure that this Scooter produces

It will lug 4 people with relative ease if you want to test it. The seat is pretty wide and comfortable owing to the large storage under the seat.
Wow nice to know, the scooter looked puny (at least in photos) so was curious if it can handle overweight riders.
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Old 16th November 2021, 18:27   #75
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

As far as comparisons between Ola and Ather go, if Ather 450X is available as an option, then in my opinion, it should be a no brainer for people to choose a proven workhorse with good support network. Ola's product needs time to stabilise. As someone who owns an Ather 450X, I can vouch that it is flickable, fun to drive and gives you driver confidence. Ather 450X Specifications.

Though, I really want Ola to succeed just to get Bajaj, TVS and the rest moving.

Last edited by ohaak : 16th November 2021 at 18:29.
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