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Old 16th November 2021, 19:11   #76
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

Let me try to sum up my thoughts on the Ola launch with a simple analogy. In a world of smartphones where battery life of the best phones, lasts only for a day or two, a new company emerges and promises to rewrite the game of battery life and extended usability. It takes money from people for pre-bookings and builds up expectation levels with the carrot of never before seen features and functionality. But instead of focusing on the best battery or the most optimized software, the new company loads in the latest Snapdragon 999 chipset for the fastest performance to run Halo 5, when everyone and their grandmother is looking for the longest battery life and is happy to play Candy Crush on it.

Also, when the media gets its hands on the supposed cutting edge phone, all that the device can do, is make calls. That too with the phone hanging during a call and / or overheating and / or lagging. As for the rest of the expected features, none of them work on the phones sent to the media or the display pieces that are in Croma and Reliance Digital and your neighbourhood mobile dealer. So you will have to wait for bluetooth and wifi and hotspot features to be enabled on the phones, in the near (or distant) future, with no time lines being committed.

Would you still pay Rs 70,000 for the said phone, just because it is cheaper than the Samsung S21 and Iphone 13, or would you wait for it to be a finished product before you part with your money?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
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!
For a scooter that 'promised' (there is that word again) so many features, it is baffling that almost all of them were not available on the official test rides that the company organized and invited the media to. I cannot recall a single two wheeler launch in India where the media had to say that it is better not to buy this vehicle now, but to wait and see.

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Originally Posted by muni View Post
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.
Actually, it should be the opposite. Considering the volumes in question, an annual capacity of 10 million units, as per our official review, the incremental cost of offering ABS would have been negligible considering the economies of scale.

Or did the rushed schedule lead to ABS being removed from this performance EV? Bear in mind, that Ola cant add ABS through an OTA update. For a performance oriented scooter that is promising the longest range (!!!), not having ABS can be downright dangerous. Here we scoff at manufacturers cutting corners and offering single channel ABS instead of dual channel ABS but this scooter doesnt even get ABS!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Because of 2 reasons...
1. Ola brand image
2. Price (both Rs 499 & Rs 99999)
If the Ola brand wasnt on the exact same scooter, and the launch went exactly as it did, would people still wait in line to buy the same product?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
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
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Originally Posted by sri_tesla View Post
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.
Keeping aside the missing features and all that baggage, just the fact that the scooter doesnt have ABS, is dying on test rides, the throttle doesnt cut when you let it go, is overheating in cool Bangalore weather, itself is really concerning. God forbid, people start having accidents due to some of these current flaws. Ola can say goodbye to any dreams of success and all that investor cash will go up in flames.

Between paying money for petrol at Rs 110 / litre for riding a traditional scooter with 100% peace of mind and paying Rs 1 per km for riding an incomplete, poorly calibrated, potentially dangerous EV that has no end date for software updates, I will play it safe and stick to a traditional scooter. I respect the choice of others to go the Ola way, but I cannot recommend it in good faith.
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Old 16th November 2021, 19:19   #77
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

I think they can add a fan to the motor, not all drive in Hyper mode all the time. But then again not all drive in a cold place like bangalore( the days of test drive). So they should add a fan and heatsink shroud.

But hitting the brakes causing the throttle to cut needs to be fixed. I think when they enable regen it should sort that out.

The buttons also need to be improved.
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Old 16th November 2021, 20:06   #78
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
If the Ola brand wasnt on the exact same scooter, and the launch went exactly as it did, would people still wait in line to buy the same product?
Yes anything sells in this country boss!! I cancelled because one morning I had a dream; when I woke up I tried recalling the dream which was something like...

A big faint figure was holding a stick & showing me a blackboard & there were faint pictures or motion pictures on it. I don't recall what exactly was seen, but they were like Freedom 251 cellphone & Dilip Chhabria and somehow I got closer to the faint figure that reminded of Vijay Mallya.

The dream actually concludes nothing!! But I was determined to lose more money for a reliable product than drafting first review of Ola scooter here. Besides the models are only going to get in the forthcoming years, so decided to cancel, took the refund money, paid Rs 5384 to Didar motors & got my Activa in near pristine condition. I'm positive it can withstand for another 10K more Km!!

I really wish OATS, Bajaj, TVS, Hero, Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha & even RE compete successfully in EV segment in India & launch better, useable & practical products for everyday use for every aam aadmi

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
I will play it safe and stick to a traditional scooter
I'm with you on it & hence fixed our Activa for now while eyeing between Jupiter, Access & RayZR 125
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Old 16th November 2021, 20:31   #79
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

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Originally Posted by fuzzydealhunter View Post
So it seems like Ather is the exception and not the rule in this case.
In case of Ather too, it’s not like they categorically announced the price of the battery during the launch.

They had majorly two buying options - Subscription and complete purchase.The complete purchase was priced at ₹159000. The Subscription was like a battery lease plan where the user could pay ₹99000 upfront and get the scooter registered minus the battery. Over and above this, the user had to pay a monthly sum of ₹1999 for the battery for 3 years.

After the launch program in the FAQ session while talking in detail about the plans they told that the difference between the two purchase options is basically the battery cost and the Monthly Subscription fees is like a loan EMI for the Battery.

It's another fact that the Subscription model never came into beins it was scrapped even before deliveries of the 450x began.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 16th November 2021 at 22:32. Reason: Minor typo.
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Old 16th November 2021, 21:00   #80
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

Is it confirmed it has no side footrest for pillion? And they say it is by design and can't be remedied? Whom are they kidding! Then how are my sari clad missus and mom going to sit on the pillion? Will I even be permitted to buy a scooter in which they can never ride pillion? Perish the thought!

Jokes apart, this simple thing can be a deal breaker for a lot of families, especially rural families. Millenials are not going to be the only customers. Not at the numbers they are targeting. They should seriously address this problem.

I like the motor. I like the chassis. I like the performance figures. I like the looks of the scooter. The wheels and tyres look good. Why not give them to me with normal instrumentation and locks, just like the Activa or Access? I really don't want a smartphone on wheels. I certainly don't want it to talk to me! If I want to use Google maps I will use my phone on a holder.

Last edited by Gansan : 16th November 2021 at 21:04.
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Old 16th November 2021, 21:49   #81
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

Wonder how they had a launch after taking all the time in the world and still sending out a half baked product for the media rides.
Almost all the reviews mention about the throttle response issue which a really serious one !
Why are brands not launching the removable battery packs? Wouldn't that boost sales? Would be a boon for people who don't have charging infrastructure in or around their building. Is it because they are too heavy to carry around or are they a safety hazzard?

Last edited by hareshjethwani : 16th November 2021 at 22:19.
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Old 16th November 2021, 21:57   #82
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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
I am trying to understand the performance metrics of EVs and the S1 in particular and relate it to known benchmarks. With a power of 8.5KW (or 12bhp) it is comparable to say, an Aprilia SR160, but with a torque of 58NM it is in the range of a Honda CB650R!

Where exactly does the performance of the S1 EV lie?
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Old 16th November 2021, 22:08   #83
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post

Between paying money for petrol at Rs 110 / litre for riding a traditional scooter with 100% peace of mind and paying Rs 1 per km for riding an incomplete, poorly calibrated, potentially dangerous EV that has no end date for software updates, I will play it safe and stick to a traditional scooter. I respect the choice of others to go the Ola way, but I cannot recommend it in good faith.
Neil, at the risk of going off topic here, I've always admired your honest feedbacks with good analogies ! They provide honest, to the point review of new launches
Coming to the topic, this is exactly what I thought when we were discussing about replacing our old scooters at home. As of now all the EVs being launched in India are in nascent phase, and charging infrastructure is also at a tiny scale. With this and the teething issues all new launches are facing, one wouldn't want to be a guinea pig ! I'm going to stick with my conventional scooters few years more and then make the switch to EV scoot/bike.
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Old 16th November 2021, 22:25   #84
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Bear in mind, that Ola cant add ABS through an OTA update.
I wouldn't be too sure of that. It is possible to simulate ABS like behavior by varying the duration and direction of the torque of the motor.

Since OLA already includes hill hold and reversing functions, the motor controller already has the necessary hardware to implement ABS like functionality via software. Whether they do it or not is another story.

Did some light digging and found a paper discussing the same. Source
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Old 16th November 2021, 22:26   #85
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

How well would the touchscreen work when covered in rain/mud/dust?
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Old 16th November 2021, 22:31   #86
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeeTee TSI View Post
I am trying to understand the performance metrics of EVs and the S1 in particular and relate it to known benchmarks. With a power of 8.5KW (or 12bhp) it is comparable to say, an Aprilia SR160, but with a torque of 58NM it is in the range of a Honda CB650R!

Where exactly does the performance of the S1 EV lie?
The torque figures of both S1 and S1 Pro are the same at a mind numbing 58Nm with 8.5Kw of Power. It means both have the same electric motor with different battery packs.

Performance metrics part, cant be really sure how they have been benchmarked and tuned by the OLA folks. It needs a good battery management system BMS) tuning. There would be obvious effects of the Belt drive transmission losses, Tyre Size, Chassis, Suspension limitations and Battery discharge.

Lots of cutting edge research is happening in BMS and cant find too much of expert literature on 2 wheeler EVs. Would be curious to know how this works.

Am expecting that there would be a lot of feedback from sensors on battery drain, Power output, Torque figures and Temperature readings. It would be kind of an art to manage all of these together and tweak the Normal, Sport and Hyper mode ensuring good battery and motor life.

It needs a lot of testing and calibration to get the balance right with respect to throttle inputs.
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Old 16th November 2021, 22:31   #87
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

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Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
Is it confirmed it has no side footrest for pillion? And they say it is by design and can't be remedied?
Yes that is the official reply I received from the management. We were informed that a rear guard will be offered as an accessory, but a pillion footrest is not.

But looking at some of the other pictures online (after Hemanth was informed at the TD event on this being an accessory) - looks like the rear guard has a footrest along with it. So either the management is wrong, or some of the product shots are wrong. Guess we will need to find out!

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 16th November 2021 at 22:38.
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Old 17th November 2021, 10:05   #88
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

As much I am impressed by the on-paper specs, I'll always steer clear of both products primarily because they have the Ola badge.

Not sure how many people here actually work in the Auto industry, but Ola's reputation isn't great. Bhavish is an ambitious business person, but he doesn't understand hardware tech and automobiles are some of the most complex out there.

1. The scooters aren't designed for the Indian environment and have undergone little mechanical modification. So long term reliability is a huge question (Industry Insider Gossip: Their chassis cracked during abuse track testing)

2. Ola doesn't have a strong engineering/product/quality team. People compare them to Ather, but Ather is run by some of the best product people in the country. Their co-founders themselves come from a strong engineering background. There's a huge difference

3. Adding to the above point, Ather knew their 1st Gen product (450) was buggy and hence limited themselves to only 1 city and a few thousand deliveries. Once they resolved all bugs in the 2nd Gen product (450X), they are scaling across the country. Ola has bugs, as seen in most reviews posted online but are still planning to launch aggressively. That's a stupid thing to do

4. Coming to the important bits: Battery & Motor. Neither are liquid cooled because neither were designed for Indian ambient conditions. Good luck operating in 40 degree in the summer. Ather has a fan cooled Motor and pseudo liquid cooled battery pack

5. Pricing: All these are introductory prices only. Their battery size is approx 4kWh compared to Ather's 2.8 kWh. That's almost 1.5 times, additionally the motor is bigger as well. Yet, they are pricing lower than Ather by 20k. Ather is just earning some profit on unit sales. So unless Ola is planning to sell their scooter at 50% loss perpetually, expect a steep price rise over the next 2 years.

6. One issue observed in test runs was the initial lag in throttle response. That's not something you can fix via OTA. That lag exists because motor is designed to cut-off if brakes are applied, similar to all the Chinese scooters. In ICE scooters, engine doesn't cut-off when brakes are applied, just goes into idling. All the electric scooters in India have this issue except Ather, because they replicated the ICE behaviour. (Motor doesn't turn off completely even if brakes are applied). Unless Ola can redesign their throttle and write a new firmware for their motor control, this issue is here to stay. They can minimize it, but let's see.

I really hope Ola can somehow pull through so there's some genuine competition in the EV industry. But the sensible side of me is 99% sure they will fail.
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Old 17th November 2021, 10:35   #89
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

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Originally Posted by amey027 View Post
6. One issue observed in test runs was the initial lag in throttle response. That's not something you can fix via OTA. That lag exists because motor is designed to cut-off if brakes are applied, similar to all the Chinese scooters.
Just to clarify further - Not only with the brakes (you are right about that point), but I also felt a throttle lag many times even when pulling the throttle open from idle.

Similar to how an automatic car takes a second before realising the correct gear and proceeds to respond to your accelerator input - sometimes the OLA just seems to pause before responding to a wide open throttle. The response at times just isn't instantaneous as you would expect in an electric scooter with such high torque output off idle.

This is accentuated in Hyper Mode with the throttle suddenly opened up and not really bothersome in Normal. This particular behaviour is something OLA should be able to sort out with OTA updates.

On the hardware part - you're right. The over heating issues faced on some media bikes shouldn't be taken lightly. It was a chill morning in Bangalore even without the rains - and I'm really surprised if it still couldn't handle a few minutes of speed runs.

I'll personally prefer to wait out the initial couple of months.
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Old 17th November 2021, 11:05   #90
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Re: Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review

You forget that Ather incurred heavy R&D expenditure over years. With Ola it is either royalty based on units they sell/technology buy out. That gives them pricing power over competition.
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Originally Posted by amey027 View Post
Pricing: All these are introductory prices only. Their battery size is approx 4kWh compared to Ather's 2.8 kWh. That's almost 1.5 times, additionally the motor is bigger as well. Yet, they are pricing lower than Ather by 20k. Ather is just earning some profit on unit sales. So unless Ola is planning to sell their scooter at 50% loss perpetually, expect a steep price rise over the next 2 years
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