2021 Ola S1 Electric Scooter : 7 Pros & 7 Cons

The Ola S1 is the first product from a startup giant and performance is certainly the most important aspect to test. Still running a Beta version of the software and with ongoing improvements, there were some rough edges, but the overall experience was good enough to state with confidence that petrol engine competitors really need to pay attention to this electric rival.

Ola S1 Pros

  • India’s first mass-produced electric vehicle. A market disruptor with solid potential
  • Looks futuristic, sleek, yet classy enough to appeal to all and offend none. Build quality, colour options on offer and the feel of materials is good for the segment too
  • Well priced for the best-in-class specs on offer. Better performance than any mass-market scooter on sale in India
  • Worry-free range for daily runs - ARAI-certified range of 121 km for the S1 and 181 km for the S1 Pro as per IDC
  • Loaded with technology and features - large touchscreen and connected features, keyless access, reverse assist, onboard navigation, hill hold (Pro), cruise control (Pro) and more
  • Deliveries claimed to start parallelly in 1,000+ cities across the country. No (customer-facing) dealership model is great on paper. Home delivery and service with predictive maintenance for items like brake pad wear
  • Committed hyper charger network looks impressive on paper - 400+ cities, 1,00,000+ charging points and 75 km of range topped up in 18 minutes

Ola S1 Cons

  • Over-optimistic initial timelines have been missed a few times already
  • Some major misses (ABS, flat floorboard, removable battery pack, pillion side footrest, etc) could be a deterrent in achieving the ambitious sales targets
  • As on the day of our tests, the product feels rushed into production and a lot more fine-tuning of the power delivery is required for a perfect riding experience (media drive bikes were still running beta software)
  • Many of the headline features are still in beta (some even alpha) testing stages and will be delivered to customers slowly via OTA updates. Initial customers will need to be patient
  • Despite being priced well, the S1 is still significantly more expensive than the ubiquitous volume-seller, the Honda Activa (without state subsidies, where applicable)
  • Concerns over the effectiveness of the new dealerless support model, especially in semi-urban and rural areas. The first point of contact for customers is the OLA Electric App / customer care call centre
  • Concerns over initial niggles and longevity of a brand new, mass-manufactured product from a startup company

Read Team-BHP's Detailed Ola S1 Electric Scooter Review.

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