It was last year that Ola Electric unveiled the Ola S1 and S1 Pro and in the months that followed it became the most talked about electric scooter in India for various reasons and continues to be so, even today. The Ola electric scooter hasn’t had the best start to its innings in India. There have been all sorts of controversies surrounding the scooter, fires, breakdowns, glitches, instances of the scooter reversing at high speed. But at the same time, it is also very promising! And why do we say that? You will see.
Also Read: Ola Teases Electric Car
Design and quality Ola S1 Pro
Starting with the design, the Ola S1 Pro is a handsome scooter, with pleasing flowing lines, a hint of Vespa-inspired front apron and the single-sided suspension up front, giving a nice look at the alloy wheel. Fit and finish, however, seem to be lacking with plastic ear tips that aren’t the best in the segment. This feeling of solidity is missing and Ola could probably rectify the situation in future updates.
Dual headlights and smiling LED daytime running lights add a modern, youthful touch to what is otherwise a classic scooter design. The rear is sleek and the overall design is proportionate, making for good road presence, especially in the color of our test scooter.
What we don’t like much are the rubber buttons on the fittings. You miss the tactile feel of the plastic buttons and although they work fine, you’ll take a decent amount of time to get used to them.
Also read: Ola releases Move OS 2.0 for S1 Pro users
Technology and features Ola S1 Pro
Technology is a key USP for any electric two-wheeler and the Ola S1 Pro gets a lot of it, and then even more. All of the scooter’s functions are accessed via a 7-inch TFT touchscreen which isn’t the most responsive, but works. Ola offers built-in navigation courtesy of MapMyIndia, then there’s Bluetooth connectivity, which can be used to play music from your phone through the front apron speakers. Audio output isn’t too bad either, but not what an audiophile would want.
Other features include cruise control, a low-speed reverse mode and digital scooter lock and unlock as well as under-seat storage. So, in short, there is no need for a key at all, but it can cause security issues and if your scooter is completely unloaded, the trunk won’t open! So it’s not very comforting. The only issue that bothered us was that the storage space under the seat refused to open on the first try, while filming, but a quick reboot and it was back to normal. So, it turns out that the Move OS 2.0 update hasn’t squashed all the bugs yet!
Also read: Ola Electric is looking for partners to set up an EV battery factory in India
Safety and security features include an anti-theft warning system, geofencing, as well as hill-holding, voice assistance and cruise control on the S1 Pro. And Ola offers over-the-air updates for the scooter and the company says a typical over-the-air update can take between 60 and 90 minutes, depending on internet speed.
The scooter offers a comfortable perch for the rider, with a seat height of 792mm. there is enough space even for taller riders, but one sits on the knees. The central tunnel is not very practical, since a flat footboard makes more sense. In terms of practicality, there’s a USB charger and under-seat storage is a cavernous 36 litres. It will fit two half face helmets just fine with space for little else but not deep enough to fit in a full face helmet, not an ECE specified unit.
Also Read: Ola S1 Pro Prices Increased by ₹10,000
Technical specifications and range Ola S1 Pro
The S1 and S1 Pro are powered by the same electric motor with an output of 8.5 kW and 58 Nm of maximum torque. The S1 Pro gets a 3.97 kWh battery. Now, the maximum claimed range on the scooter is 181km, while the company claims the actual range is around 135km on a single charge.
We started our day with a 100 per cent charge and covered around 110km, including some high-speed runs in hyper and sport mode and a steady ride to our usual filming location. We managed to get home with just 20km to go, which is the true range Ola claims, so full marks there. The total time it takes for the scooter to charge from zero to full is around 6.5 hours, which matches our charging times.
Performance and dynamics Ola S1 Pro
With the arrival of Move OS 2.0, Ola receives a new driving mode, i.e. Eco and this is added to the other three driving modes which are Normal, Sports and Hyper. Eco mode activates by default when the battery drops below 15% to increase battery efficiency. Maximum speed is governed differently by mode, and real-time range decreases or increases depending on the mode chosen. Now Ola claims a 0-60mph acceleration time of 5 seconds in hyper mode and that’s not too far off from what we actually experienced. A person with less weight probably could have gotten better acceleration.
The Ola S1 Pro is really fast, especially in sport and hyper mode. And the same sense of urgency comes in handy when you want to perform quick overtaking maneuvers. As an everyday urban runabout, it makes a lot of sense. It’s fun to ride, nimble and nimble, making it easier for you to filter through traffic. A curb weight of 121 kg is light enough to allow you to jostle the scooter on congested roads or narrow lanes.
Our time with the Ola S1 Pro revealed that the suspension is stiffer than we would have liked. At relatively higher speeds the ride is plush and works great, but go over sharp bumps at slower speeds and you’ll feel the suspension working hard under you. Braking is more or less precise, with strong bite and decent feedback, although they can still lock up under emergency braking.
Verdict Ola S1 Pro
Our Ola S1 Pro experience left us with a good taste. The initial bugs and issues reported by customers seem to have been fixed and our ride went smoothly. Of course, there are good and bad sides, but overall the Ola S1 Pro is a good package, offers good performance, is practical and has a lot of technology. And at ₹1.4 lakh (ex-showroom), we really want to pit it against the Ather 450X and TVS iQube, two of the best EVs in the business. Now, that would be an electrifying comparison! If you want this story too, let us know and we’ll make it happen!
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