It was last year when Ola Electric revealed the Ola S1 and S1 Pro and in the months that followed, it became the most talked about electric scooter in India for a variety of reasons and continues to be so, even today. The Ola electric scooter did not have the best start to its innings in India. There were all sorts of controversies around the scooter, fires, breakdowns, glitches, instances of scooter going reverse at high speeds. But at the same time, it holds a lot of promise too! And why do we say that? You will see.
Also Read: Ola Teases Electric Car
Ola S1 Pro Design and Quality
Starting off with the design, the Ola S1 Pro is a good-looking scooter, with nice and smooth flowing lines, a hint of Vespa-inspired front apron and the single-sided suspension up front, giving a nice peek of the alloy wheel. The fit and finish though seems to be lacking with plastic bits that aren’t the best in segment. That feel of solidity is missing and Ola could probably rectify the same in future updates.
The two projector lamps and the smiley-faced LED daytime running light add that hint of modernity and youthfulness 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 colour our test scooter came in.
What we are not very fond of are rubber buttons on switchgear. You miss the tactile feel of plastic buttons and while the functioning is alright, you will take a decent time to get used to them.
Also Read: Ola Launches Move OS 2.0 For S1 Pro Users
Ola S1 Pro Tech and Features
Technology is a key USP for any electric two-wheeler and the Ola S1 Pro gets loads of it and then some more. All the functions of the scooter can be accessed via a 7-inch TFT touchscreen which is not the most responsive, but it works. Ola offers in-built navigation that is offered by MapMyIndia, then there’s Bluetooth connectivity, which can be used to play music from your phone on to the speakers in the front apron. The sound output is not too bad either, but not what an audiophile would want.
Other features include cruise control, a low-speed reversing mode and digital locking and unlocking for the scooter as well as the under-seat storage space. So, in short, there is no key needed at all, but that may raise safety concerns and in case your scooter is fully out of charge, the boot won’t open! So, that’s not very comforting. The one issue that bugged us was that the under-seat storage space refused to open at the first go, while shooting, but a quick reboot and the functioning was back to normal. So, as it turns out, the Move OS 2.0 update is yet to squash all the bugs!
Safety and security features include an anti-theft alert system, geo-fencing, as well as hill hold system, voice assist and cruise control on the S1 Pro. And Ola offers over-the-air updates for the scooter and the company says that a typical over-the-air update can take anywhere between 60-90 minutes, depending on the internet speed.
The scooter offers a comfortable perch for the rider, with seat height of 792 mm. there is enough space even for taller riders too but one does sit knees up. The centre tunnel is not very convenient, considering a flat footboard makes more sense. In terms of practicality, there is a USB charger and the underseat storage space is a cavernous 36 litres. It will very well fit two half-face helmets with space for few other things but not deep enough to fit in a full-face helmet, well not an ECE specced unit.
Also Read: Ola S1 Pro Prices Hiked By ₹ 10,0000
Ola S1 Pro Technical Specifications and Range
Both 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 pack. Now, the maximum claimed range on the scooter is 181 km while the company says that the true range is about 135 km on a single charge.
We started our day with 100 per cent charge and covered around 110 km, including a few high-speed runs in hyper and sports mode and regular riding to our usual shoot location. We managed to return home with just 20 km left, which sits with the true range that Ola advertises, so full marks there. The total time taken for the scooter to charge from nought to full is about 6.5 hours, which is consistent with our charge times.
Ola S1 Pro Performance and Dynamics
With the coming of the Move OS 2.0, Ola receives a new riding mode, that is Eco and this is in addition to the other three riding modes which are Normal, Sports and Hyper. The eco mode comes on by default when the battery drops to less than 15 per cent in order to increase battery efficiency. The top speed is governed differently in different modes, and the real-time range reduces or increases as per the mode chosen. Now, Ola claims 0-60 kmph acceleration time of 5 seconds in hyper mode and it isn’t too far from what we actually experienced. Probably a person with lesser weight could have probably gotten better acceleration.
The Ola S1 Pro is really quick off the block, especially in sports and hyper mode. And the same sense of urgency comes in handy when you want to make quick overtaking manoeuvres. As a daily city runabout, it makes for a lot of sense. It is fun to ride, nimble, agile making it easier for you to filter through traffic. A kerb weight of 121 kg is light enough for you to hustle the scooter through congested roads or narrow lanes.
Our time spent 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 very well, but go over sharp-edged bumps at slower speeds and you will feel the suspension working hard under you. The braking is more or less on point, with strong bite and decent feedback although they can still lock up under panic braking.
Ola S1 Pro Verdict
Our Ola S1 Pro experience left us with a good taste. The initial bugs and glitches that were reported by customers seem to have been sorted and our ride went smoothly without a hassle. Of course, there are the good and bad bits, but overall, the Ola S1 Pro is a good package, offers good performance, is practical and has lots of tech. And at ₹ 1.4 lakh (ex-showroom), we are really keen on pitting it against the Ather 450X and the TVS iQube, two of the best EVs in the business. Now, that would be an electrifying comparison! If you want that story too, let us know and we will make it happen!