2021 Ola S1 Pro review, first ride
The Ola electric scooter has been the talk of the town in the recent past. Apart from storming through social media, the company also launched the scooters officially and opened bookings. From then on, we have all been waiting for the opportunity to ride these scooters, and finally, we got a taster of the Ola S1 Pro variant. Here is how they fared.
The overall design of the Ola S1 Pro is rather sleek. The side stand and rear footrest slide into the bodywork. What was surprising is the fact that the S1 Pro does not get a flat floor.
Ola S1 Pro: Design details
The Ola S1 Pro, to begin with, is broadly based on the Etergo AppScooter. However, Ola has extensively worked on the internals to make them very different. When it comes to looks, the Ola and the Etergo have a lot in common. The front end boasts a single-sided suspension which features a monoshock atop. The Ola rides on 12in MRF Zapper tyres and features disc brakes upfront and at the back. It features a combined brake system and does not get ABS. The front shield looks smooth and features flush-fit LED indicators. The headlamp is a cheeky-looking thing and features modern lighting tech.
The all-digital instrument panel is much like an Android tablet. It operates all functions including locking and unlocking passcodes. The system also displays navigation. The switchgear offers a crisp feel. Note the ‘R’ on the left side of the switchgear which is used to activate the reverse function.
The instrument panel is the brain of the scooter and is much like an Android tablet. It operates various functions of the scooters including locking and unlocking, navigation, and more, apart from showing basic functions like speed and range. It can also be customized to suit individual tastes. The panel is easy to read on the go and is among the prime features of the scooter. The scooter also features keyless go and can also be operated via passcodes. One can also have individual profiles set with geofencing and alerts. The switchgear is quite comprehensive and there is a reverse function as well. The front apron also houses a USB port and speakers which operate the horn, indicator buzzers, and can even play tunes. The seat is a large unit and offers ample space. With a seat height of 792mm, most Indians will find the scooter comfortable to ride. Ergonomics is also spot on. The same can be said about the floorboards.
The under-seat storage is cavernous and you can take in two half-face helmets. In all, it offers 36 litres of cargo space. It is operable via the instrument panel.
Under the seat, though, is where Ola has managed to liberate lots of space. Two half helmets can be parked here with ease. Overall, the under-seat bin offers 36 litres of cargo space. At the back, flush-fit LED taillights look good, and then there is a port to charge the scooter as well. The Ola scooters are also being offered in a range of bright colors and the scoot sure looks snazzy. However, we did notice blemishes on the paint and panel gaps on our test vehicle. But we understand that these units were pre-production units, and we are sure the production scooters will offer better quality.
The S1 Pro comes with a unique mono-shock at the back. The scooter gets an electric motor with a peak output of 8.5kW. The top speed is claimed to be 115kmph. The scooter also gets three ride modes, with the Hyper mode being the sportiest of them all.
Ola S1 Pro: Technical details, battery capacity, charging options
The Ola S1 Pro features a tubular frame. The scooter is powered by an 8.5kW electric motor which is powered by a 3.97kWh fixed battery pack. The scooter has a claimed top speed of 115kmph and can zip to 60kmph in five seconds. There are three ride modes on tap, which include Normal, Sport, and Hyper. The Ola S1 Pro comes with multiple charging options. The home charger can juice up the scoot in six and a half hours, while one can get a range of 75km in 18 minutes when a fast charger is used. When it comes to range, Ola claims that the S1 Pro can offer a maximum range of 181km on a single charge.
The scooter offers loads of power and the three modes make for very different riding experiences. The modes also make a lot of difference when it comes to battery performance. (Image: Harvinder Singh)
Ola S1 Pro: How it is to ride
Every electric scooter ride happens to be a very different one when compared to conventional ICE-powered units. However, the Ola makes it a little more special thanks to the technology it offers. The scooter activates using proximity sensors or a passcode. The entire system is digital and this includes the locking and unlocking functions. Once the scooter activates, just a gentle twist of the wrist is enough to get it going. There is no lag in power delivery either and this is the case in all three modes. On the go, one can hear the electric motor whine, but it is definitely not an irritant. Moreover, one can negate it by playing tunes from the speakers provided. We are happy to report that the three modes on the Ola scooter are very distinct from each other and also that the Hyper mode is the most fun. The scooter sure takes off like a bullet and overtaking traffic is going to be an easy task. The scooter also holds its ground well. On the downside, we sure missed having ABS on the scooter as a hard braking maneuver results in the rear wheel locking up.
When it comes to riding quality, we think that the front end is a bit stiff while the rear is a soft setup. At slow speeds, the quality of the ride was rather comfortable, and no jolts were felt. The scooter also feels light on the go and this means that the Ola will be easy to handle through traffic. Speaking of traffic, the Ola also comes with a reversing function which should surely come in handy when parking the scooter in tight spaces.
Ola S1 Pro: Verdict
In the general scheme of things, we get to ride vehicles on the road. But for this quick ride, Ola kept us within the confines of a small area. So we cannot call this a full-blown review. But with the very little time we got with the S1 Pro, we can say that it is an interesting offering from Ola. The number of features it offers should keep tech nerds and youngsters happy. It also features a rather soothing design which should aptly make it a family scoot. It also impressed us with its performance. Sure there were some quality issues, but they are sure to be sorted out in production units. Apart from that, all Ola needs to do now is to no longer keep people waiting and start deliveries.
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