Ola Electric has created a huge amount of anticipation around its first-ever offering for the Indian two-wheeler market, the S1 electric scooter. The S1 is available in two versions – the standard S1 and S1 Pro, both of which have generated immense demand, thus causing a backlog of bookings.
Ola is yet to deliver fully on its promises, with the delay and slow pace of production causing further headaches for the buyers. However, there is a piece of information, which can come across as both good or bad for the customers waiting for the base version of the scooter, the Ola S1.
Ola will upgrade the scooters of S1 buyers
Ola Electric has decided to upgrade the base version of the Ola S1 electric scooter with the hardware of the S1 Pro, which includes a bigger 3.97 kWh battery pack in place of 2.98 kWh as promised earlier. This upgrade is being offered free of cost, as some insiders claim that it is a welcoming move for those people who are waiting for the base S1 for a long time.
However, there’s a catch to the whole story. While Ola is giving a bigger battery at the same cost of Rs 99,999, it will continue to offer the same performance and range obtained from the smaller 2.98 kWh. If you want to utilize the full potential of the bigger 3.97 kWh battery pack and have access to other premium features included in the hardware like higher top speed, higher charging rate, ‘Hyper’ riding mode, cruise control, hill hold assist, and more, you will have to pay a hefty premium of Rs 30,000.
This premium will bring in a software upgrade pack, which will unlock the full potential of the upgraded hardware. However, with this premium, the Ola S1 will cost the same as the Ola S1 Pro, which currently retails at Rs 1,29,999.
The good and the bad
Let’s start with the good bits first. The buyers of the base version of the Ola S1 will get a bigger battery pack at the price of the base S1. Depending on whether the buyer wants to upgrade to better performance and access to more features as and when required, he is free to choose the upgrade, without selling off the S1 and getting a new S1 Pro.
However, if the buyer is not willing to pay the extra premium, he will have to live with the bigger battery pack offering the performance of the smaller 2.98 kWh battery pack. The added weight of the bigger battery pack without any boost in performance in its original spec will harm the performance of the base S1. It means that the overall performance, top speed, and maximum riding range of the base S1 are surely going to take a hit.
Considering that there have been many buyers who were attracted by the lower price point and decent features, this might come as a disappointment. Ola Electric is already under scrutiny for mismanagement in its production planning, which has already caused a lot of delays, and below-average fit and finish quality in the scooters of the first lot of deliveries. Now only time will tell that how much worth will the Ola S1 prove in the real world, rather than being a superstar just on paper.