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What is it?
This is the Ola S1 Pro electric scooter. In a market that is being spoiled by electric options for mobility, this one here is the party crasher that everyone’s been talking about. Ola electric has two scooters on offer, the S1 and the S1 Pro. We got the chance to ride the latter, the more powerful of the two, with an extra riding mode and with twice the colour options to choose from (a solid 10 to be precise). With more and more two-wheeler users considering the switch to electric modes of transportation for their daily commuting, the competition in this segment is on the rise. And with the kind of performance and tech that is on offer, the Ola S1 Pro slots itself amongst the top contenders of this electric two-wheeler pyramid.

Whom is it for?
Obviously for those who want an electric alternative to internal combustion-engined two-wheelers and something fast, like really fast! (more on that ahead). Ola has tried hard to offer a good-looking electric scooter. It’s a quirky-looking scooter with smooth flowing lines with rounded edges delivering a cute and trendy appeal, while also following the futuristic mobility vibe. The fit-and-finish of the body panel is good while the surfaces are nice to touch and feel. The seat which stands at 792 mm off the ground has been well-contoured for the rider to easily attain a firm footing besides being a wide one with ample support and space to sit. The floorboard has a hump along the centre line which is of the tubular frame that holds the scooter together. The scooter’s 3.97 kWh lithium-ion battery pack is also located in the floorboard. While this arrangement lowers the centre of gravity by a significant margin, it also opens up space for lots of under seat storage enough to accommodate two half-face helmets and the battery charger.

In a smartphone world, the Ola S1 Pro features a large 7-inch touchscreen display. It is the largest to be ever put in a scooter and it comes with all the kinds of features and more that are associated with electric scooters. The haptic touch to access the different settings and functions on the display is good and feels fluidic with barely any delay in operation. The interface is clean and clutter free which makes the experience enjoyable. The scooter features all-LED lighting with two projectors for the headlamp surrounded by an LED DRL ring. The light casts a widespread and is bright, lighting up the road well. It has two speakers located on the front apron that sound different chimes for the different riding modes, switch on and off and more. The switchgear is made from good quality materials and is easy to operate and doesn’t take much time to get accustomed to.

How does it handle?
Quite well actually. Since we rode the scooter on a closed property, the road surface was largely composed of gravel and fine grit which made it difficult to test the scooter’s maximum cornering ability and feedback. But with a more relaxed style of riding, the scooter tips in corners like most scooters. It rides in 110/70 profile tyres at both ends shod on 12-inch wheels which not only looks good and delivers a good ride quality and feel as well. For the suspension setup, it features a single fork at the front and a monoshock at the rear which is well-damped and does a fine job of soaking up bumps with finesse. With the limited time and space available to ride, a more detailed judgement of the ride quality and suspension behaviour on paved roads will be possible when we’ll get to ride the scooter later.

Ola has equipped the S1 Pro with disc brakes at both ends. With the larger wheels and wider tyre profile, the brakes are sharp and do an excellent job of shedding speeds. However, for the kind of performance the scooter is capable of delivering, Ola only offers CBS which isn’t much-helpful on heavy braking which tends to lock the wheels up. A single-channel anti-lock braking system would have been more welcomed to ensure more safety and for maximum utilisation of the braking power.

How fast is it?
Very much, in fact. If you have selected the additional Hyper mode that is only available with the S1 Pro, make sure to hold on to that handlebar with a good grip and securely on the seat. That‘s because Ola claimed the S1 Pro is capable of acceleration from 0-40 kph in 3 seconds and 0-60 kph is 5 seconds flat. While we haven’t cross-checked the figures with our V-box, you can rest assured it isn’t slow by any means. The rate at which this scooter accelerates, it quite literally pushes you back stretching your arms. With a rated top speed of 115 kph, I was able to clock a maximum of 93 kph on the test road. The other two modes, Normal and Sports, the former designed for everyday riding and the latter for a more engaging ride. Honestly, although Hyper mode is stupid fast and lots of fun, it is better off for short bursts of adrenalin as it is inversely proportional to the range it returns.

Is it fun?
The evolution of electric scooters at the time of their introduction in the market to the ones like the Ola S1 Pro is mind-boggling. It packs the kind of performance and tech that isn’t even comparable with that of similarly-priced scooters, even motorcycles and for that matter. The Ola S1 Pro is a very interesting scooter in the EV space that should appeal a lot to the many aspiring buyers who have booked and plan to book it. My only issue with the scooter is the lack of ABS which I strongly feel is something that Ola needs to look into for the kind of performance on offer.

OLA S1 Pro

Motor: Mid Drive IPM
Battery: 3.97 kWh lithium-ion pack
Peak power: 8.5 kW (11.2 bhp)
Rated power: 5.5 kW (7.3 bhp)
Peak torque: 14.27 kgm
Rated torque: 5.91 kgm

Type: Tubular frame

F/R: 220-mm disc/180-mm disc

F/R: 110/70 R12 / 110/70 R12

L/W/H (mm): 1859/712/1160
Wheelbase: 1359 mm
Ground clearance: 165 mm
Seat height: 792 mm
Kerb weight: 125 kg

0-100%: 6 hr 30 min
Range: 181 km

PRICE: Rs 1.24 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai)