Sunday, February 25, 2024

2023 Ola S1 Pro Long Term Review – Radical and Proven!

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The electric two-wheeler market is booming and the primary reason is this, the Ola S1 series. With major deliveries happening from the company’s end and contributing significantly to the EV space, when it comes to scooters and shortly, motorcycles and four-wheelers, Ola has become a force with a relentless push in the EV space. Whether you like the way or not, Ola is progressing. Promises that excited the public were not delivered instantly, but they came over the year and now Ola with MoveOS3 has become a scooter that has become highly recommendable to everyone. Recommending sometimes isn’t necessary, people just ask, does it work fine now? We say yes, on a random traffic signal and they say, good my booking the scooter is going to be fruitful. As you can imagine, things have changed, questions have changed and the answers remain the same. What has also changed, thanks to EV manufacturers is one critical question. From ‘Kitna Deti hai’ to, Kitna chalti hai (how much range does it have), we have moved on.

All this had us excited the moment we tested the revised MoveOS2 scooter at home and found it to be nothing like how things were being reported in MoveoS1. We asked Ola to spend some time extra time with it than usual and they happily obliged to send it to us for four months. Keeping EVs for this long period as well isn’t enough surprisingly. The limitations of the scooters sticking to city and intercity trips do not help us forge stories easily.

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After finishing 1200 kms though, with various people from our team and family members as well, we have concluded. The family has never been excited about any two-wheeler that has come to us for a long-term period. Snatching keys, well, wasn’t the need, putting a password and moving on was the idea. Whoever reached the scooter first, could go away with it for a few hours of their errands while the others took the humble old 13-year Japanese scooter that works like day one even today. The charm of ICE seems to be fading away as the Ola impresses with silence, speed and easy throttle response in all modes making it so easy to ride around. Also, the seat has turned out to be comfortable considering it’s soft and we are using it for local runs only.

What is not so great with the long-legged members of the family is the higher footboard which makes them look a bit uneasy and funny (you know who you are) on the scooter. What they appreciated though is the colossal amount of space inside the seat. Something they shocked the local Kirana store uncles with as well. A store guy said, you cannot take boxes on that scooter, it has practically no space. The boot was revealed to him and he shocked himself and then went ahead and fitted 5 small hydrating liquid boxes in there (sorry no photos were taken) as the first summer heat wave arrived. His son now enjoys the Ola S1 which he got himself.

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Acquisitions of the Ola S1 Pro happened around when the neighbours saw us conveniently charging the S1 Pro from the first floor with a custom-made charging socket. They bought one and then their business partner also had a similar layout in his building and opted for one as well. For the first time, our building members seem a bit jealous knowing that we can own an electric scooter because we stay on the first floor and they cannot because. All these years, it has been the other way around where people envy the top floor members. A bit of property advice, if you didn’t know, considering mobility is part of life and life has many branches attached to it.

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Notice the wire from the top

On the powertrain, everything has been good, a full 100% charge results in showing 135 kms of range in normal mode and 170 kms in eco mode. We have been able to remove 100 kms to be precise per charge after riding it every single day of the week. When the scooter was used not so frequently, we couldn’t go above 95 kms because the battery drops a per cent or two every day even if it’s untouched. 5 hours of charge, usually from 4 PM to 9 PM resulted in a very stressful charging affair for us. However, as summers got intense and the scooter was parked in the sun, the battery percentage dropped further from the usual one or two to three and four at max. Found a shaded parking and we were back to normal of losing one per cent a day. An entire week of incessant travel was ahead of me and for our family as well so we decided to use the vacation mode and after 10 days, we just a drop of 4-5%. Something that I think worked quite well, or else without vacation mode, we might have lost a lot of battery or might have depleted it as well. Anytime in the last few months, we didn’t find the battery to be depleted. A major problem from the MoveoS1 seems to be solved here.

The recall of the front suspension happened and we were given a replacement as well. Post that we noticed that the thunking noise from the front suspension, every time it hit a pothole went down dramatically, the blow wasn’t softened much, but because of that, the confidence level went higher as well over the few weeks and we are enjoying the ride every day. The ride is still soft at the back and the front needs better damping. Something Ola said that we will fix one day. Nevertheless, riding this quick scooter is still fun with good chassis balance and excellent tyres and brakes on offer.

Needless to say, the screen has been trouble-free, great to use with and without gloves and does not heat easily. The themes are refreshing and uplift the mood. Under extreme heat and traffic situations, it did become quite hot but it did settle quite soon as well. The proximity lock, the buttons and the overall layout of buttons and screen functions work well. We wish there was a way to open the under-seat storage securely without starting the scooter.

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The lock can act a bit weird as it stays on and does not allow the seat to be secured when you are done removing stuff from the under seat after your trip ends and you have shut off the power. Starting the scooter, tapping the trunk button again and then closing the seat can be cumbersome if you are hands are full. Handle lock only opens after a prominent noise comes from the front, don’t try to straighten the handlebar earlier unless the entire starting process is complete. Also, the EV noises stop when you give an indicator. I guess one speaker can be assigned for each function and the direction where the scooter is going, can play the indicating noise, while the other side of the speaker can play EV noises.

Overall, we think Ola is pretty sorted than ever before. It has turned out to be number one in every way it claimed to be. The reason is out there loud and clear as the brand dominates the sales chart. We are impressed too, we think we are almost close to getting one home as well. The ICE loyalist in our family will exist, but we cannot deny the EV has impressed us. Spending more time with will make us more attached towards it and we think that our parking garage will turn navy blue one day considering the popular and hero colour for the brand is helping them gain traction. Ola then, had lost direction for some time, but it is back and how!

Mohit Soni
Mohit Sonihttps://www.thrustzone.com/
NOT A Commander, Director, Editor-In-This/ That, CEO, MD, President, Entrepreneur, etc etc. Just a first employee at Thrust Zone with a team of enthusiasts who love car and motorcycles more than anything else in the world, just like I do. Hashtag blessed

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