The electric scooter market in the last three years grew as fast as these scooters accelerated off the line. The news, the products, and the consumption of everything electric on two wheels were almost dramatic. Most of this came from one manufacturer and that was Ola electric. After its venture in the radio cab, it decided to go with manufacturing two wheels with electric propulsion. Claimed to be made in the largest two-wheeler factory in Karnataka, it made headlines. The buck didn’t stop there as the CEO made claims of delivering the best electric two-wheeler in town. Most of it didn’t translate immediately to the road, leaving customers fuming to a certain extent. All this is now history as the new MoveOS2 software claimed to rectify everything and offer the promised features from the beginning. How good was that move!? We find out we spent a couple of days with it to tell you all about it.
We liked the futuristic design of the scooter on day one and it does look good in the flesh. The very AI-inspired headlamps with projector LED lamps with DRL make it look premium too. However, the plastic that is used on the scooter, could have been of higher quality. The large tail-lamp does look out of sync with the whole design. The alloy wheels also help it stand out. The panel gaps on a couple of parts could be well finished too. Overall, we are impressed with what is on offer when it comes to the design and quality, but there is room for improvement.
The switches are high quality and so is the large touch screen. Touch response is quick and almost quick enough to respond. Many features are on offer such as navigation, music system, cruise control, reversing, a loud horn, and riding modes and all of them work as intended. Using the touch screen with gloves though can be a bit of an issue, but if your gloves are touch screen ready (they have a power button symbol on the index finger), then life should be easier. Opening the trunk is also entirely digital with the button on the screen. The trunk is also the largest in the segment as it can accommodate two helmets or many things from your errand runs. Pockets in front of the scooter as always are best avoided as things can fall off or be susceptible to theft.
The riding experience is simple and not so easy at the same time. To start the scooter, you have to press the power button, the enter the passcode on the screen, which takes time to boot up sometimes, which is above 5 seconds or more. It should be instant. Once you do that, to start the ignition, depress the brake lever and use the same power button to switch it on. The screen will show it is ready to go. Doing this process every time if you are doing multiple errands can feel tiresome as that is what the scooter will end up doing most of its life. We guess it is all about getting used to the new norm of riding scooters.
If a physical key existed, life could be easier, like how the Chetak has. The best part is that it has a proximity sensor where it will shut down the scooter if not used for 30 seconds and if the handle is on either side, it locks itself making sure things are safe even if the owner forgets to do it considering there is no key to do the usual bits of locking or starting the scooter.
The ergonomics are a bit different too. As you sit lower and the handlebar is higher, which can pull a muscle in your back but that is something you can get used to easily. We have experienced this concept earlier and we can assure you it isn’t a major concern. However, OLA could make it better like any conventional scooter, but then this is not your typical scooter.
The ride begins in normal mode and even with full throttle, the scooter is easy to accelerate and it isn’t spontaneous or neck snapping. With the biggest battery, power, and torque figures, you already know, the OLA S1 Pro is a spec sheet superhero. The throttle is easy to modulate in normal and more so in ECO mode, where the power is also dialed down. The Sport mode feels completely free and provides every horsepower available. A reason why normal and eco mode both feel subdued. The Hyper mode is where it shoots off the line but with a tiny bit of lag at the low end before it vanishes on the horizon leaving entire traffic behind in splits or shock because we saw no ICE scooter or car could keep up in normal acceleration from a traffic light. Hyper mode is truly addictive.
Handling is good enough with side-to-side transitions feeling stable and light enough to execute as the turning in the scooter from a corner is also easy thanks to an eager chassis and lower rake/trail number. The scooter is nimble in the city and requires little effort despite being top-heavy. Brakes and tires also feel good enough under hard braking and feedback from them are also good enough.
We did experience some vibrations from the front-end of the suspension on the scooter at really high speeds on our test scooter. A segment-first scooter to have monoshock on both ends has its benefits and side effects. We wish the front had more reassurance at higher speeds. The ride quality felt stiff we checked the air pressure on our scooter they were overinflated like any other electric scooter that comes for the test. We were able to get 95 kms on a single charge which included using Hyper mode and all the other modes from time to time and still keep the scooter within city limits.
Charging only can be done with OLA’s specific charger and it can take up to six to eight hours. Fast charging is not available right now as the socket is unique and does not comply with fast charging stations. OLA is making Move OS3 fast charging friendly but that is still a couple of months away if the port changes the first batch of MoveOS1 and MoveOs2 owners may or may not be able to upgrade.
Ola S1 Pro finally is almost everything it promised to be. That makes it a good buy in this segment with a price that makes it a good value. It has the performance, features, a futuristic design, and excellent practicality. Ola needs to make sure it churns a high-quality reliable product from its factory to reassure customers and make the brand stronger. Sales right now are dwindling because of recent thermal events from almost every manufacturer. Once it clears the fog of doubt and turbulent ownership, Ola has had a winner on its hand and will continue to do so. The only fight then remains is against the legacy manufacturer which now has chosen, quite literally, war footing to go against the ‘ Oats club’.
OLA S1 Pro MoveO2 Review