Scott eBike and OLA electric scooter owner
My EV Portfolio :
I am doctor by profession in govt service location Patiala ,Punjab.
Contents of Review :
There is no argument that future of mobility is electric ⚡️ sooner everyone realises better it is. If your charging infra is from solar & battery recycling is sorted, then it’s the ideal for environment. Solar at home,EV for commute & rain water harvesting at home that’s the best we can contribute to cleaner environment. We can control only things which our at our end only, for start we can shun ICE usage, just a basic commute by foot. May be a big step or riding a bike or (eBike) for local daily usage. Of course in the current era of 2w there is no point buying a petrol 2w it just doesn’t makes sense, with so many EV options.
EV shift, will come as a wave of EV 2w,3w /4w fleet, then last adoption will be. 4w of-course. For 4 wheelers above ₹ 15-18 lakh there is no case point for getting a ICE vehicle apart from availability or options ,but below ₹12-10 lakh 4w Ev isn’t convincing yet as a purchase point, this will change eventually by 2024-25. 2w are the key for Ev shift in India for personal commute, let’s say for daily commute with rising fuel prices it makes economical sense to own a eScooter, of course Solar-Ev combo, makes it the best solution with regards to environment as well.
2w EV's have moved beyond lead-acid battery, with lacklustre performance to software driven, feature packed, futuristic designs ,we have brands like PURE EV, Okinawa, Ather, Ola, Simple energy on the EV scene. With the advent of new technology, improved battery tech, bms ,software, range, charging capacities, a lot has changed in this sector. Current premium 2w EV's, give a tough fight to 125-150 Cc Petrol motorcycles.
For me personally it was 2019 summer when I decided to do something about my carbon imprint,First thing which came to my mind is ,how not to use ICE vehicles for my regular hospital commute/duty & upto 50-60km of rides. So,Opted for LightSpeed Dryft which I replaced with Firefox Adventron, both were rear hub driven rides. Some of the ownership experience are summed up in these links. I had been following Ather from its inception, booked 450 X, even attended the Ather 450X launch in New Delhi 2020. Sadly it’s been a constant wait for them in Punjab forget even Chandigarh. While I was waiting for Ather 450X pandemic struck, I landed up getting a premium eBike, mid-drive Scott eRide 10 ebike (close to clocking in 4000 km on it) by this month end. Though my ebike, was sufficient to cater my needs of local commute, often I had to pick my ICE car for faster commutes or sometimes u needed to carry stuff, which wasn’t possible on eBike.
I may add ,there is no comparison of “biking be it simple bike or ebiking” to eScooter ,I would prefer biking any day over eScooter any day. Before eBike ownership I landed up making Facebook page for eBike lovers in India, infact only page providing information on ebikes. With all this ,my main idea was to how reduce carbon imprint further,so that I only use ICE for highway travels-long drives. (Of course solar-4w Ev is planned) Hence,it made sense to get a 2w,the last 2w I owned back then in 2006, was LML Vespa oh yes ?. So, I was purchasing & riding a 2w after 18 years, that to an ev ,oh yes time often flys isn’t it.
he news of Ola launching its eScooter after acquisition of Netherlands based start up Etergo /App scooter was interesting. Booked in July-21, paid the 20k in Sept-21 & final payment was done in Jan-22 once payment window opened, delivered at home on 28th Feb 22.
No test rides were given whatsoever which was disappointing ,I went ahead with purchase once PlugInIndia team went to Bangalore. Being in constant contact Pluginindia team, with Kamlesh (who already had booked & test rode it), after his thumbs up, I could go ahead with my purchase. I choose Matte-Black & S1-Pro combination for needful. Punjab doesn’t have any state subsidy so landed up paying ₹ 1.56 lakh (on road price)
It’s a standard practice or ideal practice of go through the owners manual of any new product you purchase be it a Smartphone or Ac or Car or 2w
Sharing some tid bids from the Ola S1 Pro Owners Manual :
- Charge your scooter to 100% before riding for first time.
- Being in multiple Ola owners group, issues were coming up with owners so but some clarity also came for solutions best was a standard practice for “Cell Balancing” hence as per recommendation
- Let eOla get Charged upto 12-14 hours even beyond 100% ,for first 5 charge cycles, Avoid going beyond 40% for first four charge cycles, in last one (5th) I went below 15% ,would recommend a weekly cell balancing & not to go below 10% ideally.
- We often have some do’s - don’t even for ICE counterparts so, why not here !!
- Unlikely event of a spark or fire, stop immediately.
- First, use water to cool down the battery to avoid further combustion.
- Next, use a D-type fire extinguisher ( a must at home)
- While washing and cleaning, ensure that the charging flap and cover is closed properly.
- By default, while riding, your scooter headlamp will be on low beam and the Halo lamp (DRL) will be off.
- Long press the light switch it for 2 seconds to turn on / off
- Press the light switch (once) to be in low and high beam (2nd touch)
- Avoid trying to accelerate while pressing the brake levers.
- Ola Scooter disengages the motor while you press the brakes this is a safety ,measure to avoid accidental acceleration while you are attempting to stop or reduce speed.
- To move to riding state, first make sure to retract the parking stand.
- Next, turn on the motor by holding either the left or right brake and pressing the Power button.
- You will hear an audio alert and see the Dash change to O km/h ,Ready when you are, to move.
- While your scooter is in motion, you will be able to access the Dash only through the control pad, and not by touch.
- To switch back from riding state to parked state, bring your scooter to a halt 0 km/h.
- Next, press the Power button and it will switch to parked state.
- When at halt, you can open parking stand & the scooter comes to the parked state.
- Your Ola scooter's motor is silent, so it may be difficult to know if it's on or off.
- Keep an eye on your Dash to know if your motor is on or off.
- Your Ola scooter comes with a powerful electric motor - which means throttle response is fast.
- The combined braking system (CBS) of your scooter activates both front and rear brakes when you apply the rear brake.
REGENERATIVE BRAKING SYSTEM activates.
- You can recover upto 5% charge depending on your riding style.
- Please note that the regenerative braking system is activated only when battery drops below 75% (real owners report from 90%)
- Ola Sense dynamically adjusts the performance of your scooter as it manages, various parameters including temperature and state of charge.
- Sense will notify you on your Dash incase it needs to switch you to a different mode and will automatically do so after giving you a 10 second notice.
- In rare instances it may move you to parked state as well. This is normal and the system working as designed to ensure you have a safe ride.
Current Odo : 500 km
Software : just updated to 1.0.16 (initial software was 1.0.8)
It was sedate-slow, update. I got the notification for software update on Saturday and it took around 36 hours to Download the Update. Installed it early hours of Monday first time it didn’t went through later left it for a while ,checked it after 25 min it was done. Haven’t driven much to experience difference post the update, seems to be a patch-update for stability & bug fixes.
Looks & Exterior :
eOla looks futuristic, modern, does comes with a classy appeal, especially the front with the Drls. Body panels of the S1 Pro are made of hard plastics, better materials would have been ideal, of course, as it would rattle less in ownership lifespan, though paint quality is fine. Opted for Matte Black, the color. Looks classy, with the smiley(halo) faced headlamps gives it a futuristic look as well.
Handle bar throttle, brake lever & switches (for modes, reverse, music/call controls) are of acceptable quality though they are not backlight. If ur coming from your usual, ICE activa or Jupiter No flasher, Indicator swtich, it will take time to get used to. (Seating position also). With dark color it’s hard to find panel gaps, but yes music speaker bars aren’t proper aligned (most owners have this) there is a storage space deep in the speakers housings, but, it’s risky to put a smartphone there. Water seeping into these speakers is yet to be seen. There is tunnel/hump on the floor board and runs across ,the scooter, which doesn’t looks ideal at all (Etergo had this for removal add on batteries). The main highlight of the Ola S1 Pro is the “7 inch TFT touchscreen” with its sim connectivity ,Bluetooth & wifi support, it forms the heart of the matter for this EV.
As of Feb 2022, you can only have basic ride stats (Mode,Range,Battery,Digital Speedo, Trip meter). Other settings are minimal, Display Change (Light/Dark),Passcode Change, Software version. It’s responsive , works with charm, no issues with sun-light legibility, though it may prone to damage in parking. Another highlight of the Ola S1 pro is the, seat it is broad, comfortable no complains for the pillion. Boot space is class leading, although no light is placed for illumination (it’s helpful in night). Headlight has a dual led set up one is for low beam and other is for high, ideally both should have been in default low beam ,then both high beam, but light spread, throw is adequate. DRLs can be switched on once you long press the light switch. Grab rails are fine not feel as solid it should be. No proper stand is available (May be by accessory in near future ). Side-stand is neatly tucked, but doesn’t inspires confidence.
Performance & Software :
Oh yes ,Hold brake & power button, there you are good to go, instant torque in an EV is the favorite part of EV ownership apart from magic of Regen braking. On the ride you have three modes Normal,Sports & Hyper mode. You can change the modes while on ride, throttle response difference among modes is evident (even to the pillion as well). If you are coming from an Ice 2w you will even feel Normal mode as fast ,Sports even more, with Hyper mode you may feel crazy truth be told it’s not required at all. Instant torque, instant acceleration, even with two people, on board, you don’t feel any sluggishness. Infact in hyper mode it really is a beast. Ride is comfortable, especially for the pillion, front suspension is stiff, reducing the tyre pressure may not help much in this regard. At high speeds of S1 Pro is stable, rides brilliantly, handling is great, so is the braking with all disc brakes, ideally would have loved ABS however it’s got CBS. Of course you can hear the “whime” sound of the motor ,it grins while u throttle. One of most amazing aspect about EV's is ability to regenerate while riding, once ur battery ? % falls below 90% for S1-Pro ,(75% for S1) you can now take advantage of Regn braking (it works like the Reverse mode) thus you can do what most ev enthusiasts love to do “one touch riding” throttle-Regn and ride. Another important aspect is the turning radius of the scooter isn’t great at all, u need to make a long circle.
Now let’s come to the elephant in the room “Software” in EV is the key to ownership experience and sadly that’s the big disappointment for current batch of owners. MOVE OS 2.0 is expected by April-22 end, which will unlock the potential of the eOla.
Ola champion contacted me before the delivery, it happened on 28th Feb around 9 PM at Home. Still feel late night deliveries should be discouraged it isn’t the ideal way of doing the needful. Ola Champion was courteous, gave a good demo, I mean in current software you just have nothing much to do. Earlier the guy from Rose Matta had connected with me for the registration process. Hence , Ola has three aspects, one is Ola Champion/Service guys dealing with Delivery, service directly to employed by Ola.
After riding around 500 km ,I can now assume some +ve /-ves of eOla.
* Stability at high speeds
* Three modes (Hyper is beast mode)
* Instant torque/acceleration
* Touch screen (software awaited)
* Adequate Brakes
* Pillion seat comfort (rear suspension)
* Boot space (though two L size helmets can’t be stored)
* True Range of 130 plus is accurate
* Software (needs update Os-2 by April-end)
* Missing Promised features.
* Putting Passcode on screen is agony
* Build quality plastics (prone to rattle in long term of ownership)
* No app support
* No telephony
* Boot required some illumination.
* Handle bar buttons need to be backlight.
* Needs a proper parking stand.
Most -ves boil down to incomplete software ,Ola needs to address asap (App connectivity,Bluetooth support,Software features are a must). This is spoiling the initial ownership experience.
Some important observations /tips for owners :
- Most owners are in various multiple social space groups be it Fb, Tele, What’s app etc, so many know about issues ( Reverse throttle,Mis alignment ,SOC drop, Software bugs) pertaining to eOla. I'm not going into that.
- When you own an EV you need to be educated, on how to keep care for your battery, we never cared for our smartphone, but with EVs let’s just learn it this video will help for needful.
- Once a week cell balancing is fine for all users, most of us ain’t be using hyper chargers /fast chargers as they simply ain’t available yet.
- Hopefully a digital folder for uploading the vehicle documents is added in near future.
- Regen braking kicks in once battery % is below 90% (can vary for owners)
- Once your battery levels go below 20% sign of “very low battery” comes.
- Once the battery levels go below 15% it automatically shifts to ECO mode here on you can’t go beyond 40 km of speed, estimated range is 23km only.
- For prospective buyers who want to purchase it for Parents, wife, kids would recommend only to go for S1 Ola only as “Hyper mode” is really not required for daily usage, with kids /parents on the move Ola, this mode can be dangerous, if the pillion isn’t alert, as the instant push is too fast to handle.
- Sadly Ola has different priorities they are offering Pro1 more vs S variant bad move.
- Females with saree ,may feel difficult to sit, as no “Side Step” is there,
- Grab handle bars on the eOla are flimsy.
- Wonder why not an “ECO” mode for all, for guys who want to extract more range, the 181 km range in tested conditions seems to be of ECO mode only, hopefully we get it.
- Speedometer on the eOla does have an error of 4-5km/h while comparing to ur GPS smartphone speedo or Navigation app,2-3 km/h error May be acceptable, not sure though.
- Day-Night mode switch on the display isn’t “Automatic” it needs to be sorted with time.
- Headlight levelling is important considering with pillion you often have unusable “high beam” so most owners need to level it ideally. (You get a key for headlamp levelling) the screw in below the lamp.
- The Bi-led lamps should have been both default in low beam, then both high beam, currently one is for low and second one is for high, which is poor engineering, but through-illumination is fine.
- Handle bar grip switches should have been backlight or some markings should have been in such a way that they were visible under dark sometimes u wonder where the switches are.
- Turn Indicator yes it’s loud ,I don’t have any issue with it personally ,it required “10 beeps only” should get off after u turn, manually turning off is pain needs to be addressed.
- Better quality Mirrors should have been used they rattle on bad roads, with silent EV, you often listen to more noises isn’t it.
- Speakers alignment isn’t fine, they are misaligned for most of the eOla owners.
- Charging port is exposed to tampering with “No lock ,the cover can be opened and anyone can tamper it, may be later some accessory is launched to cover it.
- While on ride mode Battery bar comes on the left bottom of the screen, while riding you can know about the “Range,Mode” it needs to be in “%age “ that’s a better way of information.
- “Two Trip meter A/B” inclusion is really required as currently the “TRIPS” are calculated from mid-night to mid-night,for daily driving data.
- If I for example I use eOla from post 12 am to 1 am & charge it overnight, then coming morning when I ride it will take into account my 12-1 Am ride as well. Hence, I may not be able to calculate real range, once I unplug in morning, there needs to be a trip reset.
- Lots of debate has been on the hump, yes it could have been avoided but, with the core design may be they were not able to, not a deal breaker though.
- Delivery at home without proper dealership network, service centres, it’s not an easy task to pull it off, but hey, something’s change hopefully service & back end support which forms the key for any product, is taken care off.
- You May have the best minds, best product, best software u need to, do, provide the service /support which is key,to a brand success,for this Ola has miles to go,mixed reviews.
- Charging is easy current owners,have only one option “Charger Box” provided with the eOla,takes around 4-4.5 hours to charge ,from 15% to 100%.
- Hopefully charging network will grow in near future, most ev owners charge 80% times at home.
- Inital ownership upto 500 km I was recommended cell-balancing charging for 4-5 cycles,never went below 40% for first four,last one went below 15%.
- Also not, done those crazy speed tests,Range tests.
- On parking at home have experienced 2-3% battery drop in 2 days, most owners reboot it, after 2-3 days, I did it once to see after 3 days of non usage it shifted to 100% to 98%, hence expect a 2% battery drop in 36-40 hours (May be it’s due to telematics).
Upgrade Plans for Dark Knight :
- Coating & PPF
- Seat cover
- Light in storage compartment
- Choice Registration Number
With all that big essay, with all those, experiences after 500 km of my riding /ownership experience the most interesting thing sometimes is when people ask it’s name u say it’s a “Ola scooter”. May be later we have a name, most owners have given there scooter names as well mine “Dark-Knight”. eOla is a premium scooter EV hence software & promised is what owners want hence i have titled it as “Locked Potential”. Yes, people often ask questions out of curiosity, about the scooter, often their myths are busted on EV's.
I mean you often turn into Ev Evangelist most of the times, sometimes you may feel irritated also, with no test rides in most cities, you don’t want someone to ride it for sake of it isn’t it. To sum, up finally a product is as good as it’s “service /back end” that’s the bottle neck for Ola going ahead. For me personally with walking, Scott eBike & eOla (Dark Knight). I am doing my bit for environment reducing my commute cost as well. I eventually Plan a “Solar” at home for an 4W EV then, let hope for the best.
Hopefully ,Ola team deliver what most owners are waiting a proper software, companion app, to complete the premium EV experience without the software it’s leaving lot to desire.
Hence, it’s a “Locked Potential” !!
Issues faced :
- Rattle from the rear view mirrors quality is just fine.
- Lock issue sometimes it’s not unlocked May be it happens this way only. (Handle unlocks only if side step isn’t removed while entering passcode)
I will keep updating the page. Stay amped!