India is one of the world’s largest two-wheeler markets, and it is on the verge of being fully electric. Ola, the ride-sharing company, has unveiled a handful of electric scooters in India under a new brand called Ola Electric Mobility in an attempt to lead the revolution.
On Sunday, Ola, the ride-hailing behemoth and electric vehicle producer, unveiled the S1 and S1 Pro electric scooter models, promising increased range and performance while undercutting rivals Ather Energy, Bajaj Auto, and TVS Motors’ offerings. For the basic model, which includes FAME II subsidies with starting rate of Rs 99,999. It excludes state-level subsidiaries and for the Pro model, the price rises to Rs 1,29,999. Ola also said that soon they will begin accepting orders for their vehicles on September 8. It is expected that the deliveries will start in October throughout the 1,000 Indian towns and cities.
Ola, which will produce the cars at its Krishnagiri factory in Tamil Nadu, said it expects to reach a manufacturing capacity of 1 million vehicles shortly and is confident in fulfilling pre-orders for its electric scooter variants in the coming months. In the first 24 hours after offering bookings to the public, Ola got over one lakh pre-bookings for its scooter.
“The S1 and S1 Pro are industry-leading products with best in class range, speed, and cost,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, founder, and CEO at Ola. “We have seen demand for this vehicle from everywhere, and obviously from the bigger cities as well, as scooters are an urban mobility product.”
The very best. The Ola S1 Pro will be powered by a 3.97 kilowatt-hour (KwH) battery pack with a range of 181 kilometers and a peak speed of 115 km/h. While Aggarwal stated that customers may anticipate 85 percent of that range in real-world settings, he added that this was still twice as much as what the market’s rivals were providing at the time. The S1 has a lower 2.98 KwH battery pack, which is still larger than the ones found in the Ather 450X, Bajaj Chetak, and TVS iQube scooters, and will give it a range of 121 kilometers with a peak speed of 90 km/h.
Ola will also build out an at-home servicing network in every location where it sells its EVs, and consumers may expect a 40% cheaper total cost of ownership for its EVs than for petrol-powered scooters already on the market.
The scooters will also include a plethora of futuristic features, like keyless lock/unlock, multiple modes and profiles for different users, and the ability to create moods that alter the music and display visuals. There will also be a reverse mode and hill-hold aid on both versions.
Aggarwal said, “Only around 160 million people in India today own a two-wheeler and that will increase significantly. While we need our people to own mobility solutions, we can’t let that be petrol vehicles. The only way out is to accelerate this electric journey and that’s the vision which we started Ola Electric with.”
Aggarwal has also fought back against companies like Tesla and Hyundai when they asked the Indian government to lower EV import taxes, claiming that this would stymie India’s own EV production aspirations. He also stated that by 2025, India should aim to transition to 100 percent electric two-wheelers, with the country being able to grab 50 percent of global two-wheeler demand.
He also included that the “market is ready, the consumer is ready, it’s just that the companies are not ready”, When it came to selling EVs, Ola wanted to go ahead of the game by launching internationally competitive solutions in the space.