Ola S1 Air

Ola Electric has made significant strides in India’s electric scooter market, currently holding a substantial 40 percent market share. To further solidify their position and cater to a wider audience, they introduced the Ola S1 Air, an affordable offering that retains the essence of the S1 Pro while making it accessible to a broader customer base. 

After nearly 10 months of development and several iterations, the Ola S1 Air is now ready for riders. It’s important to note that this scooter has gone through a journey of refinement, with changes in battery and motor options before reaching its final form.

The Ola S1 Air is a part of the new Gen2 platform, which will serve as the foundation for upcoming models, including an entry-level scooter. This platform boasts a lighter and stiffer frame, reducing manufacturing costs by 25 percent compared to its predecessor. Additionally, Ola has upgraded the battery pack for improved safety and practicality.

One noticeable benefit of the new platform is the flat floorboard, making it easier to rest your feet and store items. The scooter’s under-seat storage remains spacious, despite a slight reduction in volume. While the neon green paint scheme adds a touch of style, the matte finish might not feel as premium and could be prone to dust and smudges over time.

The styling, although reminiscent of the S1 Pro, exhibits signs of cost-cutting, particularly in the use of materials. The seat cover and grab rails have been simplified, and the wheels are now pressed steel instead of alloys. 

The color options have also been reduced. Ola’s challenge in the future is to enhance build quality and offer more metallic finishes to improve the scooter’s overall appeal.

Ola S1 Performance and Handling

Performance-wise, the Ola S1 Air offers a cost-effective BLDC hub motor with 4.5 kW (6 bhp) of peak power, about half that of the S1 Pro. It lacks the “Hyper” mode but maintains a top speed of 90 kmph. 

While it may not deliver a heart-pounding acceleration, it compensates with a more affordable price tag. However, some riders may find the throttle response slightly jerky, particularly in reverse mode.

In terms of handling, the S1 Air manages corners confidently, thanks to its high ground clearance and simple suspension setup with telescopic forks at the front. The ride quality is comfortable, although the pillion seat might be too wide for some.

The Ola S1 Air retains its feature-rich profile with a centralised computing system for faster processing and online support with over-the-air updates. It offers a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with various features, including Bluetooth connectivity, keyless access, navigation, and more. However, it lacks fast charging, which means longer charging times.

As for range, the S1 Air’s 2.98 kWh battery provides a claimed range of 125 km in Normal mode and 87 km in Sport mode.

In short, the Ola S1 Air presents an attractive option for those seeking an affordable and practical electric scooter. While it does exhibit some cost-cutting measures and quality issues, it compensates with a host of features and Ola’s extensive network across India. This scooter is well-suited for daily commuting, and we recommend taking a test ride to evaluate if it matches your requirements.

The Ola S1 Air is a testament to the company’s commitment to providing electric mobility solutions that cater to a broader spectrum of riders. As the electric scooter market continues to evolve, Ola’s efforts contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable mode of transportation.

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