Long term review: Ola S1 Pro electric scooter

A pleasant riding experience was unpleasantly punctuated with visits from the Ola service team.

When it works, it works well, but the trouble is that my personal Ola S1 Pro has been pretty troublesome in the four months I’ve had it. It’s conked twice and for a scooter with just 166km on the clock, it’s pretty unacceptable. Like a faithful pooch (dog lover Bhavish will agree with me on this one) the S1 Pro doesn’t like being left untouched and ignored for long spells. After returning from a week-long trip to Israel, I tried powering up the S1 Pro and absolutely nothing happened. The scooter was dead as a brick. I called the Ola helpline and within two hours, the service van arrived and whisked my scooter away. Apparently, the battery drained whilst I was away and the deep discharge damaged one of the cells. The scooter was returned in a couple of days with a beta version of the new Move OS 2.0 software.

I was told at the time that out of approximately 5,000 Ola owners in Mumbai, around 130 were given the software upgrade, so I should feel privileged. The improved software has some pretty smart features like navigation and Bluetooth pairing with my smartphone.

A lot of hype: Hyper mode is great for slicing through traffic.

Fast forward to a month later and it’s the same story. I was in London and Europe for two weeks only to return to – you guessed it – a dead scooter. The Ola service van, now a familiar sight, came home in a couple of hours, but thankfully, my scooter didn’t have to be taken away and the technicians brought it back to life.

Finally, the long promised Move OS 2.0 was installed and I have to say I felt no real difference over the beta version which had worked just fine. I haven’t tried all the features yet and that will be the focus of my next long-term report.

As a daily commuter, the S1 Pro is just brilliant. It’s so easy to ride, slices through traffic (in hyper mode) and is pretty practical too. The luggage box under the seat is just huge and takes my laptop bag and a small duffel bag too. Not so big is the slot for the phone holder, which can’t take a large smartphone like my iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Double Trouble: Scooter conked twice in four months.

The truth is I haven’t ridden this scooter enough to draw a conclusion of what it’s like to live with over extended periods. My average running for the past four months is just 1.3km a day. The scooter still feels like new and, in fact, the service van must have clocked more to and fro mileage in tending to my scooter’s problems!

Hopefully, I won’t need to see that Tempo Traveller henceforth.

Also see:

Ola S1 Pro long term review, first report

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