The launch of the Ola Electric Scooter at the Ola Campus in Bengaluru
Image Courtesy: Samyukta Lakshmi

Ola Electric halts production of the S1 scooter; offers Ola S1 Pro features to customers

Ola Electric has confirmed that production of its Ola S1 electric scooter has been halted. Instead, the ride-hailing company’s new subsidiary would refocus its efforts on producing the flagship Ola S1 Pro electric scooter.

The launch of the Ola Electric Scooter at the Ola Campus in Bengaluru
Image Courtesy: Samyukta Lakshmi

Rather than calling it a delay, CEO Bhavish Aggarwal tweeted Ola S1 Pro electric scooter is in higher demand than the classic Ola S1 electric scooter. Ola Electric is offering buyers the opportunity to upgrade to the Ola S1 Pro as compensation. Some customers are confused by the production suspension because Ola Electric sent two distinct notices to Ola S1 electric scooter buyers.

According to screenshots shared on social media, Ola Electric notified customers via email on Saturday, January 15 that production of the base model Ola S1 electric scooter has been halted and that it will be available later this year. However, the email also stated that if interested, Ola S1 purchasers can upgrade to Ola S1 Pro by paying an additional price during the next payment window, which will open on Friday, January 21 at 6 pm IST.

Ola screenshot
Image Source: Twitter

The S1 and S1 Pro are priced at Rs 99,999 and Rs 1,29,999, respectively, ex-showroom. The S1 Pro has a top speed of 115 km/h, whereas the S1 has a top speed of around 90 km/h. The S1 has a range of 121km, whereas the S1 Pro has a range of 181km. In any regard, the S1 is well-suited to city commuting, though its shorter range will demand more recharging stops.

Ola Electric will deliver Ola S1 Pro electric scooters between January and February, according to the email. It also said that delivery could take anywhere from 10 to 20 days following dispatch, depending on the buyer’s location and the requirements of the regional transport office (RTO).

Although charging customers to unlock hardware they have already purchased may appear to be a heinous practice, it is not without precedent. Last year, Tesla introduced a $1500 upgrade (later reduced in price) to activate features that were already integrated into their vehicles. This was in addition to the $199 monthly subscription plan needed for the same features.

We previously reported how the ongoing global chip shortage will cause delays in the delivery of Ola’s scooters, and the firm appears to have managed with the situation by prioritizing the higher-priced S1 Pro model. While hiding production issues as a “free upgrade” is disingenuous at best, it’s difficult to blame Ola Electric for its ongoing challenges. The chip shortage is expected to confine global vehicle output by 11.3 million units in 2021, and by 7 million and 1.6 million units in 2023.