Ola Electric invited HT Auto to its FutureFactory in Tamil Nadu to sample the second-generation S1 Pro. The electric scooter has seen massive upgrades since it was first revealed in August 2021, only this time the upgrades extend to the hardware apart from the numerous over-the-air (OTA) revisions that the model received over the years.
The Gen2 Ola S1 Pro is now underpinned by a new platform and gets a more powerful motor and safer battery pack. Ola says that these changes were necessary as an evolutionary step in the product’s lifecycle, determined by functionality, costs and overall user experience. We had a brief ride astride the Gen2 Ola S1 Pro and here are our quick impressions of the same.
Gen2 Ola S1 Pro: What’s changed?
The Gen2 Ola S1 Pro has moved up to the new platform that now underpins the Ola range including the S1 Air and the all-new S1X. The new chassis has moved from a tubular frame to a hybrid architecture with a redesigned rear subframe. It uses 70 per cent fewer parts than before, which translates to 14 per cent lighter weight on the frame itself. The new frame also makes way for a flat floorboard as we saw on the S1 Air.
Ola has also moved to a double-sided swingarm at the rear instead of a single-sided unit on the Gen1 version. The panel covers have been dropped on either side. The result is a swingarm with exposed welds and houses the single-shock absorber at the rear, all of which are visible to the eye and look rather unfinished than they did on the Gen1 S1 Pro.
The Gen2 S1 Pro has also moved to the conventional telescopic front forks as against the single-sided front fork design seen on the Gen1 version. This is a big step for the company considering it claimed the robustness of its single-sided fork design over the last few years. Instead, the telescopic forks are now standard across the lineup. Ola says the new forks are not only cost-effective but also provide the same results as the front monoshock did previously in terms of rigidity.
On the design front, the S1 Pro Gen2 gets subtle changes. The headlamp design is the same but now houses new internals. The LED taillight is slimmer and gets the smoked treatment. The split grab rails make way for the single-piece unit from the S1 Air that looks built to cost. Lastly, the multi-spoke alloy wheels have been replaced with new 5-spoke alloy wheels, which we are told are lighter and more cost-effective.
Furthermore, the revised design has shrunk the under-seat storage capacity by two litres, which now stands at 34 litres. It’s still a sizeable space with a flat bottom and will store everything from a portable charger to grocery bags, two half-face helmets and more. A full-size helmet still won’t fit here. The Gen2 model sits taller by 5 mm at 805 mm, while the ground clearance is reduced to 160 mm, down by 3 mm. Other cycle parts remain the same including the disc brakes at either end from ByBre and the horizontally-stacked rear single-shock.
The new S1 Pro now uses a centralised computing system. This brings a shorter wiring harness across the vehicle integrating all the critical functions and reducing the weight by 8 per cent and energy consumption by 25 per cent. This should also make the vehicle more reliable with most functions. Overall, the Gen2 S1 Pro is about 25 per cent cheaper to manufacture.
Gen2 Ola S1 Pro: New powertrain
The Gen2 Ola S1 Pro utilises a redesigned electric motor that integrates the Motor Control Unit (MCU). The result is a lighter motor overall, which is also 30 per cent more powerful than before. Peak power stands at 11 kW (14.7 bhp) with continuous output at 5 kW (6.7 bhp), as against a peak of 8.5 kW (11.3 bhp) and continuous power of 5.5 kW (7.3 bhp). The end result is a higher top speed of 120 kmph, as against 115 kmph on the Gen1 S1 Pro, while 0-40 kmph comes up in just 2.6 seconds, 0.3 seconds faster than the predecessor.
The Gen2 battery pack uses 33 per cent fewer parts than before and gets an upgraded Battery Management System (BMS) for improved thermal performance. Still a 4 kWh unit, it’s been redesigned for better insulation and wiring. The changes help make it more efficient with a claimed range of 195 km on a single charge, as opposed to 181 km on the Gen1 model. We’ll need to spend some more time with the new S1 Pro to determine its range in real-world conditions.
Gen2 Ola S1 Pro: Riding experience
The overall changes have helped shave off 5 kg from the Gen2 S1 Pro, which now has a kerb weight of 116 kg. On the move, the electric scooter feels faster and there’s a notable difference in acceleration, especially in the Hyper mode. In our brief ride within the factory premises, the Gen2 S1 Pro impressed with its acceleration and there’s a certain excitement whenever you twist the throttle. It’s not clear though how long can we hold on to the top speed or sustain high-speed acceleration without heating up the battery pack.
Some of the older issues also crop up. It’s not as smooth as some of its rivals and the e-scooter tends to accelerate with a lag of a few milliseconds after giving the input. The motor cuts off the moment you brake, which will make riding in crawling traffic a problem. That said, braking remains strong with little and the ride quality was gentle for the most part. The riding posture remains comfortable as ever and is a highlight of the scooter.
Ola has also managed to retain the 7-inch touchscreen digital console, which is shared with the S1 Air. The unit gets a lower resolution now at 800×480 but it does not largely hamper your viewing experience. However, fit and finish still remain key problematic areas with the S1 Pro. From panel gaps to exposed welds, there’s plenty Ola can do to make the model better finished before it reaches customers.
Gen2 Ola S1 Pro: Should you buy?
Priced at ₹1.47 (ex-showroom), the Gen2 Ola S1 Pro gets significant upgrades that make it more capable in the segment. The new offering is about ₹7,500 more expensive than its predecessor, which is marginal considering the bulk of changes. If you’ve been eyeing to bring the S1 Pro home, this version does much better on most counts even though cost-cutting remains evident. A more detailed review will come up soon once we get the e-scooter in our hands.
First Published Date: 16 Aug 2023, 17:14 PM IST