As the Ola S1 and S1 Pro electric scooters have begun to reach homes across India, customers have been expressing conflicting opinions. While many of the Ola clients, who recently received their most awaited e-scooters have praised features such as the Hyper mode and other highlights, some have expressed worries that the scooters do not live up to on-paper claims such as range.
After receiving numerous complaints and inquiries, Ola Electric decided to give clarifications, expressing its unhappiness with those who raised the range issue when compared to the ARAI certified range. It should be noted that all of this is happening at a time when the company is reportedly planning to open its second purchase window soon.
One of the product's selling points, when Ola introduced the S1 and S1 Pro electric scooters in August 2021, was their range, as the company claimed that the S1 Pro has an ARAI-certified range of 181 kilometres. But the real range is said to be lower than the number.
Earlier, while responding to the queries, Ola revealed that the EV's genuine range is 135 kilometres. However, the true range can only be attained in certain conditions — if the two-wheeler is operated in city settings with only one rider weighing less than 70 kg travelling in normal mode on roads with no inclines greater than 5 per cent and no additional load on the vehicle, according to the company.
However, Ola Electric's chief marketing officer, Varun Dubey, suggested that the EV producer has been unfairly criticised in the case. He said: “All vehicles have to receive a local ARAI certification which always provides a figure which is higher than the real-world mileage. This is standard industry practice."
Dubey explained during an interview that “ARAI is the law. We have to get that certification. We have put that number out on our website. And we have also shared with customers what the true range is which, by the way, no other manufacturer puts on their website."
Meanwhile Ola's rival, Ather Energy's CEO and co-founder Tarun Mehta, recently took a shot at Ola's genuine range. He tweeted, “Just heard an Ola rep say that they are the first OEM to talk about TrueRange (the range that you will actually get in city conditions).”
“..when Ather LITERALLY has the trademark on that word. Not even kidding,” the Tweet added.
In the social media post, he attached a screenshot that reads: “The certified range for the Ather 450X is 116km. Simply put, that’s what the scooter is capable of offering in ideal conditions. What we care about is what you get on the road. Because that’s far from ideal-instant acceleration, repeated braking, pillion rider-everything affects range. And we call that number the True Range.”
On the other hand, Ola Electric’s Dubey stated that people in the industry act as if variations from ARAI are occurring for the first time. He argued that there is a particular mileage that you get from ARAI certification in the traditional auto sector, and then there is a real-world mileage.
“Everybody asks and finds out what the mileage is. Now let us look at the data. On average, the variation that industry has between ARAI range and what they deliver in the real world on mileage is about 30 to 40 per cent. Ola’s data from 181 to 135, the ARAI had 25 per cent variation. So, we have the lowest variation in the industry," Dubey added.
When deliveries of the e-scooters were delayed, Ola Electric was chastised. The first batch of electric scooters was delivered to Ola clients after a four-month wait. However, now the company claims that at present it is producing 1,000 S1 e-scooters every day and this figure is certain to rise in the coming months.
Ola Electric's CEO, Bhavish Aggarwal, has stated that the company's output has increased and is now approaching a thousand units per day. He stated that these scooters will be delivered on time, as promised.
In December last year, Dubey also confirmed that the next purchase window would be open in late January. He told Economic Times: “The next full payment and purchase windows will open in late January and that is when the next batch of customers will be able to buy the S1 scooters and we will start deliveries soon after that on a broad basis as well.”
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