Ola Electric had recently announced that it will launch a sub-Rs 80,000 S1 electric scooter and leaked information on the interweb suggests it will be called the S1 Air. The Ola S1 Air will serve as the new base variant and the company has made significant changes to the S1 electric scooter to arrive at a competitive price point.
Ola S1 Air: what's new?
To begin with, Ola seems to have made a majority of the changes to the chassis of the electric scooter.
What's clearly visible is a conventional telescopic fork instead of the single-sided fork on the S1 and S1 Pro models. The double-sided swingarm and the non-flat-mounted monoshock are the other big differences between the Ola S1 Air and its siblings. In order to keep costs in check, Ola has also swapped the alloy wheels with cheaper, steel wheels and replaced the disc brake set-up with drum brakes, both at the front and rear wheels. The tyres, however, seem to have a similar pattern to the ones on the premium models.
Ola S1 Air: battery and performance
Since the Ola S1 Air is the new base model, the battery capacity and motor performance may be much lower than the S1 and S1 Pro.
The Ola S1 Air has a hub-mounted motor, which should be below the 5kW mark, while the battery capacity should be around the 2.5-3kWh mark. That may translate to an IDC range of around 100km in Eco Mode. As far as top speed is concerned, the S1 Air is expected to get up to an indicated 90kph. The scooter is also likely to have three ride modes, each expected to alter acceleration and top speed.
In our mega e-scooter comparison, the Ola S1 Pro has an 8.5kW motor and a 4kWh battery. We've tested the scooter during our mega EV comparison test and noted that its GPS-verified top speed is 99.8kph (indicated speed 115kph).
Ola S1 Air: design and features
The S1 Air's design seems to be the same as the rest of the S1 models, save for a blacked-out bottom panel that extends from the side to the tail section of the scooter. The scooter also seems to have a different seat and tubular grab rail, which again looks pretty conventional.
The big change, however, is seen in the shape of the floorboard that's flat and not banana-shaped as in the S1 and S1 Pro. This is likely the effect of the space that was liberated with the inclusion of a smaller battery in the S1 Air. Hence, those who wanted a flat floorboard to ferry their bags will appreciate the S1 Air's ability to offer this convenience.
Speaking of, the scooter's boot space is expected to be roughly around 34 litres, which is significantly better than the competition.
Another feature that it seems to share with the higher-rung S1s is the 7-inch touchscreen display. It is likely to feature Bluetooth connectivity, call notifications and navigation. That should make it the only scooter in its price bracket with such an infotainment screen.
Ola S1 Air: price, availability and competition
Ola is expected to throw open bookings for the S1 Air today and deliveries may begin in a few weeks. As for the price, expect it to sit close to the Rs 80,000 (ex-showroom) mark. If Ola does manage to position it at this price, it will be priced nearly on par with the base TVS iQube which currently costs Rs 99,130 after FAME II and state subsidy in Delhi.