Ola S1 Air vs Ola S1: which Ola electric scooter should you buy in 2023?

Ola Electric recently refreshed its lineup and the Bengaluru-based EV startup has the most elaborate portfolio to date. The company now offers choices for its consumers with an Ola Electric scooter being present at different price points, feature sets, performance and ranges. With more options than ever to choose from Ola’s stable, we take a crack at helping you decide the best Ola electric scooter for you. 

Ola S1 Air vs Ola S1: price in India, availability 

Ola Electric has inflated Ola S1’s lineup with a variety of variants being offered at different price points. The company now has three battery pack options for the Ola S1 Air for users looking for a cost-effective EV. Ola has now positioned the Ola S1 and Ola S1 Pro with the same three battery packs but with premium features and higher aspirational value. The Ola S1 Air with the 2kWh battery pack now starts at Rs 84,999 (ex-showroom) while the Ola S1 with the 2kWh battery pack starts at Rs 99,999 (ex-showroom).

That said here’s a quick look at Ola Electric’s current price chart (ex-showroom Bengaluru):

Ola Electric price chart

Ola S1 Air vs Ola S1 

Design

The Ola S1 Air and the Ola S1 electric scooters look fairly similar at a glance and that is true to a large extent. The clean modern lines appear to be futuristic and the electric scooters wear a minimalistic look. However, upon closer inspection, the cheaper Ola S1 Air appears to be the base variant that it is. The lower body panels are black plastic and the rear grab handles get a more conventional tubular design. The infamous single-sided front suspension also makes way for tried and tested double telescopic front forks. 

The S1 Air is available in Porcelain White, Neo Mint, Coral Glam, Jet Black, and Liquid Silver colour options. The Ola S1 and Ola S1 Pro get an additional six colour options in their palette which include Matte Black, Anthracite Grey, Millennial Pink, and Marshmellow and Gerua. The Ola S1 Pro also gets a Khaki colour. 

Performance

ola-s1-pro-price-image-specs

Performance is a key Ola S1 trait and that comes from the 8.5kW motor that does duty on all battery pack options of the Ola S1 and Ola S1 Pro. The motor when paired to the 2kWh and 3kWh battery packs on the Ola S1 can go up to 90kmph and 95kmph of top speed respectively. The Ola S1 Pro however squeezes out the most performance with its 4kWh battery pack that allows the scooter to go up to a company-claimed 116kmph of top speed. The Ola S1 Pro is also the quickest, managing the zero to 40kmph and zero to 60kmph sprints in 2.9 seconds and 4.5 seconds respectively. 

The Ola S1 Air being the base level offering makes do with a 4.5kW motor that is mated to 2kWh, 3kWh and 4kWh battery packs. However, all the variants are electronically limited to a top speed of 85kmph. The acceleration figures to are not out at the moment, but it will not be quicker than the more expensive Ola S1 and Ola S1 Pro. 

Range and charging

Ola’s new lineup has an elaborate distribution of offerings that cater to a variety of range requirements. The Ola S1 Air with the 2kWh, 3kWh and 4kWh battery packs deliver 85km, 125km, and 165km of range. The same battery packs with the more powerful motors on the Ola S1 and the Ola S1 Pro are calibrated to fetch riders 91km, 141km and 181km of range. 

The Ola S1 Air charge times aren’t out yet but it’s likely to be slightly slower than the Ola S1 and Ola S1 Pro. This could be the case despite the Ola S1 Air using similar-sized battery packs as the company could electronically limit the amount of charge that flows into the battery pack given its segment positioning. That said, the Ola S1 with the 2kWh and 3kWh battery pack takes 4 hours and 5 hours to fully charge at home, and the flagship Ola S1 Pro with the 4kWh battery pack takes 6 hours and 30 minutes to do the same. 

Features

Ola S1 Pro features

All the variants have some crucial features as standard and that includes the 7-inch HD full-colour touch screen that runs Ola Electric’s MoveOS 3 software. The Ola S1 lineup also gets full LED lighting, drive modes, up to 34L under-seat storage, a combi braking system, navigation, etc. The Ola S1 Air, given the electric scooter’s value-efficient positioning, settles for pressed steel wheels, drum brakes, hub motor arrangement, etc. Similarly, Hyper Mode and Cruise Control functions are limited to the Ola S1 Pro. 

Ola S1 Air vs Ola S1: verdict

Ola Electric’s lineup now has more players than ever and all versions of the Ola S1 Air and Ola S1 serve up to specific requirements of buyers. The Ola S1 Air offers a frugal and value-for-money EV for riders with lower range requirements and users who do not want too many tech and gizmos. The Ola S1 and the Ola S1 Pro on the other hand offer performance that will be lucrative for riders wanting a bit more of their daily commutes. Some additional features like a higher resolution display, slightly more under-seat storage, disc brakes, alloy wheels, more colour options, etc do the trick to make them the more aspirational products in the Ola Electric lineup. 

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