It’s been a while since we put up a report on our long-termer Ola S1 Pro. Soon after the city review back in September 2022, we found that the Ola S1 Pro made a good commuting companion. During that time though, the scooter’s use was limited to just city runabouts. Now, with the launch of MoveOS 3, the Ola scooter has become compatible with the fast-charging feature. It allows owners to quickly top-up the scooter in a few minutes and has unlocked the inter-city rides to some extent.
Speaking of the software update, it has added a slew of new features to the Ola scooter. In this report, we’ll address all of these, along with our experience with the fast charging setup.
Similar to other software updates, the MoveOS 3 also took about 30 minutes for complete installation. Once done, the S1 Pro displayed with a tweaked trip meter with decimal reading. This helps with the overall accuracy of the distance covered. Even the distance to empty on the left corner can now be switched to the percentage (battery). Other tweaks such as an auto switch for the display’s appearance (light/dark), and three ride moods – Eclipse, Vintage, and Bolt – have also been added. The auto switch comes in handy as it helps with visibility on the go rather than stopping on the side and manually adjusting the appearance.
Even the riding moods employ graphic changes to the TFT and offer faux exhaust notes as well. The Eclipse mode was the default setting even before the MoveOS 3 introduction. Meanwhile, the Vintage and Bolt modes are the new additions. As the name says, the former gives an old-school theme to the S1’s screen with three circular dials, one each for the smartphone connection, speedometer, and trip meter with the odometer. While it is a welcome change, we feel the Bolt and Eclipse modes are more in line with the overall scooter as it’s a tech-savvy offering than an old-school two-wheeler. As for the faux exhaust notes, the intensity and sound changes as per the acceleration to mimic and offer the closest experience to an internal combustion engine.
Not to mention, the MoveOS 3 also allows you to tweak the system sounds (lock/unlock, turn indicators, reverse beeping, and more) along with the media sound levels. Then, you can turn on the safety lights (hazard lights), upload documents via your smartphone, and use vacation mode too. The last bit helps the scooter conserve the battery for as long as 200 days. To turn on the hazard lights, you’ll have to manually search and go to the option; a direct click of the button is what we think would have been more optimum.
The Performance Bits
Thanks to the OS 3, the S1 Pro finally gets access to different levels of regenerative braking. In total, there are three — low, default, and high. Having tested all of them, we can confirm that re-gen is not only predictive but also easy to use. All you need to do is twist the throttle in the opposite direction and the speed drops gradually. Even in its highest setting, the regenerative braking on the Ola scooter is quite likeable and manageable.
Moreover, Ola has added the hill hold and proximity unlock features to its scooter. Both are in the beta stages and function with notable unpredictability and inconsistency. The hill hold can be accessed when the vehicle is at an incline/decline angle by pressing both brakes at once. It also comes into action at a comparatively flatter ground but not every time. Meanwhile, the proximity unlock required recalibration multiple times and felt as if it had a mind of its own. Moreover, it snoozes for 30 minutes once you use it to lock/unlock the scooter, which is unnecessary. So, you’d be better off manually entering the passcode on the screen or operating the scooter with the lock/unlock feature on the Ola app.
Another minor change that we noticed is that the top speed in the Eco mode has increased to 43kmph from the previous 40kmph. Even the surge of speed in the same mode is better than before. However, the initial push that you need for the scooter to get rolling on an incline is still missing. And in case the battery is low and you can only ride in Eco mode, you will most likely be manually pushing it upwards.
With the OS 3 update, your Ola S1 Pro should recommend the nearest fast charger on the navigation screen. I tested the one in Ghatkopar, Mumbai. There are two charging ports at one station and both can be operated at the same time. As of now, the process is pretty simple – park your scooter and plug in the charger. The good thing here is that it locks, unlike the portable unit available with the scooter. But if you press the emergency button located on the charger pole, the specific unit shuts down and you can unplug the scooter immediately.
During our test, the charger needed multiple attempts of plugging in and out to access the fast charging option. Once done, we managed to charge the battery to about 50 per cent in 45 minutes. Ola claims that the hyper charger will only be free to use for a certain period of time.
For reference, a full charge at a home connection would need six hours and the same time can be cut short to about 1.5 hours with fast chargers. However, these fast chargers are good top-up options in case of an emergency since most of the owners can leave the scooter plugged in overnight at their home.
The introduction of MoveOS 3 has definitely elevated the overall user experience. But we feel there can be more performance improvements that Ola can deploy to maximise the value that the scooter provides to its owners. In its current state, the OS 3 tweaks do add to the fun quotient with gimmicks but what the scooter needs is more utility. Now, that can be changed by smaller updates like better pull in the Eco mode, traction control (since it's quite easy to lose the grip on wet surfaces), a tyre pressure monitoring system, and the like.
Make: Ola Electric
Model: S1 Pro
Range: 135km (claimed)
Price: Rs 1,39,999 (ex-showroom, Maharashtra)
Photos by Kaustubh Gandhi
OLA S1 Pro TFT / Instrument Cluster