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Budget-priced 70 mph electric scooters from Ola begin sales, shake up industry

The start of sales for the Ola Electric S1 and S1 Pro electric scooters has been hotly anticipated since the scooters were first teased earlier this year. Now that orders are open, all eyes are on Ola to see how the company grows its scooter operations domestically and abroad.

Ola’s scooters are built locally in India inside of a massive scooter megafactory with an initial annual capacity of 2 million electric scooters. The megafactory’s production capacity is already planned with expansion in mind to reach 10 million units per year.

That’s key for India, which has the largest two-wheeled market in the world. Around 15 million two-wheelers are sold annually in India. With gas motorbikes still heavily outselling electric alternatives, Ola Electric could help rewrite the transportation landscape in India within a short period of time.

Unlike many of the moped-class electric scooters we see with 45 km/h (28 mph) speed limits, Ola came right out of the gate with a fully capable electric scooter in the S1 and S1 Pro.

An 8.5 kW electric motor mounted within the scooter’s frame provides the S1 with a top speed of 90 km/h (56 mph) and an even faster top speed in the S1 Pro of 115 km/h (71 mph).

The scooters house large capacity batteries, with 3 kWh of capacity in the S1 and 4 kWh of capacity in the S1 Pro. That translates into ranges of 121 km (75 miles) and 181 km (112 miles), respectively.

Unlike simpler scooters with bare-bones functions, Ola equipped its models with an array of smart features.

The 121 kg (267 lb) scooters include large 7-inch color touch screens that include GPS-based map navigation in addition to typical performance readouts on user-selectable skins.

Just like your cellphone, the scooter also packs a digital voice assistant. Saying to the scooter, “Hey Ola, play some music,” will pull up your playlist and get the tunes cranking out of the scooter’s built-in speaker system.

Riders can even take calls via the scooter’s OS by connecting their phones.

Speaking of phones, the scooter’s app provides a high level of control. Riders can pop the trunk, adjust lighting, set geo-fencing boundaries, modify electronic sound profiles (or remove them entirely), create rider profiles, and more.

Profiles can be installed on the scooter for friends and family members so that the scooter remembers each riders’ performance customizations and user interface modifications.

In addition to the impressive tech, the most shocking aspect of the scooters upon their unveiling was certainly the price, which begins at just Rs 99,999 ($1,350).

Ola had previously discussed plans to eventually export its electric scooters internationally, but that timetable was moved up considerably when CEO Bhavish Aggarwal announced that the US would be receiving Ola scooters as soon as early next year.

For now though, Ola’s electric scooters are only available in India where they have just begun taking orders. At the rate that the company is growing its production, we don’t expect it to take very long before Ola scooters start making their way overseas.

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Avatar for Micah Toll Micah Toll

Micah Toll is a personal electric vehicle enthusiast, battery nerd, and author of the Amazon #1 bestselling books DIY Lithium Batteries, DIY Solar Power, The Ultimate DIY Ebike Guide and The Electric Bike Manifesto.

The e-bikes that make up Micah’s current daily drivers are the $999 Lectric XP 2.0, the $1,095 Ride1Up Roadster V2, the $1,199 Rad Power Bikes RadMission, and the $3,299 Priority Current. But it’s a pretty evolving list these days.

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