The wait for buyers eager to ride the much-hyped Ola Electric S1 and S1 Pro e-scooters is set to end soon. While the start-up had initially been promised test rides would begin today, 10 November, it has only rolled out the test ride slot booking mini-site for now, with the actual test ride commencement date being pushed to 12 November. Only those who have made the initial payment during the first two days of the Ola S1 and S1 Pro sales (15 and 16 September) will test ride the scooter, as the ‘ride camps’ are being organized in select cities are an invite-only event.
Test rides of the Ola Electric scooters will initially be available in four cities – Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Delhi, and Bengaluru. The scooters will be present at select locations in these cities – Delhiites will have to head to Forum (WeWork), Cyber City, Kolkata residents will have to visit the South City mall, buyers in Ahmedabad can ride the scooters at Himalaya mall, and Bengaluru customers will be invited to Prestige Cube Laskar.
The scooters will be present at these locations from 10 am to 7 pm over three days from 12 November to 14 November, which is a weekend, and will ensure Ola Electric can provide maximum test rides to those wanting to make up their mind before finalizing their purchase and making the remainder of the payment. Ola Electric is also opening the final purchase window for the initial set of buyers today so that once customers have had their test ride, they can immediately complete the rest of the transaction. Those who make their payment soon may start receiving deliveries sometime in the second half of this month.
Between 15 and 16 September – the two days the purchase window was open – Ola Electric claims to have sold scooters worth Rs 1,100 crore. We understand the total order bank with Ola Electric for the S1 and S1 Pro electric scooters at present is more than one lakh units, with bookings running into multiples of lakhs. The purchase window will reopen for fresh orders on 16 December, but prices for the S1 (Rs 99,999) and S1 Pro (Rs 1,29,999) will likely see an upward revision.
Ola Electric is currently conducting trial production at its sprawling Futurefactory in Tamil Nadu, which the company claims is the world’s largest factory to employ an all-women workforce. According to a PTI report, Ola Electric recently raised $200 million in funding at a valuation of $5 billion, a significant jump over the $100 million budget presented in a round led by global asset manager Falcon Edge Capital, Japan’s Softbank, and other firms at the end of September.
The plant is billed as the world’s largest two-wheeler production facility, spread out over a total of 500 acres of land. Ola’s facility has an annual production capacity of two million vehicles in Phase 1, and that number will rise to ten million cars by next year. At that point, Ola Electric estimates it will be producing a new two-wheeler every two seconds from ten production lines.
While its first product was based on the AppScooter developed by Dutch start-up Etergo (acquired by Ola Electric in 2020), the company is working to create different electric vehicles. It has even appointed former Jaguar design chief Wayne Burgess as its vice president of design.