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Ola Electric promised big, but is it delivering on those?


Will Ola be able to deliver all scooters as promised and within timelines remains to be seen but clearly, the big promises made by the company during its promotional campaigns are now on test.

Bhavish Aggarwal led Ola Electric began rolling out its much-awaited electric scooter on 15th December after several delays. The company’s production & delivery schedule had been impacted due to supply chain and quality-related issues. While customers have welcomed the commercial deliveries, there are questions that Ola needs to answer and customers have been taking to Twitter to remind the company of its promises.
Has the company delivered on all bookings?
Ola Electric has said it has dispatched all scooters which had a December delivery window. The company’s Chief Business Officer Arun Sirdeshmukh told CNBC-TV18 that Ola has shipped close to 4000 scooters in December. “We’ve dispatched vehicles to ALL who purchased. Some in transit, most already at delivery centres near you getting through RTO registration process. The registration process took longer than we anticipated as a fully digital process is new for all”, said Ola Electric Founder Bhavish Aggarwal in a statement.
Now, while the company claims to have dispatched 4000 scooters, only 275-300 vehicles have been delivered according to vehicle registration data on the Road Transport Ministry website. There is no clarity on the actual number of deliveries and by when would Ola be able to deliver on all 90000 bookings that it has on its books.
The feedback on the scooter has been a mixed bag. While some who have received the scooter have praised the vehicle, there are others who have complained about delayed deliveries and less than promised performance.
Does the scooter deliver the 181 km range as promised?
In all its promotional campaigns Ola Electric has been stressing on the scooter having best in industry range of 181 km certified by ARAI or Automotive Research Association of India. The company’s website also says that the scooter has an ARAI-certified range of 181 km, but what it does not say is that this 181 kms was achieved under lab conditions. “There is a standard lab test carried out under controlled conditions. In the actual usage, you see a 20-25 percent difference. Companies should clearly put a rider that this range is under controlled conditions and should be wiser while advertising. The range is something which one can easily realize”, said an ARAI official.
It was only after deliveries began on 15th December that Ola started responding to customer questions on the 181 km range and said that the true real-world range is 135 km and the same can be achieved under normal city conditions, moderate temperatures, one rider weighing 70 kgs, no luggage and normal modes. The company does not specify how riding on hyper mode or in different road and weather conditions will impact the vehicle range. Some customers have tweeted to say the scooter gives a maximum of 90-100 km of range.
Did Ola deliver on features as promised?
The Ola Electric website promised at least 27 software features for the S1 and S1 Pro. But the scooters delivered to customers do not have some of the promised features including blue tooth connectivity, cruise control, proximity lock, voice control, hill hold, mood widgets. There is no clarity as to when customers will get these features. “Our OTA updates as of now are free and inclusive in the price (not subscriber model). Many of its features are being released as OTA updates over the next few weeks and months so that the scooter refreshes itself regularly”, said an Ola Electric spokesperson to CNBC-TV18.
CNBC-TV18 has learned that Ola Electric is working towards honoring all 90000 bookings by the end of February. The company which has announced an installed capacity of one million units is currently manufacturing 200-250 scooters per day, up from 100 scooters per day a few weeks ago, said a source. Will the company be able to deliver all scooters as promised and within timelines remains to be seen but clearly, the big promises made by the company during its promotional campaigns are now on test.
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