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    Ola S1 and S1 Pro: The electric challenge for scooters

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    Ola S1 and S1 Pro: The electric challenge for scooters

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    Ola Electric launched the cheapest among a host of electric scooters on Sunday. Ola’s S1 is priced at Rs 99,999 (ex-showroom) and the more potent Ola S1 Pro at Rs 1,29,999. The two scooters can run 121 km and 181 km on a full charge as their battery capacity is 3-kilowatt hour (kwh) and 3.9 kwh, respectively.

    Ola Electric launched the cheapest among a host of electric scooters on Sunday. Ola’s S1 is priced at Rs 99,999 (ex-showroom) and the more potent Ola S1 Pro at Rs 1,29,999. The two scooters can run 121 km and 181 km on a full charge as their battery capacity is 3-kilowatt hour (kwh) and 3.9 kwh, respectively.
    While the S1 model takes 5 hours to charge completely, S1 Pro takes 6.30 hours. Using Ola’s supercharger, however, one could charge the scooter to 50 percent capacity within 18 minutes.
    Its other specs are just as good, they come with a seven-inch touchscreen display, cruise control, keyless access.
    Ola vs Competitors
    Ola has priced its products competitively, on the road in Delhi (taking into consideration the FAME subsidies, state-level subsidies, and insurance cost), Ola’s S1 model should cost you Rs 90,000.
    Comparing this with existing EV scooter models, TVS iQube is priced at Rs 1,01,000 and Ather’s 450 Plus is priced at Rs 1,18,000. Bajaj Chetak is the costliest in the segment, priced at Rs 1,50,000
     Assuming both the vehicles are driven about 10,000 km in a year, the total cost of ownership works out to be Rs 93,250* for Ola’s S1 model and Rs 96,500* for Honda’s Activa 6G. However, there is a fair bit of assumption here, depending on how you use the model. The prices here include the cost of electricity at Rs 10 per unit (in Delhi) and the cost of fuel at Rs 100/litre for S1 and Activa 6G, respectively.
    *in the real-world, prices are expected to deviate.
    Who will be impacted in listed space?
    TVS has the highest exposure to scooters amongst listed two-wheelers OEMs. Out of the total two-wheelers sold in India, the unlisted Honda has over 50 percent share. TVS has a 20 percent share in the market, making it the most impacted share.
    TVS and Bajaj launched their first scooter a year and a half ago. Hero plans to launch a fast-charging electric scooter by March 2022. It owns about 35 percent of Ather Energy, and it launched its first electric scooter in 2018.
    Honda, on the other hand, has yet to venture into space. Though it is the leader in the scooter space with a 50 percent market share.
    What remains to be seen is the real-world experience of these electric vehicles. Meanwhile, there are some challenges still faced by electric scooter manufacturers.
    Challenges faced by EV manufacturers
    India imports 50 percent of the key components used to manufacture these scooters like batteries and motors and battery components like Lithium (Li). So, there will always be a concern relating to import dependence. However, companies like Panasonic are exploring setting up a Li-ion battery manufacturing unit in the country.
    It also has an environmental concern. The rise in the use of Li-ion batteries requires sound handling from an environmental point of view. Either these batteries should be repurposed to use in secondary applications, or they should be sent for recycling so metals can be recovered from them. A proper waste management system is a must though.
    Watch the accompanying video of CNBC-TV18's Prasant Nair for more details.
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