Cancelled my Ola S1 e-scooter booking: Looking for alternates

My dad prefers the Honda Activa and I the TVS Jupiter. However, the petrol prices are making us consider an EV.

BHPian hemanth.anand recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

After having booked the scooter and having made the full payment on November 13th, I was told that the scooter will be delivered between November 15th to November 30th. Now S1 was not perfect but not bad as Okinawa and other Chinese brands. But three things that were still bugging me:

  • Overheating issue: A major issue pointed out in S1 Pro reviews after riding in Hyper mode. I had ignored this issue as ours would be an S1 and there is no hyper mode.
  • The dead acceleration on braking: It was something that I didn’t like but had ignored this as my father is a very slow rider and he can manage/get used to this. I also had hopes that Ola might correct it in a future OTA update.
  • The absence of a flat floorboard: This is one major complaint that my father has of his Vespa now. He always tells me that I got him a bad vehicle after selling his Activa. I had ignored this issue during my test ride because Ola’s under-seat storage space is huge!

I was certain that the Ola scooter delivery will be postponed and as per the expectations, I got an email on November 20th that the delivery schedule is pushed ahead by a month. This additional time allowed my father to take a look at the scooter (he hadn’t accompanied me earlier). Straight away he told me that he doesn’t want this scooter solely for the floorboard not being flat. I told him that the under-seat storage was huge and he has enough space to put all the things he puts and moreover, I told him that he is used to Vespa now.

He said that when we are changing the Vespa any which way, he wants a flat floorboard scooter. His argument is that how much ever the under-seat storage is, the convenience of a flat floorboard is a different thing as he can’t keep on opening the seat every time he buys some small things. I concurred with him as 1, his point was correct and 2, I didn’t want to hear the same “you got me a bad scooter” complaint going forward too.

On 21st November, I tried to cancel my order and on the app or website, I couldn’t find any option to do so. I called their helpline and requested them to cancel. They told me to write an email for cancellation which I did. The email reply I received said that I have to cancel on the app!! Again I called the helpline number…for 4 days this loop happened 3 times and finally, on 25th November, the support person told me that the software was designed to cancel the order only till the first two payments were made. since I had made the third and final payment also the cancel button was not appearing for me. Finally, she told that the backend team have worked on this and the cancel button will appear by the end of the day. It did appear and I confirmed the cancellation there. 6 days later, on 1st December I got a refund transaction reference number. It took another 5 days and today I got the full amount of ₹110k back in my account.

Now the hunt for my father’s next scooter is back to square one. In ICE vehicles, Activa is his preference. Although I don’t want that, I’ll not get to hear any complaints. Jupiter would be my pick in ICE scooters. However, the petrol prices are making him think of an EV. His daily running is 30 km and he feels the pinch every time he visits a fuel station.

Following are some of the OTR scooter prices in Bengaluru.

  • TVS Scooty – ₹65k
  • Honda Activa 110cc (or any other 110cc scooter) – ₹90k
  • Ola S1 – ₹110k
  • TVS iQube – ₹120k
  • Ather 450+ – ₹130k
  • Ola S1 Pro – ₹140k
  • Ather 450x – ₹155k
  • Bajaj Chetak – ₹155k

We are clear that don’t want to spend much over Rs 1 Lakh and hence the S1 was perfect from a pricing point of view. Now that it is out, I really have a real choice and we’ve hit a dead-end! Considering all the points, one option I can think of is a pre-owned Ather 450 or Bajaj Chetak If I can get a good one. The search is on and till we find that, My dad has to ride the Vespa and I’ve to continue listening to his complaints.

Here’s what BHPian Karthik.thm had to say on the matter:

I understand your point and I think we are in the same boat.

Right now I’m using TVS Scooty Pep Plus for my daily commute which was actually bought for my Father. All these years I was using bikes and since the pandemic, I’m using Pep Plus more than bikes. It’s super convenient and literally stress-free commute even in busy central Bangalore. Due to this, I started an itch to get myself a scooter so that I can give back the pep plus to Dad. I considered almost all scooters right from Pep plus to Aprilia SXR 160 even electric ones. Trust me, only TVS knows how to tune CVT in their scooters. You won’t feel any lag between acceleration input and power delivery on road, it’s almost instantaneous. The worst tune of CVT that I experienced was Suzuki Access 125, it simply doesn’t move for a couple of seconds when accelerated.

As for electric scooters, I personally think the market isn’t matured yet. Everyone talks about running the cost-effectiveness and riding the nature of an EV. However, no one realises about the cost when it comes to battery replacement or that massive screen replacement in case of a minor incident.

I did calculate the price point on ICE versus EV as below.

Say for example I’m comparing Scooty Zest and OLA S1.

ZEST – Rs 80K

S1 – Rs 110K

So if I buy Zest over S1, below is the simple math for the difference amount that I saved.

30,000÷100.58×35÷30= 347.98

That 30,000 is the difference between ZEST and S1 on-road prices.

100.58 is the petrol price in Bangalore right now.

35 is the average mileage for Zest.

30 is the average km running per day.

347.98 days of fuel bill covered.

That’s almost a year worth of fuel. I’m sorry for such a long post and bad calculations. I’m very bad at mathematics.

I really don’t know how to calculate EV running cost to match or break even for the additional Rs 30k that was spent on S1.

The current EV structure may work for some and not for many which include me. Also for who is absolute LAZY.

Just my 2 cents, if EV works for you then its well and good

Here’s what BHPian StepUP! had to say on the matter:

If I may suggest adding Yamaha Fascino 125 to the list. It is now equipped with a mild hybrid and reviewers claim they got astonishing fuel efficiency of 70kmpl!

Going through user comments also concurs with this claim. It is the lightest in the segment.

Here’s what BHPian turbodude had to say on the matter:

Sir, I suggest you take a test ride of TVS Jupiter 125 and then decide. Drum Alloy version is 97,500/- OTR here in Mumbai, mandatory accessories included. We have got one and it’s really good to ride. Due to fuel tank placement below the footboard, balancing the vehicle is very easy and you can feel it on turns.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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