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Ola Electric scooter true range: EV maker clarifies as rival Ather takes a dig

Ola Electric’s official website says that its S1 Pro electric scooter has an ARAI certified range of 181 kms and Ola true range at 135 kms. However, the discrepancy has been a cause why Ola drew flak recently.

Ola Electric scooters S1 and S1 Pro have started to reach homes across India. And customers who were lucky to receive them within the first few weeks of delivery commencing have come up with mixed reactions. While many have been raving about features such as the Hyper mode, among other highlights, there have also been concerns raised by several customers about the Ola Electric scooters not delivering on on-paper claims such as range.

Facing several complaints and queries, Ola Electric decided to come up with its clarifications in which it expressed its disappointment on people raising the range issue compared to the ARAI certified range.

Varun Dubey, Chief Marketing Officer at Ola Electric, hinted that the EV maker has been subjected to unfair criticism over the matter.

When Ola launched the S1 and S1 Pro electric scooters back in August last year, one of the USPs of the product was its range. Ola said that the S1 Pro has an ARAI certified range of 181 kms. However, the real world range is being reported to be less than the figure.

In an interview with news channels on Friday, Dubey said, “All vehicles have to receive a local ARAI certification which always provides a figure which is higher than the real-world mileage. This is standard industry practice.”

Facing flak, Ola had earlier clarified that the true range of the electric scooter is 135 kms.

However, it also said that the true range can only be achieved if the scooter is used under conditions like only one rider weighing less than 70 kgs riding in normal mode in city conditions where roads do not have inclines more than five per cent and no extra load on the vehicle.

During an interview, Dubey said, “ARAI is the law. We have to get that certification. We have put that number out on our website. And we have also shared with customers what the true range is which, by the way, no other manufacturer puts on their website.”

The explanation did not help the criticism to die down. Even on Friday, Tarun Mehta, the CEO and co-founder of Ola’s rival Ather Energy, took a dig at Ola’s true range. Mehta wrote on Twitter, “Just heard an Ola rep say that they are the first OEM to talk about TrueRange (the range that you will actually get in city conditions) when Ather LITERALLY has the trademark on that word.”

It is important to note here that during HT Auto’s road test of Ather 450X, the best per-charge range achieved was around 86 kms.

Ola Electric’s Dubey, however, would hit back too. “It is a little surprising that people in the industry are behaving as if variations from ARAI is happening for the first time. If you look in the traditional auto industry, there is a certain mileage that you have from ARAI certification and then there is a real world mileage. Everybody asks and finds out what the mileage is. Now let us look at the data. On average, the variation that industry has between ARAI range and what they deliver in the real world on mileage is about 30 to 40%. Ola’s data from 181 to 135, the ARAI had 25% variation. So, we have the lowest variation in the industry.”

The criticism against Ola Electric began when deliveries of the e-scooters were delayed.

It took four months before Ola could roll out the first batch of electric scooters to its customers. Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO of Ola Electric, recently assured that the company has picked up pace of production and is nearing a thousand units every day. He said deliveries of these scooters will take place in time as promised earlier.

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