Amaan AhmedNov 20, 2021 20:28:42 IST
In what comes as disappointing news for buyers of Ola Electric’s maiden scooter as well as EV enthusiasts in the country, deliveries of the Ola S1 and S1 Pro e-scooters have been pushed back once again, and buyers’ wait for the scooter will be prolonged by a further few weeks. Tech2 can now confirm customers have been informed they will only start receiving their Ola S1/S1 Pro from the middle of December 2021; a delay of around three weeks from the most recent update of deliveries commencing in November.
This is the latest in a spate of delays by Ola Electric. Originally, the start-up was to open the purchase window for the scooters on 8 September, but with the company’s website running into technical issues, it was advanced by a week to 15 September, following which Ola stopped taking orders within two days. The second purchase window – originally set to open on 1 November – was pushed back by a month and a half, and is now slated to open on 16 December.
At launch, Ola Electric had promised deliveries of the scooters would begin in October; however, there was no sign of the S1 and S1 Pro in October, and test rides only began on 10 November. Only those customers who had paid Rs 20,499 could avail a test ride initially across just four cities, and Ola has since expanded the initiative to offer test rides in nine cities.
All through these delays, Ola Electric stood firm by its delivery commitments, assuring buyers that they will receive their scooter within the promised delivery timeframe. However, with just 10 days left in the month, Ola Electric has started informing customers that there is yet another delay in deliveries, and that they will only receive their scooters starting 15 December.
“Due to the ongoing global shortage of chipsets and electronic parts, there are some unavoidable delays to your Ola S1 delivery. We apologise for this delay and assure you that we are ramping up production as fast as we can so you can get your Ola S1 at the earliest”, reads an email from Ola Electric, as seen by Tech2.
What’s worth noting is that while Ola Electric is attributing this delay to a shortage of electronic components, the scooter itself seems to be some time away from being fully ready for customers. Several media houses that rode pre-production scooters earlier this month reported software glitches, heating issues and erratic throttle behaviour. Ola is said to be working on fixing these problems with software updates before it starts sending these scooters to customers directly, which is also a challenge, as the company is aiming to establish a new, direct-to-consumer sales model at a scale never seen before.
It remains to be seen how customers take to this latest (and not-insubstantial) delay in deliveries, considering many have already paid the full amount for the scooter – which is priced at Rs 99,999 for the S1 and Rs 1,29,999 for the S1 Pro (ex-showroom, including FAME-II subsidy but excluding state subsidies) and may well be staring at waiting for a month or more for delivery despite paying for the scooter up front. It’ll be an even bigger challenge for those who have opted for finance, as their payments for the scooter will likely begin even before they’ve taken delivery.