Ola S1 Air vs Ather 450S: Battle Of The Affordable E-scooters
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Ola S1 Air vs Ather 450S: Battle Of The Affordable E-scooters

Reviews by Team Drivio | Aug 11, 2023

On paper, the Ola S1 Air seems to be the winner of the two. 

  • In terms of design, both scooters seem to be unchanged from their older siblings. 
  • In fact, both pack a similar 90kmph top speed as well. 
  • Where the S1 Air takes the cake though, is in terms of pricing. 

As the effects of the FAME II subsidies diminish, the cost of electric vehicles is on the rise. Nonetheless, in response to this challenge, electric vehicle manufacturers are introducing more economical options, particularly in the realm of electric scooters. Notably, Ola and Ather are two companies at the forefront, showcasing their latest offerings in the form of the S1 Air and 450S models.

Delving deeper into these two electric scooters, namely the Ola S1 Air and the Ather 450S, provides valuable insights into their respective features, offerings, and a comprehensive comparison between the two.

Ola S1 Air vs Ather 450S: Design & Features

Diverging from its pricier counterparts, the S1 and S1 Pro, the Ola S1 Air presents a more utilitarian design focused on commuters. This rendition showcases a flat floorboard, complemented by sleek black body cladding, a unified pillion grab rail, and robust steel wheels as a departure from its alloy counterparts. In contrast to its higher-end siblings, the S1 Air dials back on attention-grabbing aesthetics, positioning itself as an accessible variant within the Ola S1 lineup.

Of particular note, the Ola S1 Air incorporates a complete LED lighting system and boasts a 7-inch TFT instrument console that comes with touch-enabled functionality. This console integrates Bluetooth connectivity for effortless navigation and introduces a range of features including music control, remote unlocking capabilities, and a convenient side-stand alert. Impressively, the scooter is equipped for over-the-air software updates, ensuring a continuous evolution of its feature set.

Blending utility with a dynamic visual appeal, the Ather 450S electric scooter presents an enticing option for riders.

The scooter's design intricacies, including the integration of the LED headlight on the front apron and the streamlined body cladding, coalesce seamlessly, resulting in an aesthetically pleasing and sporty appearance.

Ola S1 Air vs Ather 450S: Motor & Range

Specifications  Ola S1 AirAther 450S
Motor4.5kW3kW (peak)
Top Speed90kmph90kmph
Battery2.98kWh3kWh
Range125km (Eco Mode)90km

Driving the Ola S1 Air forward is an electric motor of the hub variety, capable of producing a rated power of 2.7kW and an impressive peak power of 4.5kW. This motor derives its energy from a 3kWh battery pack, gifting the electric scooter with an official range of 125km and a top speed of approximately 90kmph.

A slight lag is observable between twisting the throttle and the scooter's commencement of forward motion or acceleration for passing maneuvers. During rapid deceleration, a noticeable tendency emerges where the scooter retains a measure of acceleration even after the throttle is released.

The Ather 450S electric scooter showcases a potent 6kW motor with a solid 26Nm torque output, delivering remarkable performance. Propelled by a dependable 3kWh Lithium-ion battery pack, it incorporates a Battery Management System (BMS) that ensures precise and efficient power distribution for optimal performance.

Ola S1 Air vs Ather 450S: Suspension, Tyres & Brakes

SpecificationsOla S1 AirAther 450S
Front SuspensionTelescopic ForkTelescopic fork
Rear SuspensionDual Shock Absorbers Monoshock
Front Tyre110/70-1290/90-12
Rear Tyre110/70-12100/80-12
Front brakeDrum BrakesDisc brake
Rear brakeDrum BrakesDisc brake

Ola has made a transition from its prior single fork setup to a more conventional telescopic fork design. Regrettably, this alteration hasn't significantly transformed the scooter's ride quality. The ride still maintains a firm and somewhat jarring feel, particularly when traversing uneven road surfaces. Passengers, in particular, might encounter challenges due to this stiffness.

Its effectiveness wanes when confronted with sizeable obstacles, potentially resulting in a less comfortable and more jolting ride encounter. However, on a positive note, the Ola S1 Air distinguishes itself in terms of cornering capabilities. The interplay of its suspension system, sturdy tubular chassis, and ample 12-inch tires collectively provide a sense of assurance and steadiness while manoeuvring through curves.

Ather has significantly elevated the ride and handling dynamics of the 450S by implementing upgraded MRF tires that incorporate an enhanced compound. These improved tires excel in providing superior grip for both the front and rear, translating into heightened traction and road stability.

The scooter's well-rounded profile facilitates smoother and more precise cornering, instilling riders with enhanced confidence while navigating curves. With these advancements, riders can confidently maintain higher speeds through bends, resulting in a more exhilarating and enjoyable ride.

Moreover, the introduction of the new MRF tires brings about advantageous improvements in braking performance. Although the braking hardware itself remains unaltered, the modified tire compound and profile contribute to a reduction in the occurrence of squealing noise during forceful braking. 

Ola S1 Air vs Ather 450S: Dimensions

DimensionsOla S1 AirAther 450S
Length1859mm1837mm
Width712mm734mm
Height1160mm1250mm
Wheelbase1359mm1295mm
Seat height792mm780mm
Ground clearance165mm153mm
Kerb weight108kg111.6kg

Weighing in at 108kg, the S1 Air boasts a noticeable 13kg reduction in weight compared to its counterpart, the S1 Pro. This distinction becomes evident right from the outset. The agility in shifting directions becomes notably more responsive, and manoeuvring the scooter around corners feels notably more effortless. With the utilization of a smaller battery pack, the perceived weightiness that was associated with the S1 Pro has been successfully eliminated in the S1 Air.

Despite its modest dimensions, the Ather 450S excels in delivering a nimble and agile ride, rendering it an excellent choice for urban commuting. Its lightweight structure enhances its manoeuvring capabilities, empowering riders to effortlessly navigate through congested city areas. Riders often describe the experience of riding the Ather 450S as a source of delight, owing to its swift responsiveness and effortless handling, which infuses a dash of enjoyment into everyday commutes.

In summary, the Ather 450S distinguishes itself by seamlessly uniting potent performance, enhanced ride and handling dynamics, and agile manoeuvrability—qualities ideally suited for urban settings. With its upgraded features and gratifying riding experience, the Ather 450S presents a compelling choice for city-dwelling riders in search of an electric scooter that seamlessly blends practicality with excitement.

Ola S1 Air vs Ather 450S: Price

ModelPrice 
Ola S1 AirRs 1,19,999
Ather 450SRs 1,29,999

Exclusively offered in a solitary configuration, the Ola S1 Air is equipped with a 2.98kWh battery pack. During its initial launch, this particular variant was made available at an enticing introductory cost of Rs 1,09,999.

After this promotional period, the price of the Ola S1 Air will transition to Rs 1,19,999 (both values being ex-showroom prices and encompassing the FAME 2 subsidy). Potential purchasers have the choice of selecting from a palette of four attractive colour options: Porcelain White, Coral Glam, Midnight Blue, and Liquid Silver.

Ather has placed a price tag of Rs 1,29,999 on the 450S model. Following a strategy akin to Ola's approach with their S1 Air, S1, and S1 Pro variants, Ather aims to present a spectrum of pricing options within the 450S line-up. 

Verdict

This leads us back to the initial query: is purchasing the Ather 450S a wise choice? The answer is a definite and enthusiastic affirmation. Ather has skillfully crafted a downsized 450S that remarkably avoids any sense of compromise. 

Each measure taken to reduce costs has been executed meticulously, leaving no impression that the scooter was designed with budget constraints. Remarkably, these adjustments haven't deviated from the core essence of the Ather 450X – a sporty scooter renowned for its adept handling and an unwavering ability to evoke sheer joy with every ride.