Ola Electric has yet again delayed the delivery of its electric scooters, citing global shortage of chipsets and electronic parts.
The delays range from two weeks to a month with the first batch of deliveries now expected to start between December 15 and 30, the company has informed customers who have pre-booked the vehicles.
“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,” Ola Electric said in an email to customers.
Ola Electric, which was spun out of the ride-hailing major Ola in 2019, had initially indicated plans to start deliveries in October after selling Rs 1,100 crore worth of electric scooters in a two-day sale in September. This was later pushed to a window between October 25 and November 25.
The company started test rides only from November 10 in cities like Bengaluru, Delhi, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata and later expanded to nine cities, including Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Mumbai and Pune. On November 20, Ola announced plans to offer test rides to customers across more than 1,000 cities and towns in the country. It will initially be open only for those who have purchased or reserved the Ola S1 and S1 Pro scooters.
On October 31, Ola Electric had also deferred the second purchase window for its electric scooters from November 1 to December 16. The firm had attributed this delay to the “unprecedented demand” it had received for its Ola S1 and S1 Pro scooters and they are “currently busy fulfilling existing orders”.
Moneycontrol had exclusively reported on November 16 that Ola Electric has let go of its Head of Quality Assurance Joseph Thomas, after hiring him barely a year ago. His exit came amid delays in its scooter delivery schedule.
Moneycontrol’s review of the scooter also showed that the models handed out for review were not finished products but almost production-ready versions running a beta version of Ola’s in-house software.
Varun Dubey, Chief Marketing Officer of Ola Electric Mobility, said that unlike regular scooters, the Ola S1 and the Ola S1 Pro will only get better with timely over-the-air updates to fine-tune and optimise the software.
Certain key features advertised earlier are still a few updates away, including the hill-hold feature (making it easier to start from a stationary position on a slope without rolling back), voice-activated commands, remote unlocking through an app on a phone, playing music through the speakers, and visual moods that alter the sound and layout of the instrument cluster.
According to Dubey, these updates will be available via a simple download by the time the first batch of customers takes delivery of the scooters later this month.
Ola has also witnessed a spate of exits in recent weeks, even as it gears up to list on the public markets. On November 16, the company announced key hires across Ola Financial Services, Ola Cars, and Ola Electric to strengthen its leadership team.