Top 5 Electric Scooters: Can They Replace Your Conventional Scooters?
Does the growing range of electric scooters in India have it in them to replace your every-day petrol-powered scooters?
There has been a lot of talk lately about the merits of replacing fossil fuel-powered vehicles with electric ones. That said, do they really have what it takes to handle your day-to-day grinds? To find out, we took five of the best electric scooters in our market to see whether they can or can’t replace your daily drivers.
Hero Electric Nyx E5
Why it can - Pricing is kept competitive here at Rs 55,490 (ex-showroom Delhi), while keeping features like an anti-theft alarm, two-year warranty and free one-year roadside assistance plan as standard. Additionally, the pillion seat can be taken off to stack up luggage behind the rider.
Why it can’t - Imagine doing your daily commutes while not being able to go beyond 25kmph. No, it won’t be because of the traffic. The Nyx E5 actually tops out at 25kmph, which can be frustrating if you plan to cover longer distance quicker. The charging time stands at 4 hours and offers a range of just 60km. Not to mention, it isn’t one of the best looking scooters out there.
Hero Electric Photon
Why it can - In comparison, the Hero Electric Photon is probably one of the cheapest offerings in the electric scooter segment. For Rs 52,790 (ex-showroom Delhi), you get standard underpinnings like a telescopic suspension and a monoshock unit. Along with it, you also get larger 10-inch wheels, with a disc brake at the front. Surprisingly, some of these components are absent on most of the conventional scooters. The Honda Activa 5G, for example, still doesn’t get a telescopic suspension, while being priced higher. Additionally, you also get features like an anti-theft alarm system.
Why it can’t - As is the theme with most of the scooters on this list, the Hero Electric Photon is considerably underpowered than other conventional scooters. At just 2.03PS of power and with a top speed of 45kmph, we can see everyday commutes getting tedious on this. Add to the fact that the charging time for its lead-acid type battery can take up 4 to 5 hours, with a maximum range of 110km, some buyers may find fueling up at a petrol station more practical. However, if you want a faster option, prepare to shell out Rs 90,000 (ex-showroom Delhi) for the lithium-ion battery pack.
Why it can - Despite being an electric scooter, the Okinawa Praise does look unconventional. The design is a good mix of flashy and traditional scooter lines to cater to all types of customers - families, college students, etc. It has been loaded with goodies such as LED headlamps with LED DRLs, a side-stand indicator, anti-theft sensor, keyless entry and 'Find my Scooter' functionality. In addition to this, the rider can also choose between three different riding modes to match their riding needs.
Why it can’t - Powering all this is a brushless DC motor, which can be charged by either a lead-acid type battery or a lithium-ion one. Coming to the numbers, the scooter makes 3.4PS of power. Top speed consists of 35kmph on Economy, 60kmph on Sport and 75kmph on Turbo. Based on this, the company claims a maximum range of 170-200km. However, our testing numbers with the Praise got us somewhere around 100-110km of range.
While city riding won’t be a problem, we can see it being monotonous on highways. Add to the fact that it costs Rs 59,899 for a lead-acid type battery, which can take upto 6 hours to charge. If you want a faster option, the lithium-ion scooter called the ‘i-Praise’ costs a whopping Rs 1.15 lakh (both ex-showroom Delhi). Compare it other conventional options at that price point and many buyers will be hesitant to spend the high asking price.
Why it can - It’s not an exaggeration to say that the Ather S340 changed everyone’s perception of electric scooters in India. And why shouldn't it? It packs an almost exhaustive list of features that can shame any conventional scooter. A good example of this is the 7-inch touchscreen instrument console, which other than speed, range, etc. also packs convenient features like navigation assist (Google maps), park assist, smartphone connectivity and more. In addition to this, you also get all-LED lighting, CBS and a massive 26-litre of storage, which, yes, is enough to fit a full-face helmet.
Also Read - Okinawa i-Praise vs Ather 340: Spec comparison
So, how much does all this cost? Rs 1.09 lakh (on-road Bengaluru). This also includes the company’s one-year subscription plan, which takes care of services like maintenance costs, replacement of wearing parts (brake pads etc), data service cost for the inbuilt GSM, roadside assistance and even the electricity required to charge your scooter for a year. In a nutshell, you pay nothing to run your scooter for a year. All this sounds too good to be true, right? Because it is.
Why it can’t - Powering it is a 2.2kW lithium-ion battery which has a life of 50,000km, hence you might need to replace it every 2 to 3 years depending on your use. Coming to the performance, the peak power here is rated at 6.8PS while the torque stands at 14Nm. While these numbers are decent enough to go against petrol-scooters, we feel that it’s just not powerful enough for its asking price. Not to mention, the S340 has a range of just 60km on a full charge.
Now Ather does have an extensive network of charging infrastructure, but that brings us to our next problem. The company only sells the scooter in Bengaluru. Although Ather does have plans to expand its reach, there has so far been no official confirmation as to when it will happen. Until then, the Ather S340 will have to settle for the second spot on our list.
Twenty Two Motors Flow
Why it can - Twenty Two Motor’s Flow takes the top spot on our list and with good reason. For Rs 74,720 (ex-showroom Delhi), the scooter comes with almost all the premium features as the other e-scooters on this list, wth the party piece being its artificial intelligence system. It analyses your riding pattern and sends service reminders according to that. On top of that, it can even order spare parts automatically in case there’s a failure. In addition to this, you also get KERS (kinetic energy recovery system), Intelligent Collision Detection and Alert, cruise control and a reverse gear.
Then there’s also the geofencing security system, which can be linked to the company’s smartphone app. Users can remotely track the vehicle and disconnect the power supply in case of theft. While high charging time for any scooter would discourage us from buying it, the Twenty Two Motors Flow has found a workaround. By tying up with Kymco Motors, the Flow will now be inducted in the iONEX program, which allows for seamless battery-swaps. Kymco also plans on setting up a charging infrastructure within every kilometre of Delhi.
Why it can’t - The Flow would be the perfect e-scooter for anyone if it was available on sale. While the company has announced the prices of the scooter, there is no indication of when it will be available to actually buy. Thanks to its merger with Kymco, this delay might even be extended further.