With the petrol prices and pollution levels going up, the need for owning an electric scooter is much more critical than yesterday. With companies like Ather Energy, Okinawa, TVS, and Hero Electric releasing well-built, feature-rich scooters, it's time to own one and make a statement.
Investing in a vehicle is an enormous commitment. You have to consider a lot of factors and price can be one main thing before you make a choice. In this article, we will explain everything you should look for in an electric scooter. We have also curated a list of the ten best electric scooters you can currently buy in India. Scroll down and start reading.
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Table of Contents
There is a lot to consider before buying an electric scooter, since an investment in a vehicle is a significant decision in everyone's life. Read through to learn more about what to look for in an electric scooter, so that you can invest your hard-earned money wisely.
Since electric vehicle adoption in India is in its infancy, the focus is on offering more mileage and acceleration than high top speeds. The average top speed of an electric scorer is 60 km/hr. You can also check for the gradeability of the scooter.
It is a number that denotes the angle of a slope the scooter can climb without any drop in performance. For example, a scooter with a gradeability of 20 can climb a 20-degree slope effortlessly, while a scooter with a 7-degree gradeability may struggle to do the same.
The battery type and capacity determines the charging time and range of the scooter. Since the battery is the energy source required for running a scooter, make sure you check the specifications to know more about it.
Electric scooters need many hours of charging before it reaches its full capacity, and only then the range offered by the scooter applies. Currently, the average charging time of electric scooters ranges from 5 to 6 hours. But some scooters come with a fast-charging mode. For example, the Bajaj Chetak Premium reaches 25% in 1 hour.
But fast charging mode varies from one scooter to the other. The Ather 450X offers 15km from fast charging for 10 minutes. It is not advisable to use fast charging frequently as it reduces the overall life of the battery. Use it only when there is an urgency of getting somewhere.
You can also install a charging station at your home. Talk to the company that's selling you the scooter to find out if they also install charging stations at home. The best way to prepare your scooter for the next day's travel is to leave it for charging right after reaching home. You don't worry about overcharging and damaging either, as most batteries come with technology to prevent that.
There are two types of batteries available: lithium-ion and lead-acid. Since lithium-ion batteries offer more range, less charging time, and lasts longer, companies have started replacing lead-acid batteries with the former. But lithium-ion batteries are comparatively more expensive.
Even if you are offered a choice between the two, try to go for lithium-ion for the reasons mentioned above. It is more reliable and lasts longer compared to lead-acid batteries. Normally, the warranty you get for a battery in an electric scooter is three years.
To increase the life of your battery, avoid parking in extremely hot environments, minimize maintaining 100% charge and lessen the use of fast charging. Some companies also offer detachable batteries that you can charge at any supported 5 A socket, giving you the convenience of charging at your office or a hotel.
Electric scooters also have different modes of riding. If you ride in the eco mode, you will get the range the scooter promises, while a mode that delivers more power drains the battery a lot faster.
The average range provided by electric scooters come between 70 to 90 km/hr, in Eco mode. There will be a significant drop in range by at least 10 to 15 km for more powerful modes like the Ride mode in Ather 450X, which brings down the 85 km range to 70 km.
Electric scooters offer the same, sometimes better, features we see in petrol scooters. Find out if the scooter has features that contribute to the safety and assist the rider on the road.
Compared to drum brakes, disc brakes are more efficient in braking performance. Braking generates a lot of heat, which can reduce its effectiveness over time. Since disc brakes are located outside, they cool down faster, keeping your brakes functioning optimally longer.
Drum brakes have a lot of moving parts, and they can cause damage to the wheel. With disc brakes, the maintenance process is easy, the spare parts are affordable, and there won't be any damage to the wheel.
The firmware of an electric scooter activates additional features or upgrades existing ones. Upgrades can take place through OTA, a technology that allows the scooter to download updates when released. Or, as in the case of Bajaj Chetak, you may need to take the scooter to an authorized technician.
Features that usually come with upgrades are dashboard color adjustments, riding mode select, upgrades to on-screen navigation map, etc. Some upgrades may even influence the hardware.
For example, the Ather 450X's September 2019 update optimized the motor's cooling capability, and the December 2020 update utilized the geospatial sensors to introduce anti-theft detection.
We can see electric scooters offering some features only cars offer in India. One example is geofencing, which allows you to track your car within a particular zone. The same sensors can be used to detect theft or towing of your vehicle.
Electric scooters also have sensors that allow you to lock or unlock your vehicle remotely, something that we are used to seeing in cars but not in two-wheelers. Some scooters, like the TVS iQube, offers front and rear parking assist using on-board sensors.
Another safety feature is the side stand sensor that alerts you if the side stand is not retracted when you start the scooter.
Investing in any vehicle is a long-term commitment. You can make your choice of your dream electric scooter depending on the features it offers and the price. If your interest is in the economic aspect of an electric scooter, and not extra features like parking assist and geofencing, you can save a lot of money.
You can also compromise on the top speed and acceleration to suit your lifestyle and needs. The top speed of some electric scooters is 25 km/hr, which doesn't even require vehicle registration or a driving license. Some examples are Okinawa Lite and Hero Electric Optima E2. They are lower priced and can save you the money needed for vehicle registration.
You can also opt for an EMI plan if you want. All the vehicles in our Top 10 section have options for pre-booking online. The only requirement is, you need to have a permanent address in the city your dealer is located.
Since charging stations are incredibly scarce in India, your best option is to install one at your house. Some electric scooters come with a detachable battery that you can plug into any socket at your office, eliminating the need for a charging station. If your company has an EV charging station on its premises or your neighborhood has one, you can go for a model with a non-detachable one, so you can charge anywhere.
Electric scooters are less likely to break down compared to petrol scooters because of lesser moving parts. But in a worst-case scenario, you won't be able to approach a random mechanic since only company experts may be able to find and fix the issue. So, go for a brand that has service centers near your usual routes.
Some companies like TVS offers one year Road Side Assistance to the buyers of its electric scooter iQube. Find out if the scooter brand you like offers something similar to avoid inconvenience until electric scooters become popular in India.
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Accelerates From 0 to 40 in 3.3 Seconds
Features a Front and Rear Parking Assist
Up to 95 Km Range in Eco Mode
Offers a Range of 139 Km/Charge
12 Degree Gradeability for Smooth Climbing of Slopes
Anti-Theft Alarm Offers Theft Protection
Keyless Entry Allows Remote Unlocking of Scooter
Wide Seat for Comfortable Riding
Comes With a Removable Battery
More Stability With Telescopic Suspension
Ather Energy's Ather 450X comes with the best-in-class top speed of 80km/hr. The scooter accelerates from 0 to 40 km/hr in 3.3 seconds, which will take you through the busy city traffic effortlessly. With a gradeability of 20, you can climb slopes with no drop in performance.
It takes 5 hours and 45 minutes to charge the battery completely, and ten minutes in fast charging mode will give 15 km. On a full charge, the scooter will give you an 85 km range. The scooter has front and back disc brakes, offering you maximum barking efficiency and less maintenance cost.
The 7-inch touchscreen shows you riding stats and maps for navigation. Its geofencing capability provides the real-time location of the scooter and theft protection. The Ather 450X also has a reverse mode for easy parking.
The iQube is TVS' first electric scooter. With a top speed of 78 km/hr and accelerating from 0 to 40 km/hr under 4.2 seconds, you can even catch up with the fast-moving cars. The motor is powerful enough to climb 10-degree slopes on hilly areas easily.
It takes approximately 5 hours to charge the battery completely, upon which you get a range of 75 km. The display helps you with navigation, incoming call alerts (helpful during emergency situations), and riding statistics. You can use the SmartXonnect app to monitor the battery charge status, and geofencing shows you the location of your iQube.
The front and rear parking assist help you with parking in tight spots. The company offers three years or 50,000 km warranty on the battery, whichever comes first.
The legendary Bajaj Chetak has been re-released as an electric variant. It has a top speed of 70 km/hr and a range of 95 km under full charge. It will take you five hours to charge the battery entirely, but you can fast-charge up to 25% in one hour in case of emergencies.
You will get a battery warranty of three years or 50,000 km, but Bajaj promises that the battery is built to last seven years. The scooter also features an LED headlight, tail lamps, and Daytime Running Lights. Some features of the Bajaj Chetak include a keyless start-stop, reverse gear, and touch-sensitive buttons.
The Okinawa I-Praise+ is currently the most economical electric scooter in the market, offering a range of 139 km on a full charge. It takes 4 to 5 hours to charge the battery completely from zero. You may have to compromise on the top speed for the range it offers, capping at 58 km/hr.
The detachable battery allows you to charge it inside your house, office, or any place with a regular 5A wall socket. It comes with geofencing that shows you the accurate location of your scooter and provides theft protection. The official website allows you to customize your vehicle using ten different color themes and your initials on it.
Pure's Epluto 7G has a retro-style body design. The powerful motor accelerates from 0 to 40 km/hr under 5 seconds and offers a top speed of 60 km/hr. A gradeability of 12 means the scooter can climb slopes of 12 degrees without any drop in performance.
A battery warranty of three years or 40,000 km will keep you riding comfortably for a long time. You require just four hours to charge Epluto 7G's battery to 100%, which offers you a range of 90 to 120 km depending on the mode you select.
Under Eco mode, the Benling Aura offers a 120 km range per charge. The key feature of this scooter is the Smart Breakdown Assistance button. In case of any fault in the system, pushing the button will ensure the scooter keeps moving, but with a reduced top speed of 15 to 20 km/hr, helping you reach the nearest service center or home.
The battery charges to 100% in four hours, but there is no fast charging capability. Benling offers a vehicle warranty of two years and a battery warranty of three. The top speed is capped at 60 km/hr, which is adequate for city riding. Other features include a detachable battery, anti-theft protection, and movable headlamp.
The Okinawa Praise Pro is a stylish electric scooter that offers a range of 88 km per charge. It only takes 2 to 3 hours to reach 100% of charge from zero. For your daily commute to work, the top speed of 58 km/hr will be sufficient to keep up with the fast-moving vehicles. With a gradeability of 7, it can effortlessly climb uphill on tough country roads.
Praise Pro features remote locking and unlocking, a feature normally seen in cars. The front telescopic suspension offers more stability while riding at high speeds, and adjustable brake levers offer a comfortable grip on the brakes. Okinawa offers three years warranty on the scooter and the battery.
The Hero Photon LP is aerodynamically designed to offer you a smooth riding experience. It offers a range of 80 km per charge and a top speed of 45 km/hr, which may be a drawback unless your daily commute to work involves riding through a road with a 40 to 45 km/hr speed limit.
A limited period offer by Hero gives you a five-year warranty on the vehicle and three for the battery. The seat is wide enough for a comfortable ride, and remote locking with an anti-theft alarm offers you convenience and safety.
The Ampere Zeal Ex requires less than 11 seconds to reach 40 km/hr. It suits you if your regular routes are highways or have less traffic. Depending on the mode you select, Economic and Speed, the range varies between 85 to 90 km and the top speed between 50 to 55 km/hr.
The detachable battery, ample boot space, and spacious legroom offer convenience to any rider. Even though the top speed and acceleration are comparatively inferior, the battery takes 5 to 6 hours to charge completely. Ampere offers three years or 20,000 km warranty on the vehicle.
The Optima ER is for anyone who wants an electric scooter from a renowned manufacturer like Hero. Priced similar to the best petrol scooters in the market, the Optima ER offers a top speed of 42 km/hr and a range of 122 km/hr. The battery takes 4 to 5 hours to charge but has no fast charging capability.
Similar to Photon LP, Hero offers a limited-time five-year warranty on this scooter too. It is tested to perform efficiently on 7-degree slopes, and the telescopic suspension offers maximum stability while riding. The wheel rims look stylish, and the large seat is comfortable for long rides. Since the maximum speed is just 42 km/hr, the company hasn't included disc brakes to this model.
Have you made your choice of electric scooter? That's great. Now it's time to buy some riding accessories. Scroll down and click on the link below to learn about the various factors to consider before you buy a helmet. If you opt for an open face helmet, you will require sunglasses to protect your eyes. We have an article to help you choose the right sunglasses too. Don't forget to go through our top ten recommended products in each of them.
Since electric scooters have zero emissions, you are protecting the environment by riding an electric scooter. Compared to the one year of warranty that you get for a petrol scooter, the average three years of warranty you get for an electric scooter will save you a lot of money on maintenance. So, the overall price reduces.
Nowadays, electric scooters have many features like anti-theft and parking assist that we usually only see in cars, making your electric scooter an extremely safe machine to ride. Invest in one and reap the benefits of the Indian government's FAME II scheme as soon as possible because they will be in your budget then
Author - Arun F Xaviour
No. 3：Bajaj｜Chetak Premium
No. 5：Pure｜Epluto 7G
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