Lohia-fame-and-lohia-oma

Motor: 250W, Top Speed: 25km/h, Range: 70km, Price: Rs 31,000 (approx)
Motor: 250W, Top Speed: 25km/h, Range: 70km, Price: Rs 31,000 (approx)

 

The electric vehicles manufacturing division of the Rs 500 crore Lohia Group, Lohia Auto Industries (LAI) unveiled their first electric scooters at the International Trade Fair in Delhi recently marking their entry into the electric two-wheeler segment in India.

Developed with German technology, both the Fame and the Oma have been duly designed to cater to different sets of people. Though technically same, the scoots are quite different when it comes to design. While the Fame with its feminine contours has been molded keeping the fairer sex in mind. The Oma, on the other hand comes across as the more traditional of the two with no lacy strings attached. The Fame comes in sensuous red, magnificent mauve and smart pink colour options with striking features like big twin headlamps up front and the curvy rear end, although we do feel some design cues are overdone. The Oma is available in macho black, fiery red and spirited silver shades and looks substantial for a low powered e-scoot.

Both models are powered by a 250Watt motor with rechargeable and maintainance free VRLA batteries that can be charged just with an inverter or generator. It takes around six to eight hours for a full charge. The vehicles are capable of achieving speeds of 25km/h and once charged can easily take you for almost 70km in the city. With no engine inside, the vehicles require little maintenance and the total running costs add up to be only around 10 paise per kilometre. To add to it there are no harmful emissions.

Other significant features include a telescopic front fork and high ground clearance for both the models. The scooters also have ample two-step storing capacity under the seat which can also be utilized for carrying the battery charger. There’s a glovebox in the front as well with additional storage space for small essential items. As the motor is rated at 250Watt and the true maximum speed doesn’t exceed 25km/h, both these e-scoots don’t require a registration or license for riding thus being a good option for youngsters.

Priced at Rs 31,000 a piece, both models will start selling in few months’ time. In the meantime LAI is also gearing up to introduce a high powered scooter which will be capable of doing 45km/h soon.

With its manufacturing facility at Kashipur in Uttrakhand, LAI is banking on their innovative technology and quality service to bring a revolutionary change in Indian electric vehicle market.

This is by far the most radical e-scoot in India. The design looks appealing from a few angles, while from others, it looks a bit overdone. Big lamps up front look good and the black visor with indicators on each side is a neat touch. Two step underseat storage is decent

The Oma’s big grab rail adds a practical touch

The over optimistic speedo reads 60km/h though one will never see anything more than 30km/h

The wavy design of the wheels looks good on the move

Hero-maxi

Motor: 250W Top speed: 25km/h Range: 40km Price: Rs 29,400

 

 

 

 

If you want something that is even cheaper than the Optima Plus, then you have the option of going in for the other offering from the Hero Electric stable, the Maxi. Priced below Rs 30,000, the Maxi is equipped with the same motor as the Optima Plus. It looks futuristic as well, specially with those stylish 16-inch wheels and sharp design angles. The Maxi is aimed at the a wide varienty of users. The paint quality is top notch though the build quality, like the switch gear, etc. is not the best in the segment. The Maxi has neat touches like a clear and easy to read speedometer console, a big grab rail, and a pleasing rear end.

The seating position and ergonomics too could be better. A rather tall seat and lowered handlebars put you in an awkward riding position. The performance of the Maxi is reasonable given the fact that it comes with a 250Watt motor. Like the Optima Plus, the Maxi too has a top speed of a true 25km/h.

With its low pricing and specially the Hero brand name the Maxi isn’t a bad option for the low budget consumer. Within a year of its establishment, Hero Electric managed to become one of the highest sellers in the electric scooters market and has spread its network across the country through 260 dealerships. The company currently makes electric vehicles for all age groups at their manufacturing facility near Ludhiana.

The rather simple console of the Maxi reads out the necessary info easily

The Maxi is not one of the better looking electric vehicles around. The low grade plastics and the paint combinations give the scooter a rather inexpensive look

The tail lamps are designed differently – something that might appeal to only a few

Hero-optima-plus

Motor: 250W Top speed: 25km/h Range: 40km Price: Rs 31,900

 

 

 

 

Hero Electric is the electric vehicle manufacturing division of Hero Cycles – the largest bicycle manufacturer in the world. Having started manufacturing electric scooters in 2007, in a short span of time, the company has risen to be the market leader in this segment.

The Optima Plus is the firm’s top end model. With styling that matches most of the regular scooters, the Optima Plus is one of the few e-scoots in the market which can attract customers with just its aesthetics. The use of flashy stickers further enhance the scooter’s appeal among the younger generation. However, the quality of plastics used on the scooter is not up to the mark. Its ride quality and handling is average but the seat is well padded and big enough for two adults. The big rear grab rail is another added practical touch.

The Optima Plus’ 250Watt motor is adequate enough for small commutes and our test bike actually touched the 30km/h on the speedo a couple of times! But riding it uphill or with a pillion does slow down the machine considerably. Nonetheless, the Optima Plus has decent brakes to slow down from whatever humble speeds it could manage. It can manage about 50km on a full charge which is appreciable. However, with no detachable battery, the scoot needs to be taken to the plug point for recharging which is a bother if you don’t have a charging point in your parking lot. Overall, the Optima Plus does what it is intended to do and if good speed is not what you are looking for, then it should work as a good value option.

The big turn signals and the brake light on the Optima Plus form a huge assembly. That, along with the front headlamp and meaty overall front end give the e-scoot the looks of a regular scooter

Ultra-marathon

Motor: 250W, Top speed: 25km/h, Range: 80km, Price: Rs 32,149

The Marathon’s responsive impulse inertia (i2) technology motor ensures a smooth power and torque delivery. The electric scoot’s acceleration is impressive considering it comes with a 250Watt motor. The Marathon is able to reach speeds of 25kmh pretty quickly and has a claimed range of 100km on a full charge at a constant speed of 25km/h though our test bike ran out of energy within 80km/h! Nevertheless this scoot is one of the cheapest to run in India. The Marathon gets thick 3-inch section tyres which lend a bigger foot print making it more stable. The trendy 15-spoke 16-inch wheels add a bit of glamour to the scoot’s overall design.

The appearance of the Marathon is more like a conventional internal combustion engine scooter rather than an electric vehicle. The plastic body panels look nice and the overall weight of the scooter is a mere 82kg. The well executed front end with integrated blinkers lends a bolder character to the front. The tail lamps are big and appear trendy and there is also a luggage carrier at the rear. The underseat storage space can eat up a helmet comfortably. The scooter’s removable battery can be charged at home without any hassle. A combination of features like a big foot board, a multi reflector headlamp, comfortable seats and good quality plastics make the Marathon a better option among its competitors and ideal for lightweight people, young adults and senior citizens. Additionally, factors like a good range, quick recharging, comfort and ergonomics help make this scoot a good product.

Ultra-velociti

Motor: 500W, Top speed: 40km/h, Range: 50km, Price: Rs 35,612

 

After their collaboration with Hero Motors came to an end, UK-based Ultra Motor have independently introduced two electric scooters for the Indian market. Though small in size, the Velociti e-scoot can outrun its bigger cousin, the Marathon in terms of outright performance easily. Inclined more towards speed rather than range, the Velociti runs on a similar type of battery but has a bigger 500Watt motor with a peak output of 1000 Watts. The max speed of this scooter is 45km/h with a max payload of 75kg, however, this top whack comes at the cost of low range. It can manage 50km before running out of breath.

The Velociti looks quite pleasing from the front three-quarters, with design cues which seem to have been inspired from a petrol scoot. It gets 10-inch wheels and the soft suspension means it is able to handle small bumps and potholes with ease. A feature that will attract customers is the presence of a disc brake on the front wheel which boosts your confidence while braking.

This tiny scoot weighs 88kg and offers ample underseat storage capacity plus a small storage space in the front. Although it is perfect to move around in the city, the only downside of this e-scoot is that it needs to be plugged directly into a power point for a recharge since its battery is not detatchable. This can pose a problem for some people who don’t have charging points in their parking lot. Nonetheless, excellent torque and acceleration figures coupled with its small dimensions should make the Velociti a volume generator for Ultra Motor.

The Velociti’s plug socket is located just under the seat (Center): The underseat storage space takes a hit though

The front ‘dicky’ can swallow small items easily