We spent some time with the Ampere Primus which is currently the highest-spec scooter from Greaves Electric Mobility to bring you our first impressions.
Story: Azaman Chothia
Photography: Apurva Ambep
Greaves Electric Mobility Private Limited (GEMPL) is the electric mobility business of Greaves Cotton Limited (GCL). The Ampere Primus is one of their highest-spec scooters for now; it made its first appearance at the Auto Expo 2023 where bookings had also opened for the scooter. We were recently invited to their plant in Ranipet for a short first-ride experience. At first glance, the scooter has quite a simple design language but manages to set itself apart from the competition. The scooter is available with the option of four matte colour schemes – Himalayan White, Royal Orange, Havelock Blue, and Buck Black. They also plan to introduce two more colour options that will be launched in the near future.
The scooter gets LED lighting at the front while the taillight and indicators are halogen units. It rides on 12-inch alloy wheels, gets 22-litres of boot storage space, and makes use of an LCD screen that displays adequate information. There is also an application to connect to the scooter via Bluetooth but it is currently only operational for Android devices. With the short duration of our ride, we will get into more details regarding phone connectivity in a detailed road test. As I got astride, the seat is comfortable but the proportions of this scooter are really compact. With my short stature, I did fit fairly well but the floorboard was a little too high for the liking of taller journalists. THe scooter has a kerb weight of 130 kg but feels really light to maneuver around.
The Ampere Primus gets a 3 kW LFP (Lithium Ferrous-Phosphate) fixed battery pack that delivers power to a mid-mounted 3.8 kWh PMS (Permanent Magnet Synchronous) motor. This motor delivers a sustained power output of 3400 watts (4.6 hp) and a peak power output of 4000 watts (5.4 hp). It has a claimed acceleration time of 0-40 km/h in 4.2 seconds. There are three riding modes; Eco, City, and Power where Eco has a top speed of around 40 km/h, City mode can do around 60 km/h, and Power mode is capable of doing a top whack of 77 km/h. The throttle has been calibrated well and every mode distinguishes itself with how the power is delivered. Although in Eco mode, the scooter is really slow and will not be able to really make overtakes so users will mainly be using it in the City or Power modes most of the time. Apart from these three riding modes, a button on the left allows a rider to activate a reverse mode for added convenience. The claimed ARAI-certified range is around 107 kilometers, but using it in the Power mode and depending on how the scooter is being ridden, this figure will drastically drop to around 50 kilometres. A full charge is said to take around 5 hours and the optional fast charging unit will charge the scooter fully in around 2.5 hours.
Suspension duties are handled by telescopic forks at the front and twin shock absorbers at the rear. With this setup, the ride quality is plush and it was able to sail through bad sections of roads and undulations with ease. When entering a corner, it feels really stable which provided me with a lot of confidence throughout my time spent with the scooter. Braking equipment includes drum brakes at both ends with the assistance of CBS (Combi Brake System). This setup is adequate to get the Primus to a halt. While many would have liked a disc brake at the front, this is not a scooter with a lot of performance so drum brakes do the job just fine.
The Ampere Primus is priced at Rs 1.10 lakh (ex-showroom) and will go up against the likes of the Ola S1 Air and the base variant of the TVS iQube. This product has been built to a cost; the fit and finish is decent but there are places where it could have been done better to keep up with the competition and also offered some standout features which are what encourage interested customers in this day and age. As for the powertrain, For now, the Primus will appeal to customers on a budget, and considering that the Ampere brand is still fairly new, we can expect to see a lot of advancements in the near future.