Electric vehicles still form a very niche market in India. Government of India’s FAME I (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles) did manage to have a fair number of players enter the market, as well as increase volumes initially. However, once the stricter FAME II scheme was enforced last year, the volumes started to dry out.
The over-aggressive push by the government further complicated things and left manufacturers as well as customers in a loop. 2020 though will have several legacy manufacturers introduce their electric scooters. The recent GST reduction for EVs as well as state government support will definitely make electric scooters more attractive in comparison to their internal combustion engine counterparts.
Below are the top 5 upcoming electric scooters that will blow your mind when launched this year:
1. Bajaj Chetak
Unveiled in October 2019, the Bajaj Chetak electric scooter will be commercially launched later this month. The scooter revives the nostalgic Chetak brand name with design cues of a retro-modern European offering.
The Bajaj Chetak Electric is shod with a horseshoe-shaped LED headlight with daytime running light. The instrumentation console is all-digital and the feather touch switchgear looks premium. Powering the 4 kW motor is a lithium-ion battery which can be charged by a standard wall mounted 5-15 Ampere outlet.
Bajaj Chetak is offered with two riding modes, Eco (100 km range) and Sport (80 km range). Charging the battery takes 5 hours, while 80% of the charge is achieved in just 3.5 hours. That’s not all, an hour of charge will give you 25 km of riding in Eco mode.
The suspension system includes a single-sided suspension at the front and a single-sided spring at the rear. Anchoring duties consist of a disc brake up front and a drum unit at the back. The Bajaj Chetak Electric is expected to be priced between INR 90,000 and INR 1.5 lakh (ex-showroom).
2. TVS Creon
Showcased as a concept at Auto Expo 2018, the TVS Creon is expected to be launched around March 2020. However, we expect TVS to change the name of the production version of the scooter something else as well as tone down the design a bit.
The concept version of TVS Creon was powered by three lithium-ion battery and a 12 kW motor. It also boasted 3 custom riding modes. Also on offer will be GPS & navigation, geo-fencing, park assist, and anti-theft feature. The electric motor of TVS Creon can help it sprint from 0-60 km/h in 5.1 seconds, and has a range of 80 km. The battery can charge up to 80% in 60 minutes.
Cycle parts include lightweight aluminium perimeter frame, telescopic fork up front, and a spring-based bottom-linked monoshock in the rear. Pricing details are at the moment are sketchy but we expect the production version of TVS Creon to be priced at around INR 1.5 lakh (ex-showroom).
3. Mahindra Gusto Electric
Mahindra may have failed to make a mark among the internal combustion engine commuter two-wheelers but it does not want to be left behind in the race towards an electric future. Several media reports suggest that Mahindra will be launching its first electric scooter before Auto Expo 2020 next month.
With the petrol-powered Gusto 110 and Gusto 125 already discontinued, the Gusto Electric is the next logical step. Back in 2017, Anand Mahindra had even teased a prototype of Gusto Electric on social media. The word on the street is that the Mahindra Gusto Electric will be powered by a 3 kW motor. It will have a top speed of 55 to 60 km/h and a maximum range of 80 km.
Cycle parts of the Mahindra Gusto Electric will be possibly borrowed from the Mahindra Gusto 125. These include the telescopic fork up front and spring-based rear suspension. Besides that, the scooter will also possibly bear the same front disc and rear drum setup.
We expect the Mahindra Gusto Electric to be priced near the INR 1 lakh mark (ex-showroom).
4. Blacksmith B3
Chennai-based electric vehicle manufacturer Blacksmith showcased the B3 electric scooter in August 2019. A launch timeline has not been officially revealed but we expect the first scooters to hit the streets by mid-2020. The B3 also flaunts one of the most unusual designs seen in the country.
Powering the Blacksmith B3 is a 5 kW AC motor fed by a 72-volt NMC battery (Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide battery). Full charging takes 4 hours and the scooter has a maximum speed of 120 km/h. It has a range of 120 km and a capability to climb a gradient of 25-degrees. The electric scooter accelerates from 0 to 50 km/h in 3.6 seconds.
Cycle parts include conventional telescopic fork up front and twin springs at the rear. Features include LED projector headlamp, GPS, a unique seat belt for kids and a side stand & occupant sensor. Besides that, the Blacksmith B3 also boasts loading capacity of 200 kg and a healthy ground clearance of 210 mm.
Pricing details of the Blacksmith B3 will be released closer to the launch.
5. New Ather Energy scooter
Hero MotoCorp-backed Ather Energy will be launching a new electric scooter in 2020. This new scooter will be positioned below the Ather 450 and will have the same range of 75 km along with connected riding features.
We expect the new affordable electric scooter to borrow several cues from the Ather 340 that was discontinued due to low demand. The Ather 340 had a 4.4 motor In comparison, the Ather 450 mounts a 5.4 kW motor. The Ather 340 could accelerate from standstill to 40 km/h in 5.1 seconds and had a top whack of 70 km/h.
Expect the new Ather electric scooter to be launched around December 2020 and carry a sticker price under INR 1 lakh (ex-showroom).