Should You Consider an Electric Scooter? Yes or No
A couple of years ago, if someone had asked me to recommend the electric scooter, I would have said a big "NO" to them. However, since the market has undergone significant changes, and the products have become more advanced compared to the early days of this era. Initially, there were only slow-speed scooters, and both development and demand were sluggish. Nowadays, everyone has recognised the potential of electric scooters, and technological advancements have further bolstered their appeal. Not only are these scooters eco-friendly, but more importantly, they are also budget-friendly for consumers.
If you are planning to buy an electric scooter, there are several factors to take into account before making a decision. First and foremost, it's important to evaluate your specific requirements. If your daily travel distance is around 50 kilometres and you enjoy slow rides, you can consider a low-speed scooter such as the Okaya EV Freedum or ClassIQ. Both models cost less than INR 75,000 in India and provide a range of approximately 60-70 kilometres on a single charge, with a top speed of 25 kilometres per hour. An advantage of these scooters is that you don't require a license to ride them, and they also exempt you from registration fees. The process of purchasing one of these scooters is very simple, involving minimal formalities, allowing you to hit the road within a short time.
On the other hand, if you prefer fast speed and aren't inclined towards slow-paced rides, then OKAYA FAAST F2B model could be a suitable choice. It addresses your need for speed without compromising on quality. By simply increasing your budget by approximately INR 25,000, you can gain access to a fast-speed electric scooter. Moreover, this model offers a generous 25-litre boot space and an impressive range of up to 80-85 kilometres on a single charge, accompanied by a top speed of 70 kilometres per hour. Opting for a high-speed scooter comes with benefits, such as government subsidies. In India, registered high-speed electric vehicles can receive a maximum subsidy of around INR 22,500. If you have finalise your requirement there are few thing which needs to be consider for both the variants.
The heart of the electric scooter resides in its battery, as the scooter's functionality is dependent on it. Two battery technologies stand out: NMC and LFP, both of which belong to the category of lithium batteries. Given the specific weather conditions in India, it's advisable to opt for a reliable LFP (lithium ferro phosphate) battery from a reputable brand. LFP batteries offer a longer lifecycle when compared to NMC batteries and provide enhanced safety since they are less prone to catching fire. LFP batteries have improved discharge and charge efficiency in comparison to NMC batteries and only produce smoke during thermal runaway situations.
IP67 Rated and AIS 156 Certified Scooters
Safety comes first, so always consider AIS 156 Amendment III Phase 2 certificated scooters, which covers safety requirements for electric vehicles and includes designing, constructing, and testing the battery pack and its components to ensure they meet the safety standards set by the government. Notably, this certification involves third-party verification.
Brand value and Reliability
When the time comes to make that big decision, go for an Indian brand that has proven reliability in the real world. Choosing an Indian OEM will not only provide you with excellent build quality but also allow you to leverage government subsidies. These subsidies are not available for brands that manufacture electric scooters outside of India.
On their own, electric vehicles are shaping the future of India. Choosing an Indian brand not only instills brand trust but also guarantees customers the advantages of the government's FAME subsidy.
As of 2023, I find myself revising my stance to strongly recommend embracing electric vehicles. However, the ultimate decision rests with you, whether you prefer fast-speed or slow-speed scooters. Depending on your requirement, both options are available at their respective price points. If there's even a slight chance that you can stretch your budget, Okaya Faast F2B is a no-brainer option. That’s so good, one might say—shut up and take my money, Okaya!