It’s going to be a long time before electric vehicles like Tesla make it to India. Which is why it’s better to focus on what’s already here, and we’re talking about electric two-wheelers.
More than 60 percent of people in the country travel on their nimble, city-friendly but smoke-emitting scooters/bikes. What better way than electric scooters to bring about a change.
It helps that we have two young and upcoming startups in India, Ather and Twenty Two Motors, already out with their products in the market. Mind you, they don’t come cheap. But how do they compare with each other?
You can also check out The Quint first ride impressions of the Flow scooter over here:
22 Motors’ Flow looks quite contemporary, with nice detailing on the simple yet futuristic design. It is a standard step through design with huge underseat storage for two helmets and additional luggage. It weighs just 85 Kg, because of its fibre-glass panelling, and yet uses a high-tensile steel chassis for ruggedness.
It features complete LED lighting — indicators, headlamps, tail-lamps included. The instrument panel is a LCD screen that displays multiple information, besides speed and remaining charge percentage.
Just like the Flow, Ather has designed a scooter that’s got striking features. Right from the front headlamps to the rear portion of the scooter, its got a refreshing appeal to it. The white and neon green combo with tinge of black on the front underneath the slim lamp, make it look menacing.
Flow comes with a 2,100 watt electric motor (about 3 bhp in mechanical terms), which puts out 90 Nm of torque at just 100 rpm. Compare that with a petrol scooter like the Honda Activa that makes only about 9 Nm of torque at 5,500 rpm and you’ll see why electric is exciting.
Ather 340 has been designed over a fixed battery unit. This means you can’t swap batteries, and have to rely on parking the scooter in front of a charging/power unit. In terms of capability, it offers 20.5 Nm of torque, promising a top speed of 70 km/hr and range of up to 60km.
The Flow comes with a removable lithium-ion battery pack that weighs only about 10 kg. It sits in the floor of the scooter and can be easily removed and carried with the rider.
It can be charged by any household 5 amp socket, achieving a full charge in about 5 hours. Ather 340 seems quicker on that front, claiming almost 80 percent of the battery gets charged in up to three hours, and in half that time with Ather’s own fast-charging unit.
Buyers of Ather 340 can pay Rs 700 per month and get various benefits, which includes road-side assistance and even pay for your electricity costs.
More Stuff Worth Knowing
Both Flow and Ather 340 come fitted with an LCD screen that’ll get software updates over the air (OTA). Both the companies have deployed Linux as the back-end software, which links with both iOS and Android devices.
Compared to Ather 340, the Flow scooter has been designed around swappable batteries. This ensures that whenever the scooter is running out of juice, you can get down and replace the batteries, without worrying about charging points. It comes with front and rear disc brakes, with electronic brake assist and regenerative braking, which can retrieve about 6 percent charge in a normal ride.
Flow offers cruise control as well.
You get disc brakes on both front and rear for Ather 340 too. Reverse gear option is available to buyers of both these two wheelers. Ather claims that the Ather 340 will consume 3 to 4 units of your monthly electricity usage, at an average of about Rs 5 to 7 per unit.
Flow scooter will be made available across the country, although it has started out with only Delhi-NCR for now, while Ather’s availability is limited to Bengaluru, with Chennai and Pune in the next phase.
We haven’t tried out the Ather 340 yet, but on paper, both these electric scooters look promising. Stay tuned for a ride comparison of these two vehicles very soon.