In this blog, i give my thoughts on the company and the scooter.
Ergonomics is ok. Why are so many Chinese made EV seats not suitable for Indians? Wikipedia tells me that the average Chinese is actually taller than the average Indian. I guess it has to be with width more than height. Am sure that the average Indian is more obese than the average Chinese - and hence the issue with seat inadequacy. The root cause solution would be to do something about the obesity epidemic which is sweeping our subcontinent, but till the time that we become Atma kam bhar bharat, would request all EV manufacturers to be more generous in their seat allowances. My constant crib about a lower floorboard leading to a better riding posture extends to the BGauss B8 too. The only difference is that this vehicle is being sold with lead acid battery options too. So the under floorboard area is utilized. The NMC battery fits in at an angle, which happily leads to good underseat storage space. The metal cover that fits to separate the battery from the dicky needs a better fitting mechanism. The current clamping bolts are clumsy - and protrude into the storage area.
In the design, the rear side disappoints - looks very ordinary. The headlights remain on all the time, which is a norm for new ICE scooters. But with battery juice limitations, I wonder whether that should be mandated for electric bikes. The LED lights are below par, as compared to ICE scooters. The switches look good. But switch placement and functionality were not too great. One is used to the turn indicator going off by pushing the switch button, which usually is raised. In the B8, one has to push the left indicator button to stop the left indicator and the same for the right indicator. Requires a lot of focussing, and does not come intuitively. I could see that Kamlesh, who I was following in the car, left the indicator on for several km. This can be a safety hazard on roads.
Indigenization efforts have started. Tyres, as expected, are desi. The batteries are being supplied by 'Epitome Sustainable Energy Pack', an Ahmednagar based company. BGauss is their first EV customer. The battery has been packaged well - and looks like it may pass IP67 rating. There is an option to charge without opening the battery too. While opening the battery to charge will offer convenience, you have to open the dicky, remove the cover, disconnect the connector to the motor, connect the charger connector - and then start the charging. Would have loved a bigger battery - the current one is 1.44 kWH, 60 V. Comes with a 3 year warranty. We will do a proper range test - but at first look, the range is not going to be more than 50-60 km from the current battery. Today batteries are the costliest component in a vehicle, and the challenge with a bigger battery: can the B8 still continue to remain in the pricing sweet spot of Rs. 75-85 K?
Finally, Both Tesla and Gauss are units of magnetism. One Tesla is 10,000 Gauss. And the symbol for Gauss is B. Hence BGauss. Not too happy with the B - would have been happier if it was just Gauss - which kinds of rolls easier on the tongue. As I type this, I hear that Elon Musk has just overtaken Jeff Bezos as the richest guy in the world.
I hope that the Kabras of BGauss will follow in the Musk footsteps. But it's going to be a long haul.