We also got to spend time with their electric scooter eTrance NEO. In this blog, i give my thoughts on the scooter.
The ETrance Neo plastic panels quality is super. Matte finish gives it an upmarket feel. The rear tail lamp is quite stylish. The raised grab rail also serves as a good backrest. The motor is something that I would also want to write about. The power and torque seems to be better than the earlier generation ETrance scooter that I had tested. Could reach speeds of 50 kmph double seat, even on inclines. Kamlesh tells me that he has touched 60 kmph in single seat mode. Still not an Activa beater in terms of acceleration, but it's getting there. The law of diminishing marginal utility applied to motor power. The first kW gives you 80% of rider satisfaction, for the remaining 20% you need to add another 4 kW, aka Ather. The speed is limited to 30 kmph in Level 1, 40 in Level 2 and 60 in Level 3. For most city use, Level 2 is good enough. My suggestion is to have a single push button switch for the speed changer. And set the default at 2. The current 3 way switch looks flimsy - and detracts from the overall aesthetics of the vehicle.
The one thing that distinguishes the Neo that I got to test is the huge 2.5 kWH battery. Gives a real life range of 100 km with double seat, mixed mode driving. One advantage of big batteries is that you can expect a longer life, when measured in km, simply because it will go through fewer charge discharge cycles. Ceteris paribus, if the battery had been 1.2 kWH, you would have charged it double the number of times compared to this one, for the same mileage. This is the strategy that Tesla also uses in order to assure customers of a longer life. One thing which is consistent about Pure EV as a company, is the focus on batteries. It's like Honda's focus on engines, and I hope that this continued focus will drive Pure EV to leadership position in the EV space. One advice to Pure is to improve the BMS to deliver consistent SOC readings. The current one continues to be voltage based - and the SoC meter dips whenever the motor is drawing high amps. The focus on a portable battery ensures that there is no underseat dicky space. Did my veggies shopping by carrying a lot of bags and hanging them from the very convenient clip below the handle bar, but for the Indian customer the underseat dicky is sacred in EVs. In the old Bajaj scooters, it used to be at one side. In some models there also used to be one near the handlebar. Maybe a dicky which is openable from the front would be a good idea for Pure EV. The original ETrance was a very cute looking light large wheeled bike, which had a small dicky in the front. May require some major redesign of plastic parts, but will boost sales.
The vehicle was delivered directly from the Hyderabad factory to my home. Came packed with more than one kg of plastic packing. Was told that when the vehicles are sent in trucks, so much of packaging is not required, but when sent as a part load, the packaging is important to ensure vehicle finishes. My suggestion is that the company use reusable covers - or alternatively use more cloth and cotton waste in packing. Would prefer the former over the latter.
I gave the Nep to one of the technicians in my wife's path lab for a long ride. The technicians go for home collections - and do upto 100 km a day. The range is Ok, they did not have too much of a problem with dicky also, since their samples are carried on a shoulder bag. The main worry was speed. When you ride long distances, a top speed of 70 and 58 means about 30-60 minutes of extra driving in a day.
We have tried giving our own EV's in the past to the team, but there has been resistance. There is a sorry track record of 2 of our electric vehicles having been stolen from the lab - thanks to the negligence of the employees. This time, we want buy in from the technician. They have to be part owners of the bike. Would be very happy if the above concerns are taken care of. We can then buy 2 to 3 of eTrance NEO this year itself.
The eTrance NEO has a high purchase intent for me. The pricing is fantastic at Rs 74,990 Ex Showroom. You have decent stop speed of 58 kmph and an amazing range of 120+ km.
Very good effort by PURE EV with this release. We look forward to more improvements in the coming months, but for now the NEO offers tremendous value for money.