We visited the dealership in Cinchwad, Pune and took the scooter on a spin. In this blog, we highlight our observations in real time as we rode the Hero Electric Photon.
The Hero Electric Photon is FAME 2 compliant electric scooter, which means that the scooter has achieved the necessary localisation to qualify to get a subsidy of Rs 16,336.
The on road price in Pune is around Rs 72,000 which compares to a normal ICE scooter. As usual our recommendation is not to go for a petrol scooter as you start saving money from day 1 when you move to electric.
Also this includes the reduced GST of 5%. Apparently Hero Electric have passed on the benefit by reducing the MRP, unfortunately some manufacturers have kept the same MRP, essentially eating the government given benefit, which is terrible corporate practice.
When the government provides some benefits, customers have to benefit not some corporate head honchos. So we appreciate Hero Electric here.
Also including 5 years insurance is a very good move as people don't renew the insurance. It’s fantastic to see Electric scooter companies trying to keep things affordable, unlike ICE manufacturers who artificially inflate the pricing.
As we mentioned in our Ridge+ and Ampere Zeal videos, Electric Scooters are very affordable and have reached price parity of ICE scooters.
Soon we will beat ICE scooters in performance at this price too.
- The classic Hero Electric Photon design is retained even now! After all these years!
- The branding sticker is spot on. The sticker near the front wheel says "Photon LP", where LP stands for Lithium Iron Phosphate - the chemistry used in the battery pack. More on that later.
- We love the simplicity of the design. Its just classic!
- We saw Black and Grey colors. Apparently they have Red and White too.
- 70 km real world range
- 55 km top speed
- 1.80 kWh Lithium Iron Phosphate battery pack
- 1.8 kW peak power delivered by the BLDC hub motor
- 5 hours for a full charge using a 5 Amp socket
The first thing, i felt when i sat on the 2019 Photon was how light everything felt compared to the old lead acid scooter Photon! That is because the Lithium battery weighs a lot less now and that translates to added performance and fun while riding.
As you can see from our video, I could easily achieve 50 kmph speeds. Suspension was also satisfactory, So was the breaking power.
The display does not tell us how much charge is pending. The infamous guessometer is the most common issue, among all electric scooters. But atleast the display here shows the voltage which helps in the estimation - sort of...
The capacity of the battery is 1.80 kWh (kilo watt hour), which consumes, approximately 2 units for full charge. This would cost you around Rs 16 (assuming Rs 8 per unit) to go 70 km.
The company is offering 3 years warranty on the battery, which is better than other models we tested.
We like the charger provided by Hero Electric which shows the State of Charge percentage indicator. So if you are not sure how much energy is left, all you have to do is plug in and check the SOC. We show this in the video. Watch to understand.
Hero Electric has moved to Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries - which is same chemistry used on our e2o Electric cars. Lithium Iron phosphate has advantages. They offer more life cycles, around 1800 to 2000 compared to the old Phylion batteries used by Hero Electric which had around 800-1000 cycles.
Also the chemistry can tolerate heat better than NMC chemistry, which is perfect for India. Only issue is the weight the battery weighs around 13 KG.
Do note the battery is not removable. Although the dealer in Cinchwad - eGalaxy Motors, did some innovation and can make some changes to ensure customers can remove the battery and charge at home.
Also the battery is positioned well to give user some boot space unlike many other models (like the Okinawa iPraise), where the battery is eating into the boot space.
This battery is made by Indian company called Trontek and we have information from multiple dealers that this battery is doing very well with no issues. We like the fact that Hero Electric is not misleading customers in terms of range and are not giving some crazy numbers unlike certain companies ;)
The 2019 Hero Photon is a pleasure to ride. I loved it. The lightness and nimbleness of the ride was a huge difference compared to my 2015 ride. We can overtake most slow moving vehicles and we don't have to stay in left most section of the road unlike low speed electric scooters. Also in 5-8 seconds we can get from 0 kmph to 55 kmph which is fantastic to zip away in signals.
Watch the video to see more!
Great memories when riding this one. The 2019 Hero Photon, is totally recommended for city rides and errands. You will save money and enjoy the silent electric ride.
One criticism towards Hero Electric is that, they took too long to give this update to the Photon. The only reason they did this update was because of FAME 2 government norms.
Hero Electric are kings of 25 kmph scooters. If there was no FAME 2 regulations, would we have seen this awesome update to the Photon? We doubt it.
This reactionary attitude has to change. Hero Electric needs to lead and offer more compelling and powerful products. We at PluginIndia believe they can.
The question is, do they believe?