I immediately sent a few
questions to the company asking for some clarifications. I asked them where
this product is made and how much is sourced from India and abroad. The answer
was: “We are extremely proud to say that
more than 60 per cent of the spare parts in Detel Easy are Indian and we are
committed to use 100 per cent Indian parts by this year-end”. My question
went partially unanswered. They did not inform me from where the remaining 40
per cent parts came from. The Detel EV plant is based in Gurugram in Haryana.
Another important question I
asked was about the company’s after-sales service outlets in the country. The
answer was: “In case of service
customers can reach our helpline number and place service request and the
service person will provide servicing at their home location and going forward
our SSP franchise partner will provide service directly to the customer”.
The company is incidentally seeking franchise partners for Detel Easy.
Though the company had
initially stated in a press release that Detel Easy costs Rs 19,999, the
invoice that came to me along with the e-bike stated its price at Rs 23,808 and
with GST added to that, the total price came to Rs 24,999. Thus, I can safely
presume, this electric bicycle comes for around Rs 25,000.
EASY E-BICYCLE FEATURES
Battery & Charging: In order to
get the e-bike up and running I had to open four screws on the floor board.
Under the board is the 48V, 12Ah lithium-ion batteries. One needs to snap on
the connectors for the bike’s electricals to function. At this point I noticed
that the battery itself is kept unfastened on a plastic tray which in turn is also
not fixed and is kept in a metal enclosure. That was the first sign of bad
workmanship. Everything is placed without being fastened properly. Then I
noticed that the connectors were dangling under the floor board, exposed to
dust and moisture from underneath. The connectors too were not fixed to one
side. This increases the chances for the connectors to get damaged if it comes
in contact with the chain or any other obstacle on the road.
And the most important
irritant I felt was that, every time someone wants to take the battery out to
recharge at home or office, they would have to open and close the four screws.
Ideally, the company should have provided a key lock on the floor board to
access the battery. With just the four screws, anybody with a screwdriver can
open the floor board and take out the batteries.
Charging the battery is easy.
Either you can charge the e-bicycle directly to an AC wall socket without
taking the battery out or you can take the battery out and charge it using an
adapter given by the company. The charger is a 48V / 50 Herz one which has a
light which glows red if the battery is not fully charged, but turns green,
once the battery is completely charged. In ideal ride conditions, this e-bike
can travel 60 kms. That is the range of the battery. The battery takes 7 to 8
hours to charge from its zero level.
Also, since the e-bicycle does
not come with any safe and enclosed storage space to store the charger, you
would always have to keep the charger and adapter tucked away safely somewhere
Body features: I also noticed a lot
of wires and connectors carelessly left exposed somewhere under the front and
rear seat. This too could have been avoided by the company engineers. These
should have been safely tucked away.
Designed on the lines of a
moped, the Detel Easy electric bicycle is definitely cute to look at. It comes
with pedals, though it runs on a 250 watts motor. It has two 16-2.5 tyres with tube. It has white LED lights in front and LEDs at
the rear. The rear light does not glow when you press the brakes. At the bottom of the mudguard there is a
small red reflector too. The switches and their functions are minimalistic. On
the left you have turn indicators, a switch for the headlight and your horn
button. The sound from the indicators and horn are shrill and disturbing.
On the right you have a button
for setting the normal speed, slow speed (when you depress it towards right)
and high speed (when you depress it to the left). Sadly, there are no signs
suggesting its functions, neither does the e-bike user manual talk about any of
the switches. The quality of the switches is not up to the mark. The instrument
cluster does not have a speedometer or any other gauge, except a few red lights
indicating level of charging of battery. It also has lights for the indicators
and the headlamp. There is a metal basket attached in the front to carry some
The Detel Easy electric bicycle
is made up of a metal frame on which a lot of plastic has been screwed on.
Everything about the e-bike looks very fragile. Though it looks exceptionally
cute it does not exude confidence. Typical bicycle fork telescopic shockers are
there in front, while the rear consists of coil spring shock absorbers. The
conventional metallic cycle stand gives it a retro look and feel. I only wish
there was a side stand too which would have been very comfortable and
practical. The mudguards and other plastic parts look extremely fragile for any
type of rough use.
I would give big thumbs up to
the front seat. Unlike typical bicycle seats which are narrow and hard and
cause you extreme pain and discomfort between the legs, this one is broad and
relatively cushiony. The rear seat, I suspect is only for small kids or tiny
built adults. Overall, the electric
bicycle weighs around 56 kilos without the battery.
From its tiny build, I was not
very sure the Detel Easy would take my weight so easily. I stand approximately
5 feet ten inches in height and weigh a shade less than 90 kilos. It is
mentioned in their user manual that this e-bike can take a maximum load of 90kgs.
Since this e-bike has a
maximum speed of 25 kmph, it does not require a registration or a license to
ride it. But if you were to take it out of your locality on the main road, I
would recommend that you wear a helmet while riding. The company is giving away
a helmet free of charge with every Detel Easy they sell.
The Detel Easy comes with two
sets of keys which are of different sizes. Initially that leaves you a bit
confused. While one is used to start the vehicle, the other is used near the
rear wheel to lock your rear wheel for safety reasons when you park it. That’s
a neat function, I feel and this should have been highlighted in the user manual.
When I began riding this
e-bicycle, I was pleasantly surprised by its initial power. You are supposed to
keep your feet on the two pedals and not on the foot board. It is only when you
keep your feet on the pedals that it gets disengaged from the motor power or
else the pedals will be spinning away as the vehicle moves. The motor easily took
my weight and maintained a steady speed as I was moving in normal mode. The
buttons to increase its speed or decrease its speed did not respond in a manner
I would have liked. But after I had ridden it for a little while, I noticed
that the accelerator response was getting unsteady. At times it refused to
budge at all. The user manual clearly says that “After the EV is started, it should accelerate slowly and do not
increase to highest speed instantly to avoid damage to electrical components”.
The user manual further stated that, “During
driving, the phenomenon of tightening the speed control handle after braking
should be avoided to avoid overload and damage to the motor when it is turned
on again”. I was accelerating slowly, yet it refused to budge at times. But
when it started moving, it moved smoothly and swiftly.
The e-bike comes with drum
brakes, with the rear wheel hub carrying the motor; I felt the brakes were
adequate. But after going up and down for some time and using the brakes, I
could hear them squeaking. I was not too happy with it. The EV user manual says
that, “EV with brushless motors has a slight electromagnetic noise when
starting at low speed, which is normal and does not affect use”. The squeaking
sound was definitely from the brakes. The company has warned against wading in
the water with this e-bike or else the water could enter the motor and damage
critical electrical components.
Even though this e-bike comes
with pedals which are meant to be used in case of emergency when the battery
runs out of juice, I found the pedals and their positioning too uncomfortable
for my height to use. The pedal is a big “No” for me for pedaling this e-bike
without its e-power.
I am impressed by the cute
looks of the Detel Easy e-bike, but not convinced with its build quality. At
the price at which it is being sold, one can risk buying it, especially those
who are slim and light weighted. The quality and the durability of its parts
and the servicing of the e-bike are some of the areas of concern for me. I am
not truly convinced that it can take the rough Indian roads. At best, it’s a
convenient vehicle to ply on an even pavement or road, so that you can go and grab
your grocery from the community store. It is an ideal two-wheeler for those 16
years and above who want to travel short distances within a gated locality.