electric scooter looks neat, is rather slim in appearance, looks decent from
all angles, has LED headlamps, halogen indicators and tail lamps, besides a
large single seat for two adults with a chunky grab rail for the pillion. The
vehicle comes with a digital instrument cluster and a USB charging slot near
the right handle. There is a large cavity storage space in front but I only
wish this had a cover of sorts to ensure that the things I put there are
protected in rain.
the Athers of the world, Hero electric two-wheelers are more sedate and
practical. Thus, this electric scooter is not for enthusiasts since the top
speed is around 42kmph, though we did manage to ride it a lot faster. And when I say 42 kmph, I am sure a lot of you
out there would be sniggering. But I must say, this Naveen Munjal controlled
Hero Electric is the smart one, because speed limits in major cities of India
is around 50kmph on almost all streets.
Otpima electric scooter comes in different variants. The Optima HX series has
variants like the S12a which we rode. This has a battery range of around 82 kms
per single charge. Then you have the HX-S12b with a 122km range and the S32a
with a 95km range on a single charge.
telescopic suspension in front and double shocker with coiled spring suspension
at the rear, this e-scooter sits on 90x90x12 inches tyres in front and rear.
Like all electric vehicle, the Optima too has the Lithium-ion battery as its
critical component. The battery is a 51.2V/ 30Ah lithium-ion one and running
the e-scooter is a motor of 550w with a peak watt of 1200. This enables the
vehicle to achieve a top speed of 42kmph. The battery has a charging time of
key to start the scooter is also used to open the seat, under which is stored
the battery. You also get a charger, a pair of remote control keys, a tool kit
and user manual with the e-scooter, all of which we found under the seat. Under
the seat, on one side you see a small plastic lid and the moment you remove that
you get to see the MCB and the Controller. Before unplugging or plugging the battery,
make sure to turn the MCB to ‘Off’ position or else the connectors can produce
a spark which in turn can unnerve you.
battery is quite heavy and it is like a vertical box with a metal handle. The
handle is akin to the one that used to be on old metal trunks, especially the
ones used by army men. I found this metal handle very small and inconvenient
and if one were to carry this battery for long, you are bound to hurt your
fingers. I wish the company had made broader, softer handles for the battery so
it would have been easier carrying it around.
there are two ways to charge an electric vehicle. Either you can charge the
e-scooter directly to a 6 amp wall socket through a charger or take the battery
out and charge the battery directly to a 6amp socket in your home or office
through the same charger. The battery has a round 3 pin female socket and the
charger has a round 3 pin male plug. In order to charge the e-scooter directly,
you have to connect one end of the charger to the 6amp wall socket and the
other round 3 pin male plug to the 3-pin
round female socket located outside near the floor board. There is also a
square shaped 3 pin charging point next to this round female socket. You do not
have to be bothered with that.
company spokesperson said this is an “additional future provision for different
battery and charger connector”.
the large plastic cover with a handle that covers the entire battery area is
decently designed and made, the battery cavity area is a bit disorganised. The
two straps with Velcro and the lose connector prove to be a nuisance while
putting the charged battery back. Since the space is so narrow, putting in the
heavy battery with all three pulled out is quite a strenuous exercise. Ideally,
the Velcro straps and the connector should not originate from inside the
cavity, rather all three should be outside the cavity.
to the performance of the e-scooter, well it is ideal for both short and long errands
but should be avoided on rugged roads. The suspension is slightly rigid and all
the shocks you receive from the roads are passed on to your body and not fully absorbed
by the shockers. That leaves you all rattled and tired. But if the roads are
smooth and the tarmac well laid out, this vehicle rides like a breeze. Obviously,
this e-scooter will be picked up by responsible riders who are keen to follow
the speed limit rules of this land very religiously. At Rs 70 odd thousand this
e-scooter may sound a tad expensive, but at around Rs 50 to 50 odd thousand, it
is a very decent buy.