To be very honest you would not be very thrilled when you
hear an upcoming review of an electric vehicle but I am one of those petrol
heads who cares a bit more. The Earth is not getting any greener… the only
green which has increased are the green house gases. Nature was not really
built to sustain the increasing amounts of carbon emissions we are pumping out.
Somewhere there is a growing urgency to wake up and smell the not so fresh air.
Yes you may not have as much fun driving it compared to a turbo charged V8 but
every drop in the ocean counts. Hero Electric has come up with yet another
electric joy, the Photon. The electric scooter even comes with a remote lock, a
novel feature in the two-wheeler industry in India.
The juice flowing in the veins of the Photon comes from its
1500 Watt BLDC battery unit. On a full charge the Photon runs a distance of
50km when ridden in a power mode. If you drive it in economy mode it will go an
additional 30km very impressive considering the fact that you can select the
driving mode. The battery is a VRLA (Valve Regulated Lead Acid) 33 AH/ 48 Volt
unit. It may not be as peppy or spirited as its petrol counter parts but the
Photon is not one to lag behind. It takes some time to catch up to a healthy
speed but will certainly maintain that speed when achieved. When I switched on
the scooter there was no sound so you don’t really know if it is on or not but
just by chance my hand was on the accelerator. With a slight grunt it comes to
life surging forward silently. While cruising on it I was reminded of the good
old times where cycles moved on the power of a man’s leg and ships sailed with
the winds of the seas. It may not be a great escape vehicle but it certainly
has the element of surprise if you are sneaking up on someone or just sneaking
out, let me see you do that on a Bullet! The top speed one can achieve on the
Photon is 45kmph not much but a health concern none the less.
Ride & Handling
The Photon has a very comfortable seating position and one
will not really feel the stress of riding it. It is one of the lightest
scooters I have ridden and feels effortless to ride. The wheels are 3.00-10
inch and do the job pretty well, keeping the ride balanced and comfortable. The
maximum load the tyres can carry is a 150kgs and has the capacity to endure a
maximum speed of a 100kmph. To compliment the wheels are telescopic suspension
which enhance the feel of the ride and the comfort offered to the rider. Bumpy
Delhi roads are not much of a concern and braking in an emergency has been
facilitated by a set of very accurate disc brakes in the front and a large drum
in the rear. Even when cornering at the top speed the Photon is stable and
Design & Styling
This is certainly one of the key ingredients when you are
making a hot broth of a two-wheeler and Hero Electric has done the job well
enough. The head lamps are an oval clear lens with a bright beam. The tail lamp
is a curvy semi circle. The turn indicators both at the back and the front are
simply phenomenal to look at and compliment the headlamps and tail lamps very
well. The styling comprises of subtle curves which enhance the smooth and silky
ride of this scooter. The saddle is broad and feels very comfortable. Seating
capacity is for two people but single riding is advisable for best performance.
The instrument cluster a large back lit rectangle which comprises of the
speed-o-meter, the turn indicators and the high beam indicator. The controls of
the turn indicators and the lights are located very conveniently for ease of
operation and the turn indicator now has a convenient button on it to stop the
If you are one of those people who spares a thought for the
environment please consider this as an option when you are thinking of buying a
scooter. The price tag of the Photon is set at Rs.54,110 (ex-showroom Delhi),
steep by normal standards, but perfect when you know it is being bought with a
purpose. The range on the Photon is 80km and it’s a pocket friendly economical
ride. With zero emissions this is a step towards healthier mobility and my only
plea to the government is to encourage the makers of these vehicles.
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