RR Kabel, the famous electric component maker, has entered the electric scooter scene. The electric vehicle wing is named BGauss and their first scooter is the flagship B8. There is also the BGauss A2 bike. The A2 sits below the B8. Currently, BGauss has six operational dealerships with more in the offing. Express Drives got an opportunity to be on the saddle of both the scooters recently. This obviously was a short 2-3km ride experience and hence cannot be classified as a proper review. We will be getting the scooters for a longer test ride and who knows, there could also be a long-term unit in the offing. By the way, if you are interested, the newly opened Navi Mumbai dealership is in Nerul, right next to Honda as well as RE showrooms. There is also one in Panvel.
The Nerul showroom is decently spacious and has two scooters on display, with delivery units kept outside. It also has a dedicated service centre, right behind the front office. Book the scooter today and you should get delivery within 15 days, depending on if you buy it on finance or outright.
First up, the quality of materials used to make the scooter seems of a high order. I particularly liked the paint schemes on offer. Equipment-wise, there is a lot too. You get all-LED lights, a digital instrument console, disc brakes on both ends. Not only this, but there is also CBS dialled in and customers can opt for either Li-ion or lead acid batteries on both the scooters. These scooters too have their origin in China – being designed and developed there. However, they are assembled in Chakan, India and use localisation to a great effect. Parts like the CEAT tyres, Bosch motor and more are sourced from India. BGauss aims to have a larger level of localisation soon.
Now that all the details are out of the way, here is how the B8 electric scooter feels to ride. You see the key fob to lock-unlock the scooter. One can also lock it through a dedicated keyhole. Once the scooter is unlocked with two chimes, you press the big GO button on the console. The urgency of the throttle can very well be unnerving to a new user. Yes, I feel its a tad sharp. This at the same time also shows up while one is in stop-go traffic or even making u-turns. There is no associated noise or vibrations. The scooter also feels very light. There are three modes which one can toggle through the right handlebar switches. This can be done on the go as well.
Mode One is expected to give you the maximum range of 70km whereas the top speed is 36kmph. Mode Two at the same time will give 65km range while the claimed top speed is 42kmph. The last mode has the least range (60km) but does a top speed of 50kmph. There is also the boost button which gives you a short push and should be helpful while overtaking. During the short ride experience, I found the scooter to be decent enough with respect to acceleration in the city. However, overtaking maneuvers do require one to plan and execute. For those short runs or dropping kids to nearby schools, the BGauss B8 should do just fine.
Moreover, if you brake, and the anchors I believe are overkill for a scooter which will not exceed 50kmph, the accelerator is cut off too. This might leave you with a feeling wherein there is a temporary loss in power, if for a fraction of a second. I also feel the instrument console could have had vivid colours because under the October sunlight in Mumbai, it was hard to read.
The scooter though grabs attention and I had people overtaking me (quite easily) and asking details. That way, BGauss will have a widespread audience and the very fact that people are warming up to electric vehicles is a good sign. The charging time of this scooter is just three hours and one can use their regular 5W sockets at home. This is a far lesser requirement as even induction heaters, these days, need you to have a 15W socket. Ohh, before I forget, there is also another feature that is overkill. It is the reverse assist. Keep the small R button held on the left handlebar and twist the throttle. The scooter will move backward at a maximum of 2kmph. This could be helpful in getting the scooter out of tight parking situations. However, I don’t see people using it too often.
BGauss has priced the B8 electric scooter at Rs 63,000 – 89,000, ex-showroom. The Rs 63,000 is for the lead-acid unit, which by the way is non-removable. The Li-ion unit will weigh around 11-13kg and is removable. BGauss claims 94Nm torque whereas the peak power is rated at 1900 watt. The latter converts to less than 3hp. In the short ride that I had, the suspension felt like what the first-gen Activa was. However, I will reserve my final thoughts till the review unit comes along.
Should you buy this scooter which comes with a three-year warranty? Well, watch this space for our comprehensive review to know more.
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