We Indians love goods items that are usually affordable but at the same time pack in a lot of value. This explains why the unregulated low-speed electric scooter market is booming. There are so many players and while once in a while, we have those guilty feeling of buying something from China, the ultimate satisfaction is that it appeals to the pocket. Rightly so, the present situation means that budgets are tight and with the ever-increasing fuel prices, those looking to commute are turning towards personal mobility solutions. Detel (we’ve carried an extensive story about this new EV player as well as helmet maker) has now come up with another entry-level electric scooter. This is being dubbed as the “world’s most economical electric vehicle.” While the now-discontinued Detel Easy scooter was for less than Rs 20,000, this one will be costly.
However, it is not expected to be costly in the traditional way as Yogesh Bhatia, the founder of Detel tells Express Drives. On the sidelines of the India Auto Show 2021 which was held in Mumbai recently, Yogesh told us that his company has always stood for affordable technology which is easily accessible to the masses. The Detel Easy was announced on August 15, 2020 and within a few months, the scooter was lapped up online by teenagers. The Easy Plus is an improvement over the former and will go on sale in April 2021. Bookings will start online whereas the expected price will be quite disruptive. The scooter boasts 70 per cent localisation but Yogesh promises us that within the next six months, it will have 100 per cent Indian components. At present, the battery cells as well as BMS are imported.
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So, how has this price achieved? A quick check on Detel’s website shows 4k TVs for less than Rs 30,000. To compare, other market players sell similar-specced models for nearly double or triple the price. Yogesh adds that Easy Plus uses only components that are needed. For example, since the top speed of the scooter is only 25kmph, no disc brakes have been added. At the same time, the minimalist design ensures that the Easy Plus will also not have regenerative braking. The scooter weighs as much as the TVS XL100 and at the same time, has a payload capacity of 150kg. It looks diminutive in the images and we can’t comment on how it seems in the flesh as there was no display model kept.
The essentials include a battery housed under the seat (this leaves no room for storage spaces), alloy wheels with Ralson rubber, a single-piece seat, telescopic front suspension and a rear monoshock. A digital meter has been provided and it gives all the necessary information like range, speed, odo readings and more. The scooter has a 350watt motor, and has a single 20aH Li-ion 7kg detachable battery. The claimed range is 60km/charge. Should you run out of power, there are also the pedals that will take you to your destination. A health scooter, if you can call it that. The best part what we liked is that one can charge it from the regular 5aH charging point at home. Yes, the same one you use for charging your cellphones. The charging time is 5-6 hours.
Yogesh tells us that these scooters are targetted at the fairer sex as well as teenagers. You see, the teenagers have a quest to buy their own two-wheelers while the parents are dead worried about the usage pattern. These low-speed scooters will not only keep their high-speed quests in check, allow them to ride without a license (not required for vehicles with a top speed of under 35kmph) and at the same time, prove to be economical to run in the long way, says Yogesh. However, given the style that this scooter adopts, we have our reservations on how it will be accepted by the youth. High-speed scooters are a distant thought for the company. They plan on focussing on low-speed models to cater to the youth.
About the design, we were curious to know if Yogesh actually approves of it. Yogesh said that once the vehicle prototype is made, it is taken back to his place, shown to family members and they use it for a few days. Post this, the vehicle is approved for series production. Of course, other validation tests are separately done on it by the engineers working at Detel.
A Detel Easy Loader version, targetted for the B2B segment is also coming out later this year. It will get a higher-powered dual-battery, 25kmph top speed, higher range and the chassis has been reinforced for the additional load it is expected to carry. It is likely to carry around a Rs 7,000 premium than the Easy Plus model. Yogesh confirms that the design of the scooter is done in-house. On being asked about the service aspect, we were informed that the electric vehicle only has 10% service costs when compared with a conventional petrol scooter. In the near future, every city will have a sales as well as service partner from Detel. Things will start rolling once the Easy Plus is launched. A one-year warranty is given on the vehicle whereas the Li-ion battery has a three-year coverage.