Scooter review: Hero Electric Optima HX very practical, but not yet aspirational

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Updated: September 26, 2021 11:11 PM

The Optima HX is great fun to ride around home, for daily errands such as buying groceries, and it has a dual battery option so that you don’t have to visit a charging station, ever.

Over the last one week of riding the Hero Electric Optima HX around my home in Gurgaon, I have realised a few things:

1. My riding radius for daily errands is not more than 2 km.

2. The scooter is peppy to ride, but with faster traffic around it doesn’t always feel safe.

3. The scooter is more comfortable on the body than a petrol one because it has fewer vibrations.

4. It comes with two batteries, and one battery weighs around 9 kg. I can take it out (it has a handle), carry to my apartment, and charge using a regular three-pin plug (even as another battery stays inside the scooter). This way, I don’t have to visit a charging station, ever.

5. Despite all its practical features (and its extremely low cost of running—almost five times lesser than a petrol scooter), it doesn’t come across as an aspirational product, i.e. the young crowd I showed it to didn’t appear much enthused.

Electric scooters have won the practicality war, by far, and it’s only a matter of time they will start getting more and more aspirational.

The scooter

Priced Rs 58,980 in Delhi NCR (ex-showroom), the Optima HX has a top speed of 42 km/h, it has a claimed range of 122 km, it takes 4-5 hours to charge the battery, and registration is required to ride it, as is helmet.

Practical features include a USB port to charge your phone on the go, LED headlamps that are quite bright, remote lock and anti-theft alarm (just like in modern cars), and regenerative braking (when you brake, the energy isn’t lost in the environment but is stored back in the battery).

Some areas of improvement include a better digital instrument cluster (the current one doesn’t show distance-to-empty and some other needed information), and more attention to detail (for example, the main stand assist, or the tang, doesn’t have correct orientation).

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