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Old 1st June 2012, 23:20   #1
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Default Ultimate search for the E-Bike (Electric)

Ok, first off I would like to let people know that I searched for ebike's or electric bikes but couldn't find recent threads on the same, hence starting this thread.

Choose a reliable ebike out in the market

Ok coming to the situation at hand, I see four major players in the Indian market.

Hero Electric
.: Hero Electric :.
YO Bikes
India's Only No-Petrol two-seater - YO Bykes
BSA Motors
BSA Motors Electric Scooters Range | E-Bikes Range | Battery Operated Electric Scooters
Ebike India
Ebikes India,E Bikes,Electric Bikes,Electric Vehicles,Electric Scooters - EBikeIndia.com

My requirements:
1. Buying this bike for my dad.
2. Should be reliable with good life of battery & A.S.S in case of any problems.
3. Daily usage in maximum range of 20km radius.
4. Should hold good a minimum 100kgs of weight.

Ok guys, I would like someone knowledgeable or who owns any of these bikes to give suggestions to help me zero in on the right choice!

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Old 2nd June 2012, 02:05   #2
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Default Re: Ultimate search for the ebike

AMPERE V60 (made in Coimbatore)

I dont know about the brands you have specifically asked. However, more than a year back by chance I happened to do a test ride of the Ampere V60 not with any plans to buy. Just because I had been seeing a good number of these scooters around Indiranagar in bangalore and more importantly the showroom happens to be behind my home near Jeevanbhimanagar in Bangalore.

Infact I came away impressed with the scooter. The test bike looked to have been fairly abused by other testers, although it was the daily commute of the showroom manager (I see him riding it daily). Inspite of its abused looks, me (86kgs) & wife (56kgs) riding 2-up, we were easily able to climb a good long incline with no extra effort on the scooter. Manuevering & braking was also decent. The motor is very silent and you dont know it is running unless you give it some throttle. It also had some nice features on the locking and some switch under the seat etc. Its got bright LED headlight etc and although the finish of the plastic is not superlative, it looked reasonable to me. It does not need RTO registration and you have to service it once in 6 months paying Rs 500 (if I remember correct) where they told me they rotate the battery and clean the brake etc. I think once in 3 or 5 years (dont remember) you have to change the batteries that will cost about Rs 6,000. If I am not mistaken he said the range was about 45-50kms for a full charge.

If its available in Chennai, I suggest you take another person also with you and ride 2-up and do a test drive climbing an incline etc.

I just found this review of the V60 scooter on the net

Ampere V60 Review

Good luck.

Last edited by Haroon : 2nd June 2012 at 02:20.
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Old 2nd June 2012, 09:23   #3
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Default Re: Ultimate search for the ebike

I agree with you that there hardly any e-bike reviews. Its probably an indication of how unpopular they are.
Here's my experience of Yo Bykes Spark:
(this looks like the model I used, but I am not 100% sure, since it didn't have any model badge)

I've used this as a loaner for a couple of months. It takes about 8 hours to recharge a battery that is at ~10% charge.

The bike is quite lightweight, silent, smooth running (on dry, flat tarred roads), and is in fact quite relaxing to drive in ideal conditions. Throttle control is mostly on-off, unlike an ICE, you cant control the amount of power.
The suspension is a tad firm, somewhat similar to a TVS scooty. the avg speed I would feel comfortable in maintaining on the bike would be around 20-25kmph. the drum brakes are just about ok. I don't think this has regenerative braking, but I could be wrong.

The major problems I have seen are:
1. Inclines are a MAJOR hassle. If its a steep one, you will be reduced to crawling pace, (in fact might even need to get out and push!) if its a very steep gradient. It will severely test your riding balance at ultra low crawling speeds!

2. I havent tried riding in the rain or on drenched roads. The tyres are not very inspiring, however at such low speeds that's not too much of an issue.

3. The charge indicator is quite dicey. It is generally erring on the side of caution, but still it is hard to get an accurate idea of the state of the battery. I would say that it has pretty large margin of error even upto ~-30%. I cant say exactly since I never dared testing it to the limit for fear of getting stuck.

The claimed range is 70-75 km. In practice I never dared to test this to the limit. The max I might have tried would be 20-25km at a time, for short runs near the home. The claimed range is severely shortened depending on the inclines, speed breakers, rough roads, and stop-go traffic conditions.

4. Being able to park close to a 15amp point in your home. for me this was not a major issue. ymmv.

5. The life of the battery is around 2 years depending on usage, temperatures etc. A replacement is around 8-10k (iirc, but not sure), which is pretty pricey.

6. imho this is strictly a solo vehicle. I only tried with a pillion once, and it seemed to be a joke especially on inclines. I never loaded it with much weight (and my own wt was pretty low back then ~60kg!), so I cant imagine more ideal conditions than that.

7. also never tried night time riding , so I am not sure how much the range would be affected by the lights!

To conclude, for me this was useful only for a very narrow purpose, and has severe constraints that you should be aware of. What I say is relevant only for this model which was made ~3-4 years back. things might have changed since then, although I feel some of the general problems might persist.
Never needing to go to the pump is pretty nice, and one of the major feel good factors about it. IMO, it may be good for an elderly person who is not in a hurry, and it doesn't need too much maintenance. But there are many other factors like local riding conditions and others above that should be taken into account. I would suggest that you try to get a test ride over the roads that your dad might typically use.

Do share your experience with the ebikes, I would like to know what the current options are.
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Old 5th June 2012, 14:42   #4
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Default Re: Ultimate search for the E-Bike (Electric)

Thanks for the replies guys! However still my query has been left a tad UN-answered mainly for the reason I quoted (no recent updates \ ownership reviews)

I'm hoping the recent scenario with the electric bikes is vastly changed with what was prevalent say 2-3 years ago; so was looking to find if anyone here on T-BHP is using these bikes now for their daily short commutes or has knowledge of the same.

I'd still wait & hope someone comes up with a first hand experience of the newer gen electric bikes.

So please feel free to throw your thoughts in.

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Old 25th April 2014, 09:56   #5
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Default Re: Ultimate search for the E-Bike (Electric)

Recently I saw ads in newspaper for Romai Electric scooters. I have seen two dealerships in Trivandrum. Any info on price range / reviews on these scooters? I see a great advantage for short trips as Registration/License is not needed for these scooters, as they claim.
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