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Old 20th January 2022, 12:21   #1
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Default TVS iQube Electric Scooter Review

It's been 9 months since I purchased the TVS iQube electric scooter. I wanted to share my ownership report.

TVS iQube Electric Scooter Review-iqubesideprofile.jpg

Positives



Comfortable riding position
Good suspension
Good pillion ride experience
Decent-sized mirrors
Good sales and service experience
Wide footboard
Enough storage space
Proven until now with no major issues
Decent Range
Normal mode is more than adequate for city riding
12-inch front and rear tires (with a caveat)

Negatives



Range could have been more (at least 40% more)
Color options would have been nice
No fast charging
Quality is par for the course but could have been better

Background



I moved back to Bangalore in late 2013 and quickly realized the need for a scooter to manage short runs for groceries or other stuff. While exploring options, I came upon electric scooters from Yo Bikes and Ampere. Both options involved lead-acid batteries. Given my cycling and triathlon background, I decided to explore the green electric scooters. Yo was quickly rejected due to poor sales experience. Ampere v60 seemed promising (range of 75 in eco mode and 55 in normal mode) mainly due to a knowledgeable dealer near my place, and I finalized it for about INR 55000 on-road in early 2014.

Soon after, in early 2015, I continued my electric journey with the Mahindra E2O.

The Ampere had a top speed of 40kmph -- allowing folks without license to use it, and served me well. I changed the battery once (damages INR 15000). After 7 years, the replacement battery went for a toss, and the 7-year itch for a new bike started.

This time, a few options with Li-ion batteries were available, and I decided to focus on the most popular ones: Bajaj Chetak, Ather 450+, and TVS iQube.

The Chetak impressed with its retro looks. But despite the bike being available in the KTM showroom near my place, they refused to offer a test ride. I booked the test ride online but did not get a response. Meanwhile, I also read reports about the deliveries being delayed and a price increase. Decided to move on and focus on the Ather and iQube.

I visited the Ather experience center in Indiranagar. It was pretty impressive. The Ather is one bike with impressive build quality. The test ride proved this. The seating position was good -- it felt like sitting on a bike or at least a maxiscooter. Overall, it felt very well put together. However, I was keen to test out the pillion ride experience, so asked my friend to ride. The same suspension that felt stiff yet perfect for the rider felt bouncy for the pillion. I couldn't find a good seating position and was overall quite uncomfortable.

Even so, I enquired about the pricing. This was March 2021, about a month before additional FAME subsidies rolled out. I was quoted about INR 150000 for the Ather 450+ and about INR 170000 for the Ather 450X. I was interested in the Ather 450+ despite the pricing being higher than budget, but some things put me off:
- The Ather Connect Pro and Service Pro annual cost of 2,400 and 3,600 exclusive of GST
- The additional cost of about 10K for a portable charger
- The poor pillion ride experience

This meant that I would be paying north of INR 165000 on road and yet not have a comfortable ride experience for 2 people, my primary use case.

So I looked at the TVS iQube. The showroom was just 2 km from my place, and the experience was quite positive. I was given multiple test drives. The silent ride, plush suspension, wide footboard, comfortable ride experience for 1 or 2 people, and decent quality of components won me over. Given this was before the additional FAME subsidy, the pricing was INR 115000 plus INR 8250 for the charger. Given the comparable ICE Jupiter costs north of INR 100000 on road, this was a no brainer and I placed an order. I got the delivery in about 3 weeks.

Delivery Picture
TVS iQube Electric Scooter Review-iqubedeliverypic.jpg

Default TVS iQube what has it got?



TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Model: TVS iQube 450X

Peak Power - 4.4 kWh

Weight - 118 kg

Top Speed - 78 kmph

Tyre Size - Front and rear both 90/90-12, Tubeless

Brakes - Front disc, rear drum

Suspension - Front telescopic, rear Hydraulic twin tube shock absorber

Peak (wheel) torque - 140 Nm

Ride modes and Range
Normal - 75 kms
Sport - 50 kms

Charger Type - TVS SmartXHome Charger or Portable Charger

Battery Type & Capacity - Lithium Ion with 2.5 kWh

Battery Warranty - 3 years or 50000 km, whichever is earlier

Transmission Type - Hub drive

Lights - LED lights for Headlight, Tail Lights, indicators, position lamps.

Boot Capacity - ~20 Litres

USB Charging port - Yes (with light)

Connectivity - 4G LTE

Bluetooth - Yes

Default Why TVS iQube?



I wanted my scooter ownership experience to be as hassle-free as possible. This meant easy access to a service center. A few friends own TVS scooters/bikes and they mentioned how prompt the sales/service teams were in ensuring good service.

I was lucky to have a good ownership experience with the Ampere v60 because I was less than 4 km away from my dealer, who was quite knowledgeable and prompt with service. However, on a couple occasions when I had to get replacement parts, the process took close to a month on at least two occasions because the older parts had to be shipped to Tamil Nadu, their status verified and approved, and only then would the replacement parts be shipped back, and so on. This is why I chose not to consider other options such as ePluto 7g or the Okinawa series.

I also liked the comfortable riding position and plush suspension. It's a breeze to ride in traffic. Rides with 2 people on board are a breeze -- literally, too, as the breeze is the only thing you'll feel given how silent it is. I take care to honk as needed so that people are not caught unawares.

Having owned the scooter for close to 9 months, I must say am very pleased with the scooter. The range has been 75 km as advertised (maybe coz of my relatively light build) and I take care not to do sudden acceleration or braking, factors that can reduce the range.

I got the first service done at about 7-8 months. Recommended is every 4 months or 4000 km. The service experience was excellent and cost about INR 700.

I had a freak accident a couple weeks ago when I lost balance due to the back road near my apartment dug up and shoddily patched. I took the bike to the service center. 3-4 body parts needed to be replaced, new stoppers needed to be installed as the handle/lock had got misaligned, and the brakes had to be tightened. I thought about claiming insurance but for some reason decided they were minor repairs and decided not to. Again the service experience was excellent. 3 new body panels, new stopper, brake tightening, along with labor cost less than INR 2500.

If there's one thing I am not very happy about, it's the tires. Somehow I feel they are of low quality (even though MRF) and don't provide enough grip. I've read that the sudden torque might cause early wear and tear of the tires, and I've been guilty of not maintaining adequate tire pressure at times (the negatives of not having to visit petrol pumps), but I still feel TVS should have provided tires with better grip.

How much did the TVS iQube cost?



I booked the TVS iQube about 1 week before they increased the pricing by INR 5000, and 2 weeks before it was given additional FAME II subsidy of ~INR 14000.

I ended up paying INR 115000 including registration and insurance, and an additional INR 8250 for the portable charger. I also installed a sidestep footrest for about INR 700.

Default How TVS iQube Looks



The scooter bears a minimalistic look. Its dimensions remind one of the ICE Jupiter, but the DRL patterns makes it stand out.

Front
The front has a U-shaped theme. The low beam and high beams are stacked. The indicators are housed in the console along with the DRL. DRL and indictors are reasonably bright.

TVS iQube Electric Scooter Review-frontlookflankedbyanather.jpg

Side Profile
The side profile is elegant. The lit ELECTRIC sign near the rear suspension adds a nice touch.
Click image for larger version

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Will add more pictures later.

Default How it Rides


I have completed almost 1,000 2,000 kms as on date. During this period, the following are my observations on the motor, ride and handling, and brakes.

Motor


The motor comes with a peak power of 4.5 KW. Since it is a hub-mounted motor, the torque is calculated differently from drive-mounted motors such as Ather's.

When you turn on the ignition:
1. The headlights turns on.
2. The dashboard turns on with the logo of TVS accompanied by music around 10-12 seconds from the key is turned on. At this time, you can press the brake and the riding mode to start the scooter (while the music continues).

To ride the scooter, depress the brake and press the mode switch. Then turn the throttle to accelerate. Turn the throttle in the opposite direction to apply regenerative braking.

To switch between normal and power modes, depress the brakes and press the ride mode button.

There's also a reverse park assist mode that allows you to creep forward/reverse at about 5 kmph.

Normal Mode
The Normal mode restricts the speeds to around 45-48 kmph (was able to hit 45 kmph) but is more than adequate in city traffic. It has enough torque to pull on straight roads or inclines with two on board. Ridden with a light foot, the normal mode gives me a range of 70-80 km and should give a regular rider around 70 km of real world range.

Power Mode
The Power mode provides quick acceleration and increased torque. Unlike ICE scooters, in EVs the torque is available from the word go so you'll find yourself overtaking other scooters in no time. Coupled with the silent ride, the ride feels like a knife running through butter.

Ride and Handling


The TVS iQube handles reasonably well. The suspension is plush and comfortable. However, this and the somewhat skewed placement of the 3 battery packs means that leaning around curves doesn't feel as taut as balanced. Low speed ride is pretty good. As I mentioned, the brakes could be a little better and the tires could do with a lot more grip.

I would put the ride quality on par with the Jupiter and Activa, maybe slightly better due to the silent ride and absence of vibrations.

Brakes



The brakes are acceptable but could be better. Given the sudden torque that EVs offer, having brakes too tight may give a jerky ride. I am okay with the braking that the iQube offers.

Regenerative Braking



Regen kicks in if you turn the throttle in the reverse direction. The dash indicates the extent of regen. Hub mounted motors are supposed to offer higher regen than drive-mounted motors. To the normal user, it doesn't matter so much.

The interactive screen and the App


The TVS iQube comes with a host of connectivity features including geofencing. I haven't explored these features much.

Home Screen
The home screen provides a host of information:

1. Motor State
2. Side Stand On indicator
3. Engine Kill Switch State - ON/OFF
4. Time
5. ODO
7. Speed
8. Ride mode
9. Estimated Range and Battery Charge %
10. Ride mode which is currently on.
11. Digital Speedo.

Petrol vs Electricity


The TVS iQube consumes about 3KW of power for a full charge and the range you can get in the Normal mode (the mode in which the scooter is ridden by me) is 75 kms. The average cost per unit (KW) of electricity is 7.5. The cost of full charge is INR 20-25 bucks and the cost per km is about 25 paisa.

Cost per km = ~INR 0.25
No of Kms done = ~1000
Charging cost incurred = ~INR 450
Servicing cost incurred = ~INR 700

The same number of kms on the Activa or Jupiter with a mileage of roughly 35 kmpl and Petrol hovering around 105 would be.

Fuel cost = 1000/35 * 105 = Approx. INR 3000
Maintenance cost for 1000 km = (I am guessing) Approx. 1000

Gross savings with only electricity, fuel, and maintenance costs taken into consideration is INR 2850 per 1000 km. If you do an avg of 5000 km per year, you should save about INR 12000-14000 annually. If you do an avg of 10000 km per year, you should save about INR 25000 annually.

Of course, you may need to replace the battery after about 4-5 years -- by which time the battery should still give you about 40-45 km range, but by then you'd have saved INR 50000 - 100000. If your daily run is not more than 60 km, then you can surely consider an electric scooter.

Verdict


The iQube is a good attempt by TVS. I have had a happy ownership experience so far. The Ather trumps it in some aspects, but the iQube doesn't feel poorly put together in any way, and even outshines it in the ride and suspension department. While not built to scale like the Ola S1 or S1Pro, it holds its own in terms of overall quality, fit, and finish. Backed by prompt after-sales and service, the TVS iQube provides a compelling package for an electric scooter.
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Old 21st January 2022, 09:55   #2
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Default Re: TVS iQube Electric Scooter Review

Thanks brother for the detailed write up. Even I have been considering an electric scooter to replace my Aprilia SR150, as my daily usage is limited to 10 km at the max.
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Old 21st January 2022, 09:57   #3
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Default Re: TVS iQube Electric Scooter Review

Let me have the privilege of congratulating you on probably the first detailed unbiased ownership review of iqube !

Now, can you throw some light on what is carried out in the regular service intervals ? And will regular FNGs be able to carry out repairs if any ?

I am asking this since nearest TVS service center is a good 10 kms and the reviews are horrible
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Old 21st January 2022, 10:55   #4
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Default Re: TVS iQube Electric Scooter Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sk8r View Post
Now, can you throw some light on what is carried out in the regular service intervals ? And will regular FNGs be able to carry out repairs if any ?
For the first service, it was mostly top-up of front fork lubrication and ensuring brake pads and liners are in good condition. Subsequent services may involve repairs and/or replacement of the mechanical parts. Regular FNGs should be able to carry out repairs of mechanical parts. There's also some testing of the motor and battery condition. If you think your vehicle is running fine and giving the expected range is fine, this may not be required. The battery warranty is for 3 years and 50K km, so I personally feel it's good to get the servicing done at authorized service centers for the first 3 years. I just read that the next services are scheduled at 12 months or 4000 km riding, so it's just 3-4 services in 3 years, depending on your riding.
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Old 21st January 2022, 12:29   #5
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Default Re: TVS iQube Electric Scooter Review

Looks like TVS is not much interested in selling this. Sales executives doesn't have a clue on what product this is! First time , I saw a reluctance in showroom to sell an electric vehicle. They were pushing for NTorq when the enquiry was for iCube
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Old 21st January 2022, 16:39   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunilsreenivasg View Post
Looks like TVS is not much interested in selling this. Sales executives doesn't have a clue on what product this is! First time , I saw a reluctance in showroom to sell an electric vehicle. They were pushing for NTorq when the enquiry was for iCube
I agree. I think, with the higher potential margins on ICE scooters, TVS wants to milk ICE scooters until the demand tapers off.
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Old 21st January 2022, 17:22   #7
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Default Re: TVS iQube Electric Scooter Review

Congratulations for a well thought of purchase after nice cost comparison with Ather. Looks wise it is designed well and only sore point is lesser range, which is again based on individual requirement. The review is excellent and all points have been nicely covered. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 22nd January 2022, 12:39   #8
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Default Re: TVS iQube Electric Scooter Review

Congratulations on Going green with your iQube. Well thought and a sensible decision to go electric.

If you have two people on the bike, does the performance dip or is it peppy like any other?
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Old 23rd January 2022, 13:51   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vijuk21 View Post
Congratulations on Going green with your iQube.
If you have two people on the bike, does the performance dip or is it peppy like any other?
Thank you. Itís as peppy with two people as any other ICE scooter.
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Old 23rd January 2022, 19:24   #10
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Default Re: TVS iQube Electric Scooter Review

Congratulations and thanks a lot for the detailed review.

How did you find the headlight performance ?. Say, in comparison to Activa for eg. Is the throw and spread adequate for regular night commute ?.
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Old 24th January 2022, 16:32   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxmanju View Post
How did you find the headlight performance ?. Say, in comparison to Activa for eg. Is the throw and spread adequate for regular night commute ?.
Thank you. I find the headlight throw and spread to be adequate for night travel.
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Old 25th January 2022, 21:12   #12
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Default Re: TVS iQube Electric Scooter Review

prasi55, thanks for sharing your ownership experience with the TVS iQube. It is very difficult to find an authentic perspective of this scooter and so, your posts have been very helpful. Can you share some pictures and details of the charger?

I spotted an iQube in Cochin for the first time today. It does look quite stylish in person. I didnt even know that it was sold here. The Chinese origin EV scooters are easily the best sellers in Cochin. The Ather is a very distant second. Ive seen one iQube and am yet to spot the much hyped Ola scooter.
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Old 25th January 2022, 21:50   #13
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Attached a couple pics of the charger I got.
There are three charger options -
  • Home charger - I believe this includes a lock for the charger and protects against overcharging
  • Portable charger - This goes into any 5-Amp socket. I had already taken permission from my apartment association and installed wiring from my meter to my parking slot as I had the E2O electric car and the Ampere electric scooter then. The association-appointed electrician had installed an industrial socket and provided an adapter (connects a 5 amp to the industrial socket). So I plug the portable charger into the 5 amp adapter, which in turn connects to the industrial socket. I opted for the portable charger so that I can charge my bike at any available 5 amp socket. Having said that, I usually leave the portable charger at home to have more boot space.
  • An industrial socket charger. This goes directly into an industrial socket without the need of an adapter. Itís slightly cheaper than the portable charger and I couldíve opted for it as I already had installed the industrial socket, but I preferred the portable charger for its flexibility.

I usually keep the bike between 20-80% state of charge, ie between 15 and 60 km, unless I am traveling longer distances.
Attached Thumbnails
TVS iQube Electric Scooter Review-e6ccfdc78c924857bc02182d82af7b29.jpeg  

TVS iQube Electric Scooter Review-3fad52ba025244c482e69d97246e6667.jpeg  

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Old 26th January 2022, 19:32   #14
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Default Re: TVS iQube Electric Scooter Review

Thank you OP for the detailed review.

I too own an iQube and while I have no real complaint about the way the vehicle drives, I did not have a good experience with showroom and the electronics in the vehicle. I even had to get the vehicle towed once to repair because the throttle sensor just gave up. (The on road service is free for first year)

As another user mentioned above, TVS is reluctant for the iQube to grow at the cost of it's ICE models. The showrooms (very few selected ones) get deflated if you ask for iQube and do not respond well to queries. TVS is using this model for good PR and treating it as a greenwash product. I feel people wanting to buy EV 2 wheelers should go for brands which sell only EV models or at least have shown leadership in EV.

What I genuinely like is the Bosch motor response and the display screen and also that it is not overloaded with fancy features (basic odo, trip meters, drive modes and gps). Hopefully TVS realise that this could be the start of something more meaningful.
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Old 27th January 2022, 13:45   #15
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Default Re: TVS iQube Electric Scooter Review

Congratulations on a rather unique and underrated scooter. This was a neutral review and you have summed up all the potential questions.

Plus I like functional and no nonsense scooters like these.

What's awesome is that I think the range stays same despite pillion passenger too. Whereas in Ather, more load= lesser range. Plus at the price point you have got the vehicle, it's an awesome deal and the special edition scooters of Jupiter,NtorQ and Access too almost cost the same money. The icing on the cake is the lower TCO and ROI returns.

Out of curiosity though. Did you check the Chetak EV out?

Also, could you please post some pictures of your ride. The switches, Meter console, under seat storage

Last edited by jithin23 : 27th January 2022 at 13:47. Reason: Added content
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