Gadgets

My Electric Scooter

Scooter

A few months ago, when the Petrol/Diesel shortage happened in India I decided I will buy an electric two-wheeler. Apart from the advantage of driving when Oil is scarce, I thought it will also give a personal satisfaction of being environmentally friendly. Of course, nothing is more “Green” than a bicycle. So about a month and a half back, I purchased the Ultra Velociti – an electric powered scooter. It runs only on Electricity with no Oil at all, the dealer claims there is nothing to maintain or service in the vehicle other than periodic Tyre Air-Pressure and Battery check.

Specifications of the scooter (* Under Standard Test conditions and a payload of 75 Kg):

  • Speed    45 Km/ Hour*
  • Range    50 Km/ Charge* (Each full charge takes about 6 hours)
  • Vehicle weight    88 Kg
Ultra Electric Scooter

Ultra Electric Scooter

The only dealer I could find in Chennai when I searched was GEE GEE Motors in Royapuram, but they were willing to come down and give a test drive in my office. The scooter on road including Road Tax, Registration & Insurance costs about Rs.41,000. After paying the full money I had to wait for nearly 2 weeks before I got the vehicle complete with registration and Number – I don’t like to drive vehicles without a number and insurance.

Having been driving only a car for last several years, when this scooter arrived it was an experience of “Freedom” for me. I was able to go for local shopping in crowded market streets in West Mambalam & T.Nagar easily, without having to worry about parking and traffic. When I am driving this scooter and see the vehicles next to me I feel good that I am not polluting and I am spending negligible money for driving. Though the manual says maximum load is 120Kgs, I was able to ride it myself with my wife and kid comfortably – obviously a bit slower than riding it alone, but nevertheless, you can. The one problem I faced was of charge, the power meter is unreliable – from full, once it drops to half it takes only a few minutes to drop to zero. While it is in this region, it runs in kind of a stop-n-go motion. But this was because I didn’t charge for over a week (though I didn’t drive more than few kilometres as well), but it will be a wise idea to charge it every few days once – to avoid this problem.

(You can see the charger in the left picture, the other end can be plugged to any 5V socket; The Power-meter and Speedometer in the picture on right)

(You can see the charger in the left picture, the other end can be plugged into any 5V socket; The Power-meter and Speedometer in the picture on right)

Overall I found it to be a great second vehicle. Can it be the only one?, I doubt. I feel the technology, power of the motor and the engineering have to undergo one or two more iterations before the first time two-wheeler purchaser can go for this, selecting this over a motorbike.

Reference: GEE GEE MOTORS, 73, Mannarsamy Koil Street, Royapuram, Chennai.Phone: 044-43528008, 43528009

7 Comments

  • I am delighted to see your comments on your e-scooter. I wanted to have some informations. That is, did you drive your scooter in plane roads or a road with ups and downs? If yes then what is the behavior of the scooter and what about battery?
    Did you get trouble with the engine after using it for so many months? If yes, how did you manage?

    By the way, I am from Mangalore. Here the roads are having steep ups and downs. I wanted to know whether the e-scooter reliable? or is it needs a technological improvement?

    Best Regards
    AYUSH TYAGI

    • There was no major problems with the scooter engine over the last 3-4 years I have it. Every two years the battery wears off and new one costs you Rs.9000 to 10000. So what you saved on Petrol, you end up paying for batteries – this is nothing to do with the model of battery/scooter, but with the technology that is currently available.

      Regarding the pickup over slopes the e-bike is poor compared to petrol scooters. as the battery ages the slope climb becomes more difficult, you need to push over slope with human foot power like in ‘The Flintstones” cartoons.Things may be better now, you will want to do a test run in your area before you buy it.

      BTW, I may be visiting Mangalore with family soon, what are all the places/spots I should must see in mangalore. I was told there is a temple for siva with big outdoor fountains and all that, where is that?

  • Chethan, I used the scooter in Chennai only. It is behaving well, no problems with Battery or anything. I am not sure on how it will behave on steep roads, it may be a little slower but should be able to manage. Now there are more manufacturers and brands out there in market. Check them out, take them for a test-drive before you buy. Good Luck.

  • Hello Mr. Venkat,

    I am delighted to see your comments on your e-scooter. I wanted to have some informations. That is, did you drive your scooter in plane roads or a road with ups and downs? If yes then what is the behavior of the scooter and what about battery?
    Did you get trouble with the engine after using it for so many months? If yes, how did you manage?

    By the way, I am from Mangalore. Here the roads are having steep ups and downs. I wanted to know whether the e-scooter reliable? or is it needs a technological improvement?

    Best Regards
    Ganesh

  • Venkat, Agreed. There may not be any power cuts in Chennai during the night time.

    You might have already read this. Please check out the news item in Businessline – http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2008/10/18/stories/2008101851840200.htm

    I live in Bangalore and in an apartment. They do have generator to supply power 24*7. When I visited my hometown, Tiruppur in Tamilnadu, the power was rationed to different areas. We had power cuts from 10 pm to 2:00 am. I had a terrible time. Cannot sleep inside the house without the fan. Cannot sleep on the varandah because of mosquitoes :-)

    I am inspired by your blog and your entrepreneurial spirit. Best wishes.

  • Valid question, Balamurugan. But even by the most optimistic estimates (worldwide) of Electric Vehicles usage put their overall impact on power grid to be less than 1 or 2%. This should be manageable even in Tamilnadu.

    And the best part you can charge the vehicle during the night time, when the grid has surplus of power and in Tamilnadu during night there is no power cut.

  • Venkat, Good movee. How green are we? When we already have huge power shortage, especially TN, is it a good move to spend electricity on running Vehicles, Cooking etc..?

    I think we are still not ready yet for it :-)