With the need for alternative fuels for transport on a steady northward hike, EVs have emerged as the need of the hour. Although many manufacturers have addressed this need and taken the route of increased electric vehicle production, numbers are still quite sparse. Especially in a developing country like India wherein the EV trend was somewhat slow to catch on, electric four-wheelers, as well as two-wheelers, have highly limited availability.
If you are a concerned citizen who has recently come to the decision of switching to a battery-powered two-wheeler but do not know how to go about it, then you have come to the right place. The electric two-wheeler scene in India is yet to thrive and options are few and available only in a select few places. As such, it can be difficult choosing an electric scooter or bike as a first-time buyer with no knowledge of the things to consider whilst buying an EV.
To make your decision easier, we have curated a buying guide that can help you choose an electric two-wheeler that is best suited for you and your use case scenario so that you can get the most out of it.
Features to Consider When Buying an Electric Two-Wheeler in India
It is crucial when purchasing an electric two-wheeler to take into account the specs and features that would match your requirements and fit your use case.
Electric bikes and scooters are significantly more expensive than their traditional counterparts. While manufacturers are attempting to come up with solutions that would make this type of two-wheeler more affordable to the average commuter, the current cost of entry is quite high. That being said, these vehicles do have very inexpensive running costs so that buyers end up saving in the long run. There are great models available even in the low to mid ranges and it is advisable to ascertain a budget before looking at your options.
The range of an electric two-wheeler is essentially the distance it can travel on a single complete charge. E-bikes and scooters do have a reputation for having an insufficient range in comparison to petrol-run two-wheelers. While high-end models may come with longer riding ranges, they are still not ideal for long rides. However, if you plan on using your electric two-wheeler for regular short to medium commutes, for example, to run errands or go to work, then your EV can be your best friend. The range you are looking for will determine the price tag of your electric two-wheeler.
When it comes to electric two-wheelers, there are typically two different types of batteries used—lead-acid battery and lithium-ion battery. Lithium-ion batteries have considerably better battery life while lead-acid ones are the more inexpensive option. Leverage factors such as how you plan on using your vehicle and how much you are willing to invest to decide on which type of battery would work best for you as getting the batteries of your EV changed can be rather pricey.
Many electric two-wheelers, especially scooters, come in Low-Speed and High-Speed varieties. While the former, capping at a maximum speed of 25 kmph, may be safe and suitable for beginners, it can be quite frustrating for experienced riders or those trying to reach their destination fast.
The materials used in the manufacturing of battery-powered two-wheelers are, for the most part, similar to the ones used in conventional scooters and bikes. So build quality is not much of an area of concern. If you are looking to do some heavy-duty riding with your electric two-wheelers, however, it is vital to pay special attention to premium build quality.
Motor power output
Since power from the motor is what propels the vehicle, the power output of the motor makes all the difference. An underpowered electric two-wheeler can be a perpetual source of frustration for its owner. It is very important to pick an e-bike or e-scooter with sufficient power output for your use case scenario.
While service centers and spare parts for electric vehicles are sparse and hard to come across, some companies have more readily available support for their customers than others. It is of the utmost importance that you do your research to determine which companies have a well-connected network of support and service centers in place and purchase from them. This will ensure that you receive the necessary repair and maintenance services for your electric bike or scooter without having to travel halfway across the country for it.
The motor and battery of different electric two-wheelers come with varying warranty periods. It is generally anywhere between two to four years. Read carefully through the terms and conditions of the policy of warranty before purchase.
Some pointers on saving money
Since electric two-wheelers can be quite expensive in comparison to fossil fuel-driven two-wheelers, it would be smart to look into schemes that can help you save money while making a purchase.
- A number of EV companies produce two variants of electric scooters—High Speed and Low Speed. The low-speed variety of electric scooters come with a green notice rather than a number plate and can be driven without any license or registration. This means that buyers of this type of e-scooter will be able to save on these expenses.
- The government of India has in place several perks for EV owners which are also applicable to electric two-wheeler owners. The FAME-2 scheme is one such example that offers certain tax benefits to owners of electric vehicles. The GST on electric vehicles is also much lower than that on standard ICE vehicles. As a potential electric two-wheeler buyer, therefore, taking an in-depth look into all such applicable incentives and schemes can yield many benefits.
Your electric two-wheeler will be a one-time investment that will remain with you for a very long time. As is warranted with such purchases, meticulous research is to be conducted before coming to a decision about which electric scooter or bike to purchase. Take into account all the features mentioned in this article such as battery life, price, range, and so on, and you will end up with your perfect eco-friendly ride.