TVS iQube Review: Is it the right time to buy an electric scooter?
The TVS iQube first appeared 1.5 years ago. After a couple of Covid waves, working from home has become the norm. Personal mobility is more important than ever. Petrol has reached Rs 100 a litre, and the government has revised the FAME-II policy, boosting the subsidy for electric two-wheelers by 50% to Rs 15,000 per kWh. In other words, the TVS iQube, along with a few other e-scooters, has seen it all and made it through the bad times. The competition from Ola Electric and Simple Energy is formidable. The entrants' claims regarding range and specs are lofty, but a direct comparison may wait for now.
With the backdrop established, the issue becomes: Should you even buy an iQube in the first place?
Most affordable two-wheeler scooter
The iQube is not yet accessible in India, and the pricing varies according to the state's EV policy if it has one. The iQube is the most inexpensive in Delhi, priced at Rs 1 lakh (on-road), and the most expensive in Kochi, priced at Rs 1.24 lakh (available in 6 cities). Choosing an iQube over a 125-cc petrol scooter may not appear tempting at first. The Entorq 125, for example, can set you back up to Rs 1 lakh.
Average single charging
The iQube is considerably less expensive to live with than a traditional scooter. iQube requires a single recharge costing Rs 16-18 on average over 14 days. The iQube could drive up to 80 kilometres in ECO mode. The amount is 0.25 paise per kilometre. Furthermore, the difficulties of monthly service and frequent oil costs associated with petrol-powered scooters are not present.
To draw economic comparisons, one must accept 52-55 kmph in ECO mode, which did not seem sluggish at all in peak city traffic. When in POWER mode (which can switch on the fly), the 4.4 kW motor can reach speeds of up to 80 kmph. It comes at the price of range, which is limited to 60 kilometres on a single charge.
While the conversation has centred on the range, what may irritate you is the charging time. The TVS iQube is not yet compatible with a rapid charger, and once exhausted, the IP67-rated, non-replaceable battery takes at least 6 hours to entirely charge. The provider will install a free AC charging plug in the location of your choice.
Electric scooters are changing the way traditional IC engines feel in terms of peak torque, maximum power and sweet spot. Twist the throttle, and the rush of immediate torque pulls you back; by the time the torque reaches the peak and flattens, max power has engaged. In other words, when driven, EVs, in general, provide a thrill across the rev range. The various levels of regenerative braking are also shared. Regenerative braking analogous to engine braking on an IC-powered two-wheeler aids in slowing down when the throttle has been removed while also replenishing the battery.
Exterior additional features
The iQube weighs 118 kilogrammes, making it fairly handled, leaving aside the machinery. The construction quality is constant aesthetics, luckily, not straight out of a Sci-Fi film. In the dark, the LED lights up front and back provide excellent visibility. The TFT screen receives linked functions and aids in turn-by-turn navigation.
Having said that, turning on the iQube can be a bit tough. When you insert the key, the iQube prompts you to shut the throttle, which may confuse the rider at first. The high-pitched sound is silenced by a twist of the throttle and release. To roll the e-scooter, press the modes button, pull the left brake lever, and gently twist again.
Electric scooters may be both enjoyable to ride and cost-effective. However, don't anticipate any sort of emotional experience. Given that Ola and Simple's e-scooters are significantly superior on paper, the focus should be on generating momentum for electric vehicles rather than cannibalising.
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