Electric vehicles are the inevitable future of transportation. More and more people have opted for EVs in 2020 than ever before.
But while making a choice you might be confused as to which EV will be better for your personal use.
India has always been a huge market for the Scooter industry, as it is a cheaper alternative to a bike and also gives more mileage with good storage space.
Also, due to the pandemic and high fuel prices, sales of EVs have been soaring in India.
In this article, I will share my experience on which might be the best option for you according to your requirement and preference.
Your Personal Preference Matters
You might have your own preference to choose between an electric cycle or a scooter. Some might be more comfortable riding a scooter because they simply don’t want to pedal to work. But many might want to have light exercise while commuting to work.
If you have made a choice then I would highly recommend you to go for it. Either way, you will have an EV and will save on fuel prices.
But if you have made a decision on buying an EV for daily commute but cannot choose between electric cycle and electric scooter, then this article is for you.
The Price Factor
This section is fairly straightforward to choose from. Electric cycles, generally, are far less expensive than electric scooters.
The price range of the electric cycle starts from ₹28,000 and can go over a lakh rupees. But for an electric scooter, the minimum price range can be around ₹50,000. Though you might lose the basic features at this price point, you might get on a petrol run scooter.
Though recent electric scooter released in 2020 are priced over a lakh and packed with extra features like 4g connectivity and fast charging options.
Below I have shared a comparison of price between both so that you can get an idea of the price difference.
|Cycle Name||Price||Scooter Name||Price|
|Hero Lectro Kinza SS||₹24,999||Ather 450 Plus||₹1,25,490|
|Hero Lectro Kinza 7S||₹28,999||Ather 450 X||₹1,44,500|
|Hero Lectro Clix 26T SS||₹24,999||Bajaj Chetak||₹ 1,20,000|
|Hero Lectro Clix 26T 7S||₹29,999||TVS iQube||₹ 1,10,506|
|Hero Lectro C3||₹23,999||Hero Photon HX||₹ 71,990|
|Hero Lectro C4||₹23,999||Hero Optima HX Dual||₹ 58,980|
|Hero Lectro C5||₹24,999||Hero Optima HX Single||₹ 53,600|
|Hero Lectro C5i||₹29,999||Nyx HX||₹ 62,954|
|Hero Lectro Townmaster||₹30,999.00||Optima LX (VRLA)||₹ 51,440|
|LightSpeed GLYD||₹30,999.00||Optima LX||₹ 67,440|
|Uni M368+ Matte Black||₹35,999.00||Yo Drift||₹ 51,000|
As you can see that electric cycle are generally cheaper than electric scooters. So, in this round electric bicycle has an upper hand, but there is more to come. Making a cheaper choice might come at a cost of losing other features.
Is there any Government Subsidy?
Unfortunately, electric cycles do not qualify under the current government subsidy under FAME-II (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India). But there is some good news for electric scooters under the new scheme of FAME-II where the subsidy amount has been increased from ₹10,000 per kWh to ₹15,000 per kWh.
Here are the eligibility criteria according to the new norms under FAME-II
The Ministry of Heavy Industry and Public Enterprise laid the eligibility criteria for electric vehicles across segments for the FAME-II subsidy. The requirements announced by the ministry depend on parameters like minimum top speed, range per charge, acceleration and energy consumption efficiency. As per the announcement, electric scooters have to deliver a minimum range of 80 km on a single charge and must have a top speed of at least 40 kmph to qualify for the subsidy under FAME-II.
According to FAME-II norms set by the Government of India, only the high-speed electric scooters that are powered by higher than the 250-watt electric motor and have a top speed of above 25 kmph, are eligible for the FAME-II subsidy, which varies depending on the price of the electric scooter.
How does the Range of the Battery Compare?
Before we dive in, we need to understand the different modes available in both vehicles to get a complete understanding of their battery range.
Mostly, electric cycles have three modes available. Throttle, Pedal Assist and Pedal modes.
For the Throttle mode, as the name suggests, the cycle will use the Lithium-ion battery power to throttle itself and does not require you to pedal. The cycles will be equipped with a throttle handlebar which can be used to adjust the speed of the cycle as well. In this mode, the battery is consumed the most thus will give the shortest range.
In the case of the Padel Assist mode, the rider has to padel the cycle to allow the battery to power the motor. The battery will not be consumed when you stop pedalling the cycle.
The amount of battery power consumed can be adjusted in all cycles, which have this feature, with the help of a speed limiter. This limiter might have a minimum of 3 and can go up to 7, where the battery consumption can be adjusted accordingly. In this mode, the battery power can be saved to acquire a longer range.
And the last but not the least is simply to pedal your electric cycle just any other cycle. Which impossible for any electric vehicles available in the market.
Modes present in a young electric scooter limit the vehicle’s speed, you to vary the range of the battery accordingly.
The majority of the scooters will have two modes. One will be the ECO mode and then there will be a PERFORMANCE mode.
These two modes might be named different for a different scooter brand but the functionality remains the same.
As the name suggests, the ECO mode will give you the maximum range from the battery by limiting the speed of the scooter.
The second mode, the PERFORMANCE, will enable you to attain the maximum speed at the cost of the range.
Many scooters might add more modes like the Ather has two additional modes where one, the Warp mode, gives a punchy acceleration and the other, Ride, is an economical mode which balances speed and range.
I have compared both the electric cycle and scooter’s range in different modes in the table below.
|Cycle Name||Range||Scooter Name||Max. Range|
|Range with Throttle||Range with Pedal Assist|
|Hero Lectro Kinza SS||25 km||30 km||Ather 450 Plus||70 km|
|Hero Lectro Kinza 7S||25 km||30 km||Ather 450X||85 km|
|Hero Lectro Clix 26T SS||25 km||30 km||Bajaj Chetak||90 km|
|Hero Lectro Clix 26T 7S||25 km||30 km||TVS iQube||75 km|
|Hero Lectro C3||25 km||30 km||Hero Photon HX||108 km|
|Hero Lectro C4||25 km||30 km||Hero Optima HX Dual||122 km|
|Hero Lectro C5||25 km||30 km||Hero Optima HX Single||82 km|
|Hero Lectro C5i||25 km||30 km||Nyx HX||165 km|
|Hero Lectro Townmaster||25 km||30 km||Optima LX (VRLA)||50 km|
|LightSpeed GLYD||30 km||Optima LX||85 km|
|Uni M368+ Matte Black||60 km||85 km||Yo Drift||60 km|
Electric scooters though cannot be driven if the battery runs out like a cycle, but offer more range and speed than all of the electric cycles available.
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The price and range factor might be the deciding factor for may. But there are many other small but important aspects to look at before making the final decision.
Do I need to register a licence?
If you are living in India then you do not need to register a licence for your electric cycles as the speed of the cycle is limited to 25kmphr.
But in the case of electric scooters, some scooters have a maximum speed of 25kmphr, like the Yo Bikes and do not need a licence. Newly released scooters can go at a maximum of 91kmphr and need a licence.
Do they have a safety lock?
Well, not all electric bicycles have a built-in lock or an ignition key, for the majority, you have to buy a separate bicycle lock. The disadvantage of not having an ignition switch is the battery is left out in the open to tampering with.
But for the electric scooter, all are equipped with a built-in lock that doubles as an ignition switch like a bike and thus is much secure.
What about storage space?
Electric cycles do not have any dedicated storage space as such, some cycles might come with a carrier at the back but most don’t even come with a mudguard. So, if you want to have a carrier or a basket in front, you have to buy it separately.
Whereas electric scooters come with fairly spacious storage space under the seat and can easily fit one helmet.
Batteries of many electric cycles are detachable and can be charged separately. This is a very convenient way of charging the batter as they are not very heavy.
But in the case of electric scooters even if it were possible to detach the battery, it will be very difficult to carry as the average weight might be more than 10kgs.
Battery Capacity and Charging Time
Electric cycles generally have a small battery pack ranging from 210Whr to 360Whr mostly. Fitting a large battery pack on a cycle can be challenging due to the limitation of its design and the weight of the battery. Electric cycles do not come with fast charging feature and the charging time ranges from 4 to 5 hrs.
Whereas on the other hand, scooters have a larger carrying capacity and thus helps them to carry a larger battery pack. Electric scooters have a larger battery ranging from 2.7kWhr to over 4.5kWhr. Some scooter does come with fast charging feature like the Ather 450 and 450X which can give a range of 15 km for a 10 min charge. For other scooters, it takes around 5 hrs time to full.
The chart below will show you the exact comparison between different models so can get a clear idea.
Cycles do not tend to be very comfortable for long-distance rides mainly due to their seats. Most have narrow and hard seats. I would highly recommend you to buy Lista Bicycle Silicone Saddle Seat, I too had bought the same from Amazon. Also, electric cycles are made for one person only and do not have space to carry two persons.
Most electric cycles have only front suspension but are very rigid and do not add too much comfort.
Whereas, every electric scooter on the other hand has comfortable seats for two just like a bike with front and rear suspensions.
Any Added features?
Electric cycles don’t generally come with added features but there are a few cycles that do come with a lot of additional features.
Here is a list of some additional features that might come on an average priced electric cycle:
- LCD panels that show battery percentage, Speed-o-meter (maxes out at 25kmphr and will not show more than that even if you go faster), also show the mode and the current gear of the cycle.
- Almost all electric cycle comes with headlights
- Mug guards might not be common, you might have to buy for yours
- The ignition switch is rare for the lower-priced cycle
- Some higher-priced Electric cycles do come with Bluetooth connected app
- Most cycles do not come with a horn
Scooter launched on and after 2020 comes with lots of added features and services which I have summed up below
- Fast charging capability is now an essential feature amongst EVs as it has a larger battery pack compared to cycles. Charging the full battery might still take up to 5 hrs but with fast charging capability, some fast charging capability, like the Ather 450 series.
- All recent model comes with an app which shows the total distance travelled, a route map, battery level and some also comes with a charging point locator
- Almost all electric scooter comes with storage space under the seat, a charging port for mobile phones, headlights, horn, backlight with indicators and also rearview mirror just like any fossil fulled scooters
- Smart scooters like the 4G connected Ather 450 series even has an LCD touchscreen that runs on Android, can also receive or reject phone calls, play music and can show direction using Google map
I hope this article has helped you in some way.
Thanks for reading.
Cheers from Eco Igloo
Related Article: Is Buying an Electric Bicycle Worth it?