Bounce Infinity E1 first ride review: Affordable, smart e-scooter for city
Only a few months back, Bounce Infinity announced the introduction of its electric scooter E1. And though it might be cliché to say this, but it really did take the market by storm when the pricing was announced (starting at ₹45,000/without battery). The company took the battery swapping approach to a whole new level with the introduction of its battery as a service option which essentially is buying the scooter without the battery and then using company's swapping infrastructure which will cost you almost equivalent to an aloo tikki burger for a fully charged battery swap. Fast forward a few months and Bounce invited me to take a quick ride on the scooter. Honestly, the pricing had me thinking what is wrong with this scooter. So with my thinking cap on, I was very much looking forward to the ride. Read on to know how it went.
On the outside, E1 electric scooter packs a likeable, jolly design. The exteriors comprise simple yet good looking body lines. Not too sharp, or pointy, right curves, and right angles at the right place. The design is quite balanced but the overall size is smaller than a regular ICE scooter. The front packs a smart-looking circular headlamp housing a round shaped DRL as well as LED headlamp lighting. The front apron houses a black strip behind which sits horn and LED indicators at the end of it. Down below, the mudguard design again looks neat, and so does the large 12-inches alloy wheels. The simple body lines are carried over to the back and also the use of bright colour options give the scooter a happy appeal. Somehow, the units provided for the review felt better finished than the ones present at the launch and that may be because these are closer to the final production units that will be sold to the customers in the weeks to come.
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The cluster is a fully-digital, but bare basic unit unlike the full colour, tablet-sized units present is some other battery-powered rivals. Now, goes without saying, this unit has been placed to save cost and keep the pricing under check and that is quite evident. However, the display is intelligent and simple enough to show all the required information in a clear, uncluttered format. However, what's concerning is the 3-4 seconds lag that is seen after turning on the key. But the company has promised that it will be cut it to just one second on the final production version via firmware updates. Speaking of which, the scooter is OTA-updates enabled.
The overall design and look of the E1 e-scooter is quite likeable, but what's missing is the parts quality and fitting that has taken a back seat in order to save cost. There are several panels that need better fitment, also the rear view mirrors look like they don't belong on this scooter that otherwise has a positive contoured design.
Flip the key switch anti-clockwise and the boot opens up housing its 2 kWhr waterproof battery. Almost 50% of the space is consumed by the battery alone leaving the rest for your grocery. This place is good enough to keep your charger, bag or a small/medium size helmet which is a plus.
The battery powers its hub-mounted BLDC motor that is rated to deliver 2.2 kW peak power. Tap the starter button on and the motor jumps to life in no time, but unlike ICE scooter, there is no exhaust note. But a warning signal (in red or orange) appears on the screen indicating that the scooter is ready to roll. Twist the throttle and you move, just like being pushed down hill. Not too fiercely but rolling with torque, not gravity. It manages to pick up pace in sometime and actually hits the claimed 65kmph of top speed even with someone of my size. Take the scooter up hill and the acceleration degrades a bit, indicating that it might not be as quick or light footed when riding with pillion.
The re-gen on the scooter is engineered and controlled well. Though it still needs to be a bit smoother but compared to some far more expensive e-scooters from lesser known names, the E1 still is easy to ride on a day to day basis. Also features like Drag and Reverse mode, add to the convenience bit of its riding. Moreover there is also a cruise control feature on offer, but I completely forgot to give it a try.
As far as the city experience goes, it is easy and light enough to take in and out of the tight parking spots and low speed maneuvering, however, out there on the highway, its top speed of 65 kmph may not be enough to keep you out of tricky situations. Also, full range from this motor (in Eco mode) is said to be around 60-65 km per charge, but sadly the claim couldn't be tested due to time restrictions.
The seat on the scooter is strictly only for medium sized riders, anyone above 6-foot may not look very smart riding it. Also, the suspension is tuned to be on the firmer side so it translates even tiniest of pot holes to the rider's back, thus may not be apt for bad roads. However, it rides smooth when the surface is more forgiving.
Kitted with discs both the ends, these units are capable enough to shrug the speeds it is capable of doing. Just a tap on the lever, and the scooter stops in no time.
The final word:
The Bounce Infinity E1 is a smart and affordable choice if you are considering an electric scooter and may not want to invest a sizable amount. It is in fact an easy to ride and live with offering that promises to be economical in every aspect. However, you need to consider that the built quality may not be the best and only a long term use will clear the picture if it is actually as reliable as say a traditional ICE counterpart.