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Pune-based startup Avan Motors launched the Xero and Xero+ electric scooters in March 2018. The Xero+ is the more premium offering from Avan Motors and comes with a powerful 800W electric motor (the regular Xero gets a 250W unit).
So does this new commuter focused e-scooter have the spark to take on the established petrol-powered scooter market dominated by the Honda Activa? We rode the Avan Motors Xero+ on the streets of Bangalore for a week to find out how this green scooter performs in the real world.
Design & Styling
The Avan Motors Xero+ features a modern design. The e-scooter has a rather slim and slender look to it no matter which angle you view it from. Up front, the LED headlamp is placed on the front cowl, while the apron tapers toward the front.
The bottom section of the front apron is done up in black plastic forming a beaklike contrasting section above the front fender. The apron, like the cowl and the sides of the scooter, features black and white stickering which add a bit of character to the scooter. However, the placement of the indicators up front looks to be a last minute job, as they just hang off the sides of the front apron.
The Xero+ features a fully digital instrument cluster that gives the rider access to the four basic data readouts. There are readouts for the battery level indicator, speedometer, odometer and finally the ride mode indicator.
When viewed from the sides a few more elements of the Xero+ e-scooter's design come into view. The 5-spoke alloy wheel up front plays host to the disc brake unit. The callipers for the disc brake are painted red, which gives the scooter a sporty vibe.
Move to the floorboard area and the design compromises caused by the powertrain can be seen as the battery pack is mounted on the floorboard of the Xero+. The compartment for the power source (which can hold two batteries) protrudes from underneath the scooter's floorboard which itself is raised quite high to accommodate the power pack.
The seat of the Xero+ is a single piece unit and features a slightly raised section for the rear passenger. The mounted luggage pack also acts as a backrest for the pillion rider and can easily take a full face helmet. The side panel of the e-scooter features Xero+ stickering in silver. Chrome can be found underneath in the form of the background for the e-bike badging.
The rear wheel plays host to the electric motor unit which propels the Xero+ forward. The rear end of the Xero+ from Avan looks clean with the tail light flanked on either side by clear lens indicators.
The big sore point for us though was the chrome body guard. This wraps around the front, side and rear of the Xero+ and just kills the looks of the scooter. Depending on which side of the Chrome debate you fall on, this may also be just too much chrome for such a small scooter.
Avan Motors has packed the Xero+ electric scooter with multiple features. These include three different riding modes, which allows riders to choose between performance and efficiency.
Other features include the chrome body guard for added safety (which looks rather annoying), front disc brake and the side stand which immobilizes the scooter when deployed which means that riders won't be dragged along if they accidentally move the throttle when getting onto the seat.
Avan has also fitted the front apron with a charging port which allows riders to charge their phones while on the move. Another smart feature is the rear-mounted storage box which can hold a full-face helmet. The smaller under-seat storage can be used for groceries and to store items like backpacks securely.
The Avan Motors Xero+ also features car-like immobilizer setup. The immobilizer can be activated using the buttons on the key fob and will give riders added peace of mind as it shuts down the powertrain completely.
The Avan Xero+ electric scooter is available in three colour choices — Red, White and Blue. We found the Blue to be the best-looking of the lot.
Powertrain & Riding Modes
The Avan Motors Xero+ draws power from a single 48V lithium-ion battery pack that has a battery capacity of 48Ah. Owners can also opt for an additional battery pack which increases the range of the Xero+ to a claimed 110 kilometres. The batteries take between four to six hours each to charge up. The batteries can also be removed from the scooter and charged away from the Xero+ with the provided 220V 50Hz AC charger.
The battery pack powers an 800W Brushless DC motor that is mounted on the rear wheel of the Avan Xero+. Avan has not revealed the output of the motor but claims that the Xero+ has a top speed of 45km/h. THe Xero+ is offered with three driving modes which can be selected with a toggle fitted on the right side of the handlebars
The first mode limits the Xero+ to just 25km/h. We recommend using this mode when the battery levels are low as it ensures the scooter eeks out the maximum range possible from the lithium-ion power pack.
Mode 2 is the one the e-scooter defaults to every time you turn it on. In our testing, we found that this mode offers the best compromise between battery life and speed and limits the Xero+'s top speed to 35 km/h.
Mode 3, is basically the power mode and it drains the battery a lot faster than the other modes while allowing for faster acceleration and a top speed of 45km/h, though we did clock an impressive indicated 48km/h during the week the Xero+ was with us.
Also in our testing, the single battery version of the Xero+ managed to deliver a maximum (recorded) 51 kilometres of range (rider only), which is around the same as what Avan Motors claims the e-scooter will deliver. One thing we did notice during our testing was that was once the battery indicator goes below the halfway mark, the Xero+ will default to riding mode 2, limiting the top speed to 35km/h. Performance and range both suffer if a pillion rider joins you for a ride on the Avan Xero+.
Ride & Handling
With regards to the ride and handling, the Xero+ performed quite well. The Xero+ weighs in at just 62 kilogrammes without the battery pack and this light weight allows you to push it into turns with confidence. However, the scooter seems to a bit compromised for taller riders as the high floor means that your knees end up hitting the handlebars more often than not.
The brakes also work quite well and quickly bring the e-scooter to a halt. Surprisingly, the low weight of the scooter doesn't mean the Xero+ get thrown by our bumpy Indian roads. The dual forks up front and the twin shock absorbers at the rear soak up the bumps and ruts quite easily. The protuding battery compartment though ended up scraping the road whenever we hit a bump or rut which was either too high or too low.
The Avan Xero+ is a mass-market electric scooter that delivers on its promises, without too many compromises. If you're looking to go green on a budget in the city and can live with the raised floor, protruding battery compartment, and the charging times, then the Xero+ looks like a good electric scooter to own. This is despite its steep starting price of Rs 65,800 (on-road, Bangalore)*, thanks mostly to the money the company claims you'll save on fuel bills alone.
*Please Note: Adding the second battery raises the price of the Xero+ to Rs 85,800 (on road, Bangalore)
The Xero+ is a very commendable first try in the world of electric vehicles by Avan Motors. With battery tech advancing faster than ever before, the future looks bright for the electric scooters.
Writing by Dennis James. Inputs & Photography by Rahul Jaswal.