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Buyers in the market looking for an electric scooter are currently spoilt for choice with hundreds of models to choose from. However, making a good electric scooter is not as simple as most of them would portray. It takes lots of patience, research & development, and honestly, not all brands are capable of getting it right.
However, there is one EV manufacturer that makes it look very simple indeed. It even has the word 'Simple' in its name. Bangalore-based EV startup Simple Energy made headlines on Independence Day in 2021 when it launched the Simple One electric scooter. With a range of over 200 kilometres and a top speed of 105km/h, it had already won the hearts of many.
Back then, the scooter was barely production ready and had lots of rough edges. However, Simple Energy had wowed audiences enough to gain more than 50,000 bookings. We, on the other hand, couldn't wait to get on the saddle of the electric scooter.
Now, less than a year since its launch later, we have ridden the Simple One. This version is as close to production as it gets, and we did have lots of fun on this scooter. Read on to know just why the Simple One is a fun ride.
Simple One Design & Style
Futuristic, sharp, and agile are some of the words that quickly come to mind when you first look at the Simple One. Angular design lines are found all across the scooter, and it looks nice. Up front is an almost triangular LED headlamp that looks very stylish and premium. The front apron is angular and there are sharp lines all over.
Flanking the headlamp is a design element that Simple Energy claims is an aerodynamic element. It allows air in from the front and out the back and the indicator is also integrated into this design element. The front mudguard features a unique design thanks to the almost square design while all other scooters in the Indian market feature a curved design.
The eyebrow-shaped LED DRLs are integrated into the handlebar and instrument cluster housing. When viewed from the side profile, the first element to draw one's attention will be the 12-inch alloy wheels. They have a unique, almost star-shaped styling that looks rather nice.
The body panels on the side profile too feature the same angular and sharp design lines. It does get feature the odd black-coloured elements. These black elements look good on the Brazen Black colour that we rode. But they look absolutely brilliant on all the other colours. The floorboard is flat and rather high while the single-piece seat is unique in itself. The seat is slightly higher at the rear and slopes down towards the front.
At the bottom is the stylish swingarm that not only looks great but is also compact in size. The petal disc brakes with the gold-coloured calipers also make a style statement on their own. At the rear, the LED tail lamp looks super stylish and the grab rail is almost like a piece of art.
On the whole, the Simple One is a brilliant scooter to behold. If you like youthful and futuristic design and style, this One will certainly impress you.
Simple One Features
When it comes to the features list, we must say the Simple One seriously impresses. The headlamp, DRLs, indicators, and tail lamp are all LED units. The SImple One gets interesting-looking switchgear. The switches do look nice in terms of the design. However, the quality and the fit and finish still have miles to go before it is production ready.
We rode the pre-production scooters. The mechanicals are production-ready while the quality of the plastics and body panels are still in the pre-production stage. Given that the switches were still in the pre-production stage, we will reserve our comments on the same for when we do ride the final production models.
Instrumentation duties are handled by a large 7.0-inch touchscreen. The response of the touch interface is great, however, there are a few niggles. The scooters we rode featured the beta version of the software and that simply meant all of the functionality was missing.
On the fully-functional unit, there is a truckload of information. The speedometer, odometer, trip meters, average speed indicator, range display, and battery state of charge are all displayed on the home screen. There is one feature that sets it apart from other electric scooters and that is the Battery Health display.
The Battery Health monitor displays the health condition of the battery pack and this is a rather useful feature. This feature also helps the rider in judging if the battery pack needs some attention. This feature will especially be of use if there is a thermal runaway in the battery pack.
The screen also displays the ride modes and yes, it can be paired to your smartphone via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Simple Energy has loaded it with MapMyIndia which should make navigation an easy task. Connected features include Remote Access, Geo-Fencing, OTA Updates, Saving & Forwarding Routes, Ride Statistics, Remote Locking, etc.
Yet another useful feature is the document display through which the rider can store and display important documents like vehicle registration papers, driving license insurance papers, etc. You even get cruise control and a reverse mode.
When all this is put together, you begin to realise there's no lack of features on the Simple One electric scooter. In fact, Simple Energy has done a brilliant job of loading it up with some excellent features. We await deliveries of the scooter to begin so that we can take a look at the production plastics and software.
Simple One Performance & Specifications
This certainly is the most interesting section of this review. The Simple One is a brilliant scooter and a fun ride. It is driven by a compact and torque-dense motor. Simple Energy claims this motor has the highest torque-size ratio. The rear wheel is driven via a belt.
At the launch last year, one of the most interesting facts about the Simple One was that the scooter was driven by a chain instead of a belt which is the norm for electric scooters. However, over the last few months of development, Simple Energy has found that buyers want the low-maintenance belt drive instead of the chain and hence, the Simple One now features a belt drive.
The aforementioned motor produces 4.5kW of nominal power while the peak power is rated at 8.4kW. It also boasts a peak torque output of 72Nm. With figures like this, the Simple One has stellar performance. 0-40km/h is done in just 2.77 seconds. This makes it the fastest accelerating scooter in India for the 0-40km/h dash.
We also did a few more acceleration runs. 0-60km/h, 0-80km/h and 0-100km/h. The Simple One simply aced all of these tests. We rode it at its peak performance in Sonic mode for a good 30 minutes and the Simple One showed no signs of slowing down and neither did it want to switch to a lower performance mode.
Speaking of modes, the Simple One features four of them - Eco, Ride, Dash & Sonic. These ride modes make a massive difference in performance and range and they also make it one of the most practical electric scooters out there.
In the Eco mode, the Simple one has a range of more than 200 kilometres while performance is limited to 50km/h. This is a mode that is meant to be used only when the rider is trying to extract the maximum range from the scooter.
Then comes Ride mode in which the range drops to around 160 kilometres, but the top speed increases to around 70km/h. According to Simple Energy, this is the mode that is perfectly tailored for usage in the urban jungle on your daily commutes.
In the Dash mode, the performance increases significantly. This is the mode that was internally known at Simple Energy as the 'Track' mode because that is where this scooter was tested. Range drops to around 120 kilometres while the top speed increases to around 85km/h. We would definitely use this mode on a daily basis.
The high-performance ride mode is called Sonic. The top speed increases to 105km/h and the range drops down to around 85 kilometres in this mode. Acceleration is absolutely blistering in this mode and we just love how quickly 100km/h comes up on the display.
The Simple One is powered by a unique battery setup. It features a fixed battery with a capacity of 3.3kWh as well as a removable battery pack with a capacity of 1.5kWh. With this setup, users get a total capacity of 4.8kWh, and the convenience of having a removable battery and the reliability of a fixed battery. The scooter can function without the removable battery too.
The removable battery is tucked neatly under the seat and the seat has a recess that locks the battery into place when the seat is closed. It is a simple mechanism, but works like a charm. The 30-litre underseat storage space can be used to house a full-size, full-face helmet, or it could also be used to carry another spare battery pack with you.
Yes, Simple Energy will sell another removable battery to you for Rs 30,000. The extra battery takes the total battery capacity up to 6.4kWh and this gives the scooter a range of over 300 kilometres in the Eco mode.
Charging the Simple One is not a complicated task. Using the standard charger, the scooter can be charged completely in about four hours. However, Simple Energy will offer buyers the optional 1.4kW fast charger for a price of Rs 15,499. This charger will charge up both battery packs within 2 hours. The removable battery pack can be charged separately in just about 75 minutes.
Riding the Simple One is one of the most fun experiences we've had with an EV so far. It rides on a telescopic fork up front and a monoshock at the rear. The suspension setup is near perfect. We rode the scooter on tarmac only and hence we cannot comment on its ride quality over broken roads or potholes, but we do have a feeling that it is quite excellent there too.
The Simple One really impressed us the most with the way the scooter handles. The gated community in which we were riding had quite a few tight corners and we were pushing the scooter to its maximum on all of them. It is one of the few scooters in the world that gives you to confidence to push, and push harder.
This brings us to the brakes. Quite simply, these are some of the best brakes we've seen on a scooter. The 200mm disc up front and 190mm disc at the rear are petal units and provide great braking prowess. The caliper was developed by Brembo specifically for the Simple One and the bite as well as the progression is great.
No, you do not get ABS and that means, you can have some sideways and slideways fun on the scooter. We did get up to some mischief on this scooter and it surprised us with how eager this scooter is, to have fun.
There's yet another element to this scooter that proper riders will love. The brakes do not cut off the throttle! That is the solution that we've been looking for in all EVs. All electric scooters come with a brake cut-off. Just a slight touch on the brake lever would cut off throttle and that is a discomforting feeling.
The Simple One on the other hand doesn't do that. The result of this was quite evident in the slalom section where we needed a dab of brakes while still under throttle. The Simple One handled this section better than any other electric scooter in the market.
On the whole, the Simple One is a fun machine. It lets the rider have fun and for that reason alone, it is already a winner in our books.
Simple One Variants & Colour Options
The Simple One is available in just one standard variant that is priced at Rs 1.10 lakh, ex-showroom. If you want that extra battery for the extended range, it would cost you an extra Rs 30,000, taking the cost up to Rs 1.4 lakh.
- Namma Red
- Azure Blue
- Brazen Black
- Grace White
All of the colours look great, however, it is the Namma Red that really grabs eyeballs.
The problem with the electric scooter market is, not all scooters live up to their promise. Some fall short on quality while some others fall short on range. Some of them do not offer good performance while some others miss out on ride & handling.
The Simple One though does it all so well. It is nearly flawless when it comes to the mechanicals and the performance, as well as the ride & handling, is phenomenal. We really can't wait to ride this scooter out on the road to see what it is like in the real world. Until then though, the Simple One has made its way into our good books and might do the same with you too.