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TVS Motor Company has finally entered the EV segment in the Indian market, with the iQube electric scooter. The company is the second mainstream two-wheeler manufacturer after Bajaj to enter the electric scooter segment in the Indian market.
The all-new TVS iQube electric scooter is the brand's first model in their EV portfolio, which embodies the company's 'Green & Connected' focus. The electric scooter has been developed completely in-house by the brand at their manufacturing facility at Hosur, situated on the outskirts of Bangalore.
The TVS iQube electric scooter was launched last month with a price tag of Rs 1.15 lakh (On-road, Bangalore). The electric scooter is currently available only in Bangalore, with TVS set to introduce the iQube electric scooter across India at a slightly later stage.
The TVS iQube electric scooter comes with a host of features, connected technology and a retro-design with a modern touch. However, with the premium electric scooter segment in the country moving forward in full steam, does the iQube have what it takes to challenge its rivals?
We rode the electric scooter at the company's test track in Hosur to see how the all-new TVS iQube electric scooter stacks up against its rivals. Here are our first impressions of the new electric scooter after riding it out on the track.
Design & Style
The TVS iQube electric is a good-looking quirky scooter, to say the least. It offers well-proportioned styling, which is minimalistic and has a modern-touch as well. It comes with a completely different design philosophy unlike any of its other petrol-powered siblings or its rivals in general.
The TVS iQube comes with LED lighting all around, this includes the headlamps, position lamp, turn signals, taillights. The front cowl of the TVS iQube comes with a minimalistic design, featuring just the position lamp along with a blacked-out element at its centre.
The front apron on the electric scooter continues to get the blacked-out highlight on top, with a sleek headlamp positioned below, flanked on either side by LED turn indicators.
Moving to the side, the TVS iQube electric continues to carry forward the minimalistic theme as well. The side body panels are clean with just the ‘IQube Electric' badging positioned below the seat. The seats themselves have been finished in black upholstery with contrasting stitching all around. There is a subtle crease all around the body panel, adding a bit of character as well.
The side panel also comes with neatly integrated air ducts, to help cool the BMS (Battery Management System). There is also an illuminated ‘Electric' badging near the electric motor, which looks cool.
The rear of the electric scooter prominently features the sleek LED taillights, which have a similar design to that of the headlamps at the front. Once again, the LED turn indicators flank either side of the tail lamps, adding a bit of uniformity at both ends. The electric scooter also comes with a single-piece grab rail at the back for pillion riders.
TVS offers the iQube electric scooter with a single paint scheme, White. This adds to the minimalistic theme of the scooter, which along with the sleek lamps and the black elements, give it a storm-trooper effect.
The iQube electric scooter comes packed with features and equipment, along with TVS Motors' latest connected technology, the Smart XConnect. Starting off, the TVS iQube electric scooter comes with a 5.5-inch TFT instrument cluster which offers Bluetooth connectivity allowing for pairing with a smartphone.
TVS also has a specific iQube app, which pairs with the instrument cluster on the electric scooter offering additional functionalities and features. The company claims that between the app and the digital console, the iQube offers a total of 58 features in total.
Some of the important features on offer include turn-by-turn navigation, ride analytics, high-speed alert, geo-fencing, incoming call & texts alert, live vehicle tracking, live battery charging status, battery life, distance-to-empty, regeneration indication and battery status; to name a few.
TVS Motors also offers the iQube with a choice of two riding modes: Eco & Power. The different modes control the overall performance, battery range and certain other parameters on the scooter.
There are also a host of safety features, built into the TVS iQube. This includes a side-stand power cut-off sensor, USB charging port, large under-seat storage and a park-assist feature as well.
The park-assist feature comes with both forward and reverse movement. The top-speed when in forward park assist is limited to 12km/h while the reverse park-assist top speed is limited to just 3km/h. The reverse park-assist also comes with a warning beep noise; to allow for ease of parking even in tight spaces.
Powertrain & Charging Facilities
Under the body of the TVS iQube electric scooter is a 4.4kW rated hub-mounted electric motor. This is mated to three lithium-ion battery packs; one positioned below the foot-board while the remaining two are under the seat. The three battery packs together produce 2.25kWh, which is fairly good enough. The battery packs also come with a BMS (Battery Management System), all of which have been developed in-house; although the cells themselves have been sourced from LG in Korea.
The 4.4kW electric motor with the 2.25kWh battery packs together offers a maximum range of 78km on a single charge in Eco mode. In the ‘Power' mode, however, the range does drop to around 55km.
TVS claims that the iQube electric scooter can accelerate from 0 - 40km/h in 4.2 seconds while reaching a top-speed of 78km/h. While we didn't get to time the 0 - 40km/h acceleration, we did manage to reach a top speed of 80km/h.
The company does offer a home-charging station as complimentary with the scooter. As for public charging, TVS will provide charge stations at company dealerships across the city through a 15A power socket.
The company has already set up 10 charging stations so far in Bangalore, with more of them being set up in the coming months. Charging of batteries will take roughly four hours to charge up to 75%, while a complete charge should take five hours.
Performance & Handling
Switch on the TVS iQube and start moving and the electric scooter will leave you quite impressed with its performance. The scooter picks up immediately and offers instant throttle response, thanks to the hub-mounted electric motor.
The iQube also offers a good balance, with TVS being able to cleverly mask the additional weight of the electric motors, mounted on the rear wheels. The scooter feels composed, even allowing riders to corner at high speeds without any hesitancy.
The suspension on the TVS iQube is through conventional telescopic forks at the front and twin shocks at the rear. The suspension setup is slightly on the firmer side but manages to do a good job soaking up any and all bumps. Although it is yet to be seen how it performs in real-world conditions when not limited to a test track, with smooth tarmac.
Braking feels sharp and is handled by a 220mm disc at the front and a 130mm drum at the rear. The brakes do come with combi-braking system (CBS) as standard, which further assists in offering good bite, bringing the electric scooter to a halt almost instantly.
Lastly, the tyres also offer a good amount of grip. TVS has equipped the iQube with a set of 12-inch tubeless tyres at the front and rear, with 90/90 profiles. The front wheels also feature a stylish looking design as well, complementing the overall design of the electric scooter.
Competition & Fact Check
The TVS iQube electric scooter rivals the likes of the Ather 450X and the Bajaj Chetak electric; both of which were introduced in the Indian market in January 2020. Here is a quick look at some of the important figures from the three premium electric scooters in the market.
|Variables||TVS iQube Electric||Ather 450X||Bajaj Chetak Electric|
|Acceleration||0-40km/h in 4.2 seconds||0-40km/h in 3.3 seconds||NA|
Availability, Bookings & Deliveries
The TVS iQube electric scooter, like its rivals, is initially being offered only in Bangalore. Introduced during the latter half of January 2020, bookings for the iQube electric scooter has already begun for an amount of Rs 5000. Bookings can be done either online through the company's website, or at any of the TVS authorised dealerships in the city. Deliveries of the iQube electric scooter are said to begin soon.
The TVS iQube is an extremely impressive electric scooter. It offers a quirky design, with a host of features and connected technology; and strong performance. What makes the deal even sweeter, is the fact that the iQube electric is priced at Rs 1.15 lakh (On-road, Bangalore), and is more affordable than any of its main rivals. And it has the backing of a trusted mainstream two-wheeler manufacturer.
Rahul Nagaraj Thinks!
The TVS iQube is a serious contender in the premium electric scooter space, which till now had just the Ather 450. TVS has done a commendable job with their very first all-electric two-wheeler in the Indian market, giving us a glimpse of what to expect from their future EV products.