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On February 6, 2017, Hero Electric launched its Flash e-scooter, powered by a 48V 20Ah VRLA (lead-acid) battery that runs a 250W motor. The Flash can travel 65km on a single charge and achieve a top speed of 25kph.
The Flash is a limited-edition model with just 2,000 units for sale at an introductory price of ₹19,900 (ex-showroom Delhi). This price also includes a ₹14,000 government subsidy for electric vehicles. The subsidy comes into the picture as the bike is collaboration between the Department of Science, the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) and Hero Electric.
Weighing a mere 87kg, the Flash e-scooter does not require a riding licence or registration. This is likely to make it popular among the youth. Its features include magnesium alloy wheels, telescopic suspension, a full-body guard, short-circuit protection and under-the-seat storage. Buyers can choose from red-black or silver-black colour combinations.
Depending on customer preference, there is a provision to offer lithium-ion batteries with the Flash e-scooter at the lower end of the price in the next few months, said Sohinder Gill, CEO, Hero Electric. It is expected that the price difference between the two battery powered scooters will be ₹15,000-20,000.
The Flash will be available at all 350 Hero Electric outlets – slated to reach Delhi dealerships in a week and in the rest of the country within a month. Hero plans to add 100 dealers for CY'17 which will take up the total figure to 450.
Two more e-scooters
Hero Electric will launch a lithium-ion battery-powered high-end smart scooter with high connectivity and Bosch powertrain after Diwali this year. A second model – low-speed, high-end e-scooter – again, with a lithium-ion battery, will arrive by March 2018. The smart scooter will have a top speed of about 55kph with both models claiming a range of 60-70km. The Li-ion battery could be sourced from China, Korea or Taiwan.
The Li-ion battery has a lifespan of three years and the lead-acid battery comes with one-year warranty. To be more cost effective, SMEV is exploring options of manufacturing the Li-ion batteries locally. It will shortlist two from the 10 proposals it has received but will also require some handholding from the EV manufacturer to finalise the deal.
Online bookings for the Flash have begun. Gill said that post-demonetisation they have sold a large volume of scooters via PayTM. Gill also welcomed the Rs 175 crore the government has allocated in the Union Budget 2017-18 for three months till April as subsidies to EVs.