Simple Energy One: First Impression
When modern EVs from two-wheeler start-ups are released, they are often not even close to being ready. The Simple Energy One electric scooter, manufactured by Bengaluru-based Simple Energy, was officially “released” in August 2021, but it was still very much a prototype. We are finally getting to ride this eagerly awaited electric scooter, almost a full year after it was first announced.
When it goes on sale, Simple Energy boasts that this electric scooter will be the fastest, and the specs clearly support that claim. Similar power output (4.5kW continuous/8.5kW peak) to that of the Ola S1 Pro is produced by the in-house built motor, but the 72Nm torque figure is unmatched in the e-scooter market. A top speed of 105 kph and a segment-best 0 to 40 kph acceleration time of 2.77s are also claimed by the manufacturer.
Although those numbers are great, what really caught my attention was how smooth, predictable, and simple to use the accelerator response is in each of the four riding modes. Nevertheless, the scooter did exhibit a small overrun in the top two levels, continuing to accelerate for a brief period of time after you close the throttle. To their credit, many EVs appear to struggle with a well-tuned accelerator response, but the Simple Energy One is already far superior to most of the EVs we have tried. The business claims that by the time the scooters are put into production, this will be totally fixed.
The scooter readily exceeded the indicated 80 kph in its peak Sonic level, even in the constrained location in which we had to ride. This should be among the fastest scooters in the nation because the whole performance seems just as swift as an Ola S1 Pro in super mode. But the range of the Simple Energy One is really its strongest suit.
The Simple delivers far higher battery capacity than any other two-wheeler EV currently on the market with a 4.8kWh battery. In the lowest Eco mode, the business claims a real-world range of more than 200 kilometers, but that’s not the only alluring feature. A solution devised by Simple divides the battery’s capacity into a fixed battery that is 3.3 kWh in size and a removable battery that fits beneath the seat. The company will be able to easily produce a less expensive scooter in the future without the removable battery pack, which will help in some part alleviate charging anxiety issues.
Simple has done something brilliant here, yet there is something to think about. This 7kg removable pack can only be used to power the scooter in its slowest Eco mode because of the way it is built; it lacks the main pack’s thermal management capabilities. This will need using Eco mode for around 30% of the total available range, lowering the top speed to 45kph.
According to the manufacturer, it will take the scooter around 4 and a half hours to charge the scooter from zero to one hundred percent at home. In a first for the market, Simple says it would sell an additional fast charger for Rs 15,499 which will double the rate of home charging and cut the time in half. It’s important to note that the removable battery won’t begin to charge until the primary battery has reached 80% capacity.
Since Simple offers market-leading levels of range, the performance is strong. The chassis appears to be extremely impressive in most aspects as well. Simple also designed the tubular steel chassis, and the company did a superb job with the suspension and braking systems. Although we did note quite a bit of chassis flex at the steering headstock during harsh braking, the brakes are strong but simple to modulate. According to the manufacturer, this will be resolved before the scooters are put into production.
Positively, Simple claims that despite significant supply issues, it is maintaining its initial advertised price of Rs. 1.1 lakh, ex-showroom, and that the scooter will be sold to the first consumers at that price. For the amount of advertised performance and range, that is an incredible price. The Simple Energy One will undercut its competitors once it is ready for sale for as long as the business can afford to sell it at that price.