The evolving electric-mobility wave is not just shouldered on the mainstream manufacturers anymore. Besides, the ground reality reflects the new-age startups looming to encash the prospective opportunity. Shockingly, even though the enormous economic and transformative potential this sector holds, only few startups have gambled their fortunes to develop the product from the ground up. One such promising startup that jumped into the unfolding bandwagon with the intent of accelerating the adoption of EVs is Simple Energy. This Bengaluru-based EV startup showcased the verifying prototype of the Simple One last year. Since then, various changes have been made to make it even more production-ready. We sampled the pre-production Simple One in the closed housing campus on the outskirts of Bengaluru to know whether this scooter is worthy enough to mark its presence on the Indian roads soon.
Simple One: Performance and Battery
The Simple One promises to be on the practical side of the spectrum with the 4.8kWh lithium-ion IP67-rated battery pack with PMSM motor developing an 8.5kW of peak performance and 4.5kW of nominal power. Moreover, the max torque of 72Nm makes it one of the fastest accelerating scooters in its class, with 0-40kmph in 2.77 seconds.The fundamental area wherein one electric scooter aces or differs from others is the range. No matter how addictive EVs are to ride, one does not solely buy them for performance, as one is bound to ride them in their city confines. However, the performance should not be dull either to take away the charm of EVs in pursuit of more range.
One of the significant talking point about the Simple One is its 1.5kWh portable battery pack, which sits beneath the seat just beside the boot space. And another fixed 3.3kWh battery pack mounted under the floorboard translating to a total of 4.8kWh battery capacity. The battery is embodied with 21700 cells with a nominal voltage of 50.4V. Most importantly, the battery is designed all in-house. Simple Energy has partnered with IIT Indore to support the safety standards against current and voltage malfunctions.
Simple Energy claims are put to the test, and quite honestly, they have nailed it with fundamentals they are backing on. The buzz of a PMSM (Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor) is fairly euphoric, and the torque ripple effect is barely noticeable. The Simple One has four riding modes- Eco, Ride, Dash and Sonic. We got our test mule with a 96 per cent charge, which translated into 192kms of range in Eco mode, 115km Dash mode and 76km in Sonic mode. The Sonic mode gives justice to all the EV addiction we indulge in and gets off-the-line performance super quick. Whereas in Dash mode, power delivery is quite linear and smooth. The kid in me is inclined with the manic power delivery of Dash and Sonic Mode,so I found riding in Eco mode a little quite dull to use. But, out in the real world scenarios, I reckon Eco mode is the go-to mode for the range conscious buyers. However, with pillion and luggage, Eco-mode would be obtuse to be used. The 206-km of claimed ideal range (which might vary according to your driving conditions) in Eco mode would help to last the battery longer as the charging cycle decreases significantly.
Simple One: Ride, Handling and Braking
The Simple One gets Telescopic forks at the front and a symmetrically mounted Mono-Shock at the rear. The suspensions are not entirely tuned towards a stiffer side to give a firmer ride experience. Moreover the aluminum swing arm adds further suppleness to the ride quality.
The Simple One is not a corner carver, as the footboard’s underbody scrapes out when leaned hard. However, the maneuvering and quick turning were quite assuring, to say the least. The updated 26-degree caster angle adds ease to helm through tight corners.
The braking in the Simple One is catered by a 200mm disc with a double piston caliper at the front and a 190mm disc with a single-piston caliper at the rear. The combi braking unit does a pretty OK job in stopping the scooter. However, on hard braking, the modulations on the handlebar are felt quite significantly. We test rode the scooter in a confined area that restricted the limits of the scooter. However, we can strengthen our judgments if we get to test-ride the production version out on Indian roads soon, hopefully.
Simple One: Design and Features
Quite honestly, I was taken aback by the fit and finish of the scooter. The panel gaps were quite visible. Moreover, after 2-hrs of testing, the bolts were loosened out. Well, this is the pre-production version, and the company promises to rectify the issues with production versions, which are set to hit the Indian roads hopefully soon.The scooter’s design is set to appeal to its aggressive character. The sharp edges and creases on the front apron, flanked by the LED indicators, give it a peculiar look. The beautifully designed and positioned LED headlamp takes center stage in the front design. The overall stance and especially the inverted V-shaped LED tail lamps add charm to the scooter.
The Simple one gets a 7-inch display with 1280*788 pixels resolution. The display unit was quite bright and clear to view. It provides all the necessary connected features that new-age buyers are obsessed with. The TPMS sensors,navigation function further enhances the ownership experience. The software is currently in the Beta version, with various bugs hindering a comprehensive experience. However, the company claims to resolve it soon and promises to provide an utterly well built-unit to the consumers.
Simple One: Should you wait for One?
Well, despite being in a flooded market with outsourced EVs, the viable promising options are yet quite lacking. Moreover, prospect buyers are still in a dilemma with the charging feasibility. Simple Energy’s Simple One is an encouraging option in transition to electric mobility with adequate range and performance.The prices for the Simple One start at Rs 1.10 lakhs and go all the way up to 1.45 lakhs with the portable battery variant. The slightly expensive proposition of the Simple One is justifiable for the fundamentally strong product only if the overall fit and finish will be kept in check. However, the timeline is certainly over-ambitious to achieve, as there would be a lot of challenges in developing a streamlined sales and service network to command its proposition in the market. If you are in dire need of an EV right now, then the Simple One would not be worth your patience. Given the promising propositions and timelines, the Simple One would definitely be on the horizon of consideration.
Riding Gears Credit: Rynox India