TVS is known to make some incredible motorcycles and scooters such as the Apache, Jupiter and Zest. So you can imagine the surprise I must have had when news broke about TVS creating a fully electric scooter. Naturally, the first question that popped into my head was if the iQube retains the pedigree that TVS offers with its other two-wheelers. I was hoping to find a solution to my question and more questions you folks might have over the week I had the TVS iQube.
How does the iQube look?
It is evident that the brief given to the designers of the iQube was to design the scooter to look funky and understated at the same time, which it does pretty well. It has this cool looking front LED headlight and taillight strip, but overall, the iQube looks very understated. Compared to the other electric scooters sold in India, the iQube’s design looks rather restrictive and minimalistic.
What powers it?
At the heart of the iQube is a 3kW hub motor sourced from Bosch, and it produces 4.4kW or 5.9bhp peak power and 33Nm, which is pretty impressive. TVS claims to accomplish the 0-40kph dash in 4.2s and hit a top speed of 78kph, but during the week, I was able to take the scooter up to around 82km/h when on a full charge. But as the range drops, you do start to feel the performance of the scooter reducing as well.
How does it feel?
During my week-long stint with the scooter, I had an opportunity to explore every riding style possible. From executing highway stints to being stuck in start-stop traffic, the TVS iQube managed to surpass all my expectations. On offer are two riding modes – Eco and Power. While Eco works perfectly for the city duties, due to its limited top speed of 45km/h, the moment you hit an empty patch of road, you naturally tend to switch to power to keep up with the flow of traffic.
Another thing the TVS iQube consists of is regenerative braking which feels extremely weird at first, but as you spend time using the scooter, it starts to make sense. It helps reduce the speed of the two-wheeler by using the friction generated by the motor and stores the extra energy, which charges the battery.
Gadgets and Gismos
If it’s gismos you are looking for, the TVS iQube has plenty to keep you entertained. TVS offers this connected tech app called SmartXonnect that connects your phone to the scooter and offers quite a lot of information to the rider. The app helps with geo-fencing, turn-by-turn navigation, remote charging status, incoming calls and message alerts. The app also showcases the charge percentage left on the scooter and how far it can go and allows you to track the scooter if needed.
All the other vital information needed, such as your speed, odometer, range, the mode selected and battery percentage, is displayed on a 5-inch YFY instrument cluster which is waterproof.
What is fun on the iQube?
Just like every electric vehicle, the TVS iQube offers all its torque instantly, so zipping around traffic and even the short bursts of acceleration at the traffic lights keep you satisfied while riding the scooter. In addition, the iQube boasts of yet another cool trick up its sleeve. Using a button placed on the handlebar the rider can engage the reverse mode, which runs the electric motor in the opposite direction. This feature is convenient when the scooter is parked on a slope and would be difficult to manoeuvre in.
What is annoying?
While the TVS iQube has plenty of cool features mentioned above, there are inevitable niggles that the scooter has. The biggest issue one could face is that the scooter doesn’t offer a quick charge and requires 5 hours to fully charge the battery from empty, and that can be an issue for some people. There are other minor niggles, too, such as the quality of the buttons do not feel extremely durable. In addition, there is this 90s arcade game startup sound that sadly cannot be turned off either. Finally, there is yet another issue that I would like to point out. People and vehicles on the streets fail to recognize you sharing the road with them, so you tend to use your horn a lot more than necessary to make yourself audible.
Should you buy the iQube?
Now, this is the all-important question that all you folks might have. As we all know, the world is moving towards electric mobility, and soon, we all would need to adapt to EV life. So the TVS iQube proves to be an excellent stepping stone into the EV world. It can cover all your short commutes in a breeze and can be a good alternative to your regular petrol-powered scooter. Currently, the iQube is only sold in select cities across India, but TVS has plans to 20 cities by March 2022.
So if you ask me, Yes. You should consider the TVS iQube as it has a simplistic design. The running costs are extremely low. It offers a range of 75kms, which is sufficient for your daily commute and, with the FAME II incentive, has quite a competitive price tag. Factor in all these things, and the TVS iQube certainly stands victor compared to other 125cc scooters.
Engine – 3kW hub motor
Power – 4.4kW
Torque – 33 Nm
Weight – 118 kilogram
Range – 75km (Eco) 55km (Power)
Price: Rs 1.10 lakh (On-road, Bengaluru)