Two-wheelers are something which we commonly use but there is one problem in the automobile segment. The rising price of petrol has restricted the people to take public transport and forced them to bear the overwhelming maintenance cost of vehicles. Thankfully, the Indian market is currently witnessing huge popularity in terms of electric scooters, resulting in a lot of automakers coming up with their products. Young companies and start-ups are leading forward in this space. So, on the occasion of Independence day, Simple Energy launched its first electric scooter named Simple One to give freedom from the rising prices of fuel. From first impressions, it is glossy, stylish, and runs smoothly when it comes to riding. In this article, we will be covering every aspect of a Simple One electric scooter. Before starting here is a short story of Simple Energy as a startup.
How it All Began
Simple Energy, a Bengaluru-based B2C startup was founded by Suhas Rajkumar in 2018 along with 5 like-minded people. Currently, he is functioning as the CEO of the company. Suhas Rajkumar was from an architectural background and had a keen passion for motorbikes. It was in 2018, Mr.Suhas was looking to buy a 2-wheeler for his family and at that time he noticed that the Indian market doesn’t have the right EV in the market. This made him consider bringing a decent, great, and an incentive for cash EV in the Indian automobile market. This enabled him to do thorough research and understanding battery technology, charging technology, etc. for 9 months. The Co-founder, Shreshth Mishra was the first investor in the company which solved the most difficult part of the funding of the startup. Suhas also reached out to several mechanical engineers and designers to make his idea a reality.
In early 2019, the team was working without caring about the pay and also faced a problem as the prototype Mark 1 didn’t perform as expected. In the first half of 2021, Simple energy raised $15mn in Series A by planning to primarily strengthen the production unit by ensuring to effectively use 60% for the factory. As time passed by it was on 15th August 2021 Simple One (previously known as Mark 2 prototype) was launched to compete with Ola electric scooter.
By looking at the vision it seems pretty exciting to see what Simple One has to offer to people. So without any further delay let’s cover the technical details of the Simple One Electric Scooter.
Power Behind the Scooter
The new simple electric scooter comes with a 4.8 kWh battery and as it is mostly packed inside a metal case, a small part of the battery is removable. This will help in two things – Firstly, you can take out the battery and charge it at your home and drive up to 60 km. Besides, this battery gives that additional energy as it serves to venture out to significant distances through bikes. The most fascinating thing here is that the battery is combined with an electric motor with a peak power output of 7 kW (9.34 PS) and a large 72 Nm of peak torque which is very high in comparison to the Ola S1 series and Ather 450X. Talking about charging the battery which is placed in a metal case module it takes about 165 minutes (2.75 hrs) to charge from 0-100% and it takes 75 minutes (1.25 hrs) to charge its portable battery.
The company has also launched the Simple loop charging network for public charging as well as home charging and also plans to expand its charging stations in the next 7 months across 13 states.
Simple One's Features
The Simple One contains a large 7-inch TFT display panel with 1000 nits of brightness. In terms of connectivity, it supports 4G and Bluetooth that can help to manage tasks right from your smartphone. Other noteworthy features include call and music control, geo-fencing, OTA update support, book service appointments, remote telemetry, document storage, and dashboard support for viewing your riding statistics, etc. One unique or standout feature that makes a difference from its rival companies is TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system). For those who aren’t aware of this concept, TPMS is an electronic system that is specially designed to monitor the amount of air pressure inside your vehicle’s tires.
Talking about lighting setup, a Simple One Electric Scooter delivers the LED headlamp, LED tail lamp, and LED turn indicators. The kerb weight is 110 kgs and contains a massive boot space of 30 litres that helps in keeping your accessories like helmets, bags, etc. There are 4 driving modes in Simple One Electric Scooter- Eco, Ride, Dash, and Sonic. It includes a total of 4 different colour shades namely – Azure Blue, Brazen Black, Namma Red, and Grace White.
According to the company, it is claimed that Simple One can touch 105 kmph and can sprint 0-40 km in 2.40 seconds. The speed varies from different modes on this e-scooter. In eco mode it claims to run up to 203 km on a single charge when compared with the IDC range it runs 236 km per charge.
Pricing & Availability
Simple One Electric Scooter pricing starts around Rs 1,09,999 exclusive of state subsidies. In some places like Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan, it can cost less than its launch price. The bookings for the same are already open for an ideal price of Rs.1947, the company has managed to gain 30,000 + pre-bookings.
In case you were wondering how to book simple one electric scooter, it can be pre-booked from their official website.
Talking about the availability, this electric scooter will be available for delivery from January 2022 in 75 cities across 13 states including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Punjab.
After the launch period of a Simple One Electric Scooter, there was a series of errors that created doubts amongst potential buyers. Let’s take a closer look at what kind of confusion they created before and after the launch event:
1. Inaccurate Specifications
According to Firstpost, Suhas Rajkumar published a tweet on 9th July talking about the speed of scooters from 0-40 kph is 3.2 seconds. On Simple Energy’s website and printed brochure, it was mentioned 3.05 seconds and leaving this aside during the presentation it showed 2.95 seconds. Before the launch period, Simple One’s peak output was 7 KW but during the unveiling event, Rajkumar said that its peak torque motor output is 8.5 kW. When asked by Tech2 about this information, Rajkumar said it was a “typo mistake” made by “a third party”. There were several other false specifications which included the size of the rear disc brake (the company mentioned 190 mm unit but it was changed to 180mn during the launch period).
2. Unable to Deliver Final Model
The Simple One showcased a pre-production prototype on 15th August that was running a preview version of the software. Here, the strange part during the walkaround videos of the scooter was the 7.0-inch display that was showing the vehicle identification number (VIN) and registration number of its rival company- Ather 450X. This issue was too addressed by the founder by saying that it was a “technical glitch”.
3. Changing statements
The primary concern of the end consumer here is that production has still not commenced. Before the launch event of Simple One, several journalists were told that deliveries of the scooter would begin by October or November. The Simple Energy two-lakh-square-foot production facility located in Hosur is still long away from being operationalized. Here the founder says “Simple is aiming to begin production towards the end of this year”(early in 2022).
There were lots of technical issues like cruise control of the vehicle and the invited media were not allowed to display the reviews of the pre-production model. Even the reports claim that the media wasn’t allowed to compare it to existing electric scooters.
I have a sort of mixed opinion on the Simple One Electric Scooter. When we look at specs and availability it has an edge over the competition like Ather 450X and Ola S1 and S1 pro. It has some great pros like the way it looks, the comfort of portable battery with rapid 15A socket charger, software, colours, availability, pricing to performance, value for money, etc. I liked the fact that Simple Energy has managed to excite the nation and register such a huge amount of bookings. The thing which stands apart from the Simple One Electric Scooter from others is its IP rating. The company has mentioned IP67 for water-resistant which is a sign of relief for most Indians out there who usually travel in rainy season.
Apart from the above problems which were stated earlier, there are more cons than those that meet the eye. Till now, they have not disclosed any information about after-sale service on their two-wheeler. We are still unknown by the annual maintenance contracts that need to be provided or any locations of these service stations for these electric scooters. Another thing that I didn’t expect from them is they are a little late when it comes to the delivery of Scooters as Ola promised the deliveries of their S1 Series Scooters from October 2021. Apart from all this, I am still excited to see the presence of electric vehicles on Indian roads.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below about opinions on this electric scooter.