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It won’t be a long shot to refer to recent times as the dawn of electric vehicles. If not the dawn, it is most definitely the dusk right before it. At the moment, there are quite a few options to choose from and nearly all of them are rather impressive. But here we have perhaps one of the most impressive electric scooters that we have tested so far- Simple One from Simple Energy. It does nearly everything well and most importantly, looks pretty good while doing it. It is taking some time to be ready, but we believe that once it is, it is going to be one of the most enticing options in the market.
Let us start with the looks. In simple terms, we found the Simple One to be quite attractive. It is sharp, lithe, and has very nice proportions. More than that, it has some neat design elements that make it feel like something inspired by pop culture quite a bit, mostly Batman. There are four colour variants; Namma Red, Brazen Black, Azure Blue, and Grace White. We rode the first one which looked pretty good. The lighting is all-LED but the fit and finish do need some more work which, as Simple Energy assures, will be taken care of.
When Simple Energy invited us for a test ride, we were expecting a test ride but we got to test the scooter in a rather limited space of a gated community. Therefore, the review that we have here are just first impressions. Fortunately, the first impressions point to a very good product once it is ready and hits the market.
Moving on to the performance, the Simple One is highly impressive in nearly every aspect. The in-house-developed battery pack produces 4.5kW continuous power with a peak of 8.5kW. But the really impressive aspect is the 72 Nm of torque. Simple Energy claims that the Simple One would do 0-40 km/h in 2.77s and go up to a top speed of 105 km/h.
Those are figures we cannot verify but can surely back as we could tell that the Simple One is one swift e-scooter. The best thing about it though is how the power and torque are delivered. A lot of e-vehicles struggle to get the throttle response right and Simple One’s is one of the best we have tested in a long time.
Seen here is the xBhp Speed of Thought Helmet by Axor, our trusted crown for all our rides.
In terms of modes, we have Eco, City, Dash, and Sonic. The two superior modes still have a very tiny bit of lag but Simple Energy claims that even that will be taken care of. Moreover, despite the stellar performance, Simple One claims to be very good when it comes to the range as well.
With its 4.8 kWh battery, Simple One boasts of a claimed real-world range of over 200 km which is mighty impressive, even if it is for the Eco mode. Even more impressive is how the 4.8 kWh battery has been implemented. Simple Energy has split the battery into a 3.3 kWh fixed battery which sits under the floorboard, along with a portable 1.5 kWh unit that suits under the seat. We felt that this is something quite clever as the portable battery can be charged separately and it is sure to tackle a fair bit of range anxiety too.
There are some limitations though. If run only on the portable battery pack, Simple One can use three modes and the one excluded is the Sonic mode. Obviously, it limits the range as well. Despite all that, this is a very clever idea and works mostly in favour of Simple One. In terms of charging, it takes around 4.5 hours to charge the Simple One from 0-100 with the standard charger. There is a fast charger available as well that nearly halves the charging time but does come at a price.
The Simple One impresses in the handling and ergonomics department as well. With a 775mm seat height, it is accessible to all kinds of riders. The handlebars are high and wide and comfortable and so is the seat itself. Overall, the Simple One is quite roomy and quite comfortable despite its lithe appearance.
The handling of the Simple One also impressed us a fair bit. The chassis was developed in-house and along with the geometry, it makes for a scooter that is confident around corners. We did not get to do a lot in that regard but we can tell that it will do pretty well. We also found the brakes to be pretty good too in terms of both, bite and feel.
Suspension is a little on the softer side for a comfortable and plush ride. Again, not something we have tested extensively but something we could feel. Despite being set up slightly softer, the Simple one does well in terms of being composed under braking and, therefore, goes some ways in aiding the good handling characteristics of Simple One. The claimed weight is 115 kg road-ready which is quite good too considering the battery capacity. Overall, the Simple One felt lively and a really fun and sporty scooter to ride.
Everything seems quite rosy for the Simple One. Well, everything except the state of completion. Simple Energy has done quite a bit of work since the scooter was first announced but there is a fair bit to be done. Some examples could be the belt drive that will be enclosed and the motor-regeneration functionality that Simple Energy is working on. The 7” display is brilliant but there’s more to be done for that as well. The software was in a beta testing stage and some features were non-functional. Additionally, the smartphone app also needs some work before Simple One reaches its customers.
So there is quite a bit to be done and most of these issues should be rectified once the production begins. What’s a little troublesome is the time that Simple Energy has on hand. With wishes to start test rides soon and the first customer deliveries planned by September or October, it seems like there is a fair bit of work to be done in a rather short amount of time.
Regardless, if it can be done, the Simple One would, quite simply, be one of the best EV offerings in the market. Simple Energy quoted the price to be INR 1.1 Lakh (Ex-Showroom) and they are sticking to that. For the price, the performance and range alone are enough but the Simple One has quite a bit more to offer in addition to that. If Simple Energy can stick to this price, the Simple One would undercut nearly all its rivals by a fair margin while being on-par or better in all aspects.
That seems like a win-win situation for Simple One if Simple Energy can sort out the issues. We really hope they do because the Simple One is a seriously impressive e-scooter that has got all the basics right and then some. Perhaps that is why Simple Energy claims that they have more than 60,000 bookings for the scooter. Quite a bit to be done but our two cents are that the first impressions of Simple One are quite impressive and it is an EV that can be seriously considered when it comes to the market.