E-scooters are on a roll these days. With government pitching in with support, new start-ups too have mushroomed in the electric scooter field. Add tax cuts, subsidies and other incentives, the competition in the segment has grown significantly. However, Hero is still considered the pioneer in this field.
The company has launched the facelifted models of its Optima and Nyx all-electric scooters as the Optima ER and Nyx ER. Their USP is 100 km range in a single charge. Besides, both scooters come with dual Li-ion battery.
Both the e-scooters come with key changes in technology, design and features. While Optima is aimed at college students and women, Nyx is suited for the needs of small businesses. Both these models need licence to drive and registration.
Optima HS 500ER
Optima looks more like a conventional scooter, leaving one in doubts whether this is an electric scooter or not. Silver inserts are plenty on the body. In terms of features, both the e-scooter comes with a digital instrument cluster, LED bulb, and telescopic suspension up-front and twin shock absorbers in the rear. The digital instrument cluster provides details such as the scooter's speed, how long it has travelled and battery charge level.
Both the batteries are installed under the seat. One of them is portable, which means you can remove and take it home for charging. Both the batteries can be charged at the same time. The Optima comes with two chargers. One battery in a single charge will have a range of 55 km. It takes four to five hours for a full charge.
Storage facility is available under the seat. But it won’t be able to accommodate a large helmet. In front, there is an open glove box which can be used for storing small things.
Drum brakes do the braking duty in the front and rear. The ground clearance is 140 mm and the Optima weighs 83 kg.
It is easy to ride an electric scooter. Just switch on the ignition and turn the accelerator. Since the Optima is silent, it is difficult to make out if the ignition is on or not. Maximum speed claimed by the manufacturer is 42 kmph. However, during test drive it hit 43 kmph. When the vehicle runs, the battery level indicator will glow in the digital console. There is also a side-stand buzzer.
Since there is no special starting switch, you should keep an eye on the scooter when children are around. The Optima comes in four variants. Optima LA and LI have a speed limit of 25 kmph and are available with LED acid battery and lithium-ion battery. Optima ES and ER are faster models. The ES variant, however comes with a single battery. The Optima is available in three colour options - cyan, red and grey. The ER variant has an ex-showroom price of Rs 68,7210.
Nyx HS500 ER
The Nyx shares most of its features with the Optima. It sports a moped-like design. The instrument cluster will show only the battery charge level and the scooter's speed. The low-slung seat may feel uncomfortable initially. The Nyx gets wider split seats. Lift the back seat and you can either lean on it while riding or carry load. The battery is below the seat. Though it has twin batteries, neither can be removed. The storage below the seat too is limited. However, the footboard is wide and will help keep stuff. There are pockets near the ignition too. The ground clearance is 141 mm and the scooter weighs 87 kg. The price is Rs 69,754.
The last word
Among the electric scooters available today, both Optima and Nyx are the best. They get A-plus in design, performance and capacity. For those who need to travel only short distances from home, the Optima is best. The twin batteries will ensure that you won't run out of power. Besides, you can take the portable battery inside your office for charging.
The Nyx is aimed at small businesses. It is the perfect scooter for delivery executives in a short distance. The lithium-ion battery and the scooter get three years' warranty. Do not compare electric scooters with conventional ones; one can easily save up to Rs 80,000 a year on fuels and maintenance on electric scooters.