Bounce Infinity E1 first ride review | The perfect replacement to your ICE scooter?
Bounce Infinity is a company that has been around for a while now. First, a company that used to deal in superbikes to one that ran a fleet of scooters for people to use to traverse within the city. Now, however, the company has decided to get into the consumer market with a strong belief that electric mobility is the way forward and has launched the Bounce Infinity E1. The USP of this scooter is its swappable battery and the infrastructure that Bounce Infinity is building around it. Unlike other recent electric scooters, this company isn't trying to build the next flagship EV, but to make a solid, reliable product that everyone can afford. So, what is the Bounce Infinity E1 actually like? Let's find out.
Bounce Infinity E1 design and features
In terms of design, the E1 gets a mix of both retro and modern styling. At the front, it gets a round headlamp unit with LED lighting and that with the wide, exposed handlebar lends the scooter with a rather retro feel. Moving on to the seat setup it's a straightforward seat that can accommodate two people comfortably. From the rear, the scooter starts to look more modern with a neatly designed tail lamp unit with integrated turn signals. Now since we rode the scooter in broad daylight, I can’t really comment on the performance of the LED headlamp, so more on that when we roadtest the scooter.
The E1 gets a digital instrument cluster that displays basic information like range, charge status, odometer and speed. There is also an app that enables features like antitheft and geofencing. Now, the Bounce Infinity E1 is available in five different colours, namely — Sparkle Black, Comet Grey, Sporty Red, Pearl White and Desat Silver. Bounce also has a platform where you can customise the graphics of the E1 to your liking. In terms of fit and finish, overall the build quality was acceptable but there were a fair bit of panel gaps and imperfections like the wonky side stand and lack of a centre stand all of which we were promised would be rectified closer to delivery.
Bounce Infinity E1 chassis
The Bounce Infinity E1 uses a tubular steel frame that is suspended on telescopic forks upfront and a twin shock setup at the rear and it rides on 12-inch wheels. This chassis setup works rather well and lends the E1 with plush ride quality. The E1 deals with undulations nicely and stays composed through most of it. It’s only the sharper bumps and potholes that unsettle the scooter. Even the handling of the scooter is on the neutral side — not too lazy, not too sporty. It corners well while staying planted giving confidence to the rider. The steering is quick and the front end feels nice and agile allowing you to navigate through our pothole-ridden roads well. The short 1265mm wheelbase also translates to a small turning radius.
The only problem while taking corners or making u-turns if you’re a taller rider is that the handlebar will hit your knee unless you keep your legs down. In terms of brakes, you get a 230mm disc at the front and a 203mm disc at the rear with a combi-brake function. The brakes have a strong initial bite and do a good job of slowing the scooter down but it almost works like an on/off switch. Meaning, you can’t really modulate how much brake pressure to apply, so that is something that definitely needs to be fixed. The seat height is a friendly 780mm but the rider seat is fairly wide so this does mean that it feels taller than it actually is. Finally, coming to the weight of the scooter, at a kerb weight of 90kg, the E1 is extremely light and extremely friendly even for beginners.
Bounce Infinity E1 battery and motor
The Bounce Infinity E1 gets a 2kWh lithium-ion battery that powers a 1.5kW hub-mounted BLDC motor. The battery pack on the scooter is IP67 certified meaning it is safe to ride despite the prevailing weather conditions. The main USP of the scooter is that the battery pack is swappable and Bounce has also created a swapping infrastructure that allows user to swap their depleted batteries with a fully-charged one and continue their journey without having to wait and charge the battery. This has allowed Bounce to also sell their E1 scooter with the battery pack or as a subscription service, but more on that later.
Now the company claims that the E1 will be able to do around 85km on a full charge in the real world. We didn’t get to spend enough time to test the claimed range but based on how much time we rode for and how much range was remaining it would be safe to assume that the battery can deliver around 80km on a full charge. Stay tuned for the full road test review where we will properly put the range claims to the test. In terms of performance, the E1 has a claimed top speed of 35-40kmph in Eco mode and 65kmph in Power mode. According to the speedo, I did manage to achieve those speeds but it took a while to get there. In Power mode, the scooter accelerates with vigour till around 35kmph and then it’s a slow climb thereon out. This is fine considering that a scooter in the city will be doing speeds in that ballpark. Out on the highway though it’ll struggle to keep up and you will be restricted to the slow lane. Another thing that bothers me is the way the motor reacts when you’ve hit the top speed in each mode. It almost feels like you’ve hit the limiter on an internal combustion engine. It starts to judder and that’s not the most comfortable feeling considering that you’d expect the scooter to settle into the speed rather than fighting it. That is something that the engineers at bounce definitely need to address.
Speaking of modes, the E1 also gets a drag mode and a reverse mode both of which are capped at 3kmph. The Drag mode allows you to walk the scooter in case of a puncture and works without needing you to give any throttle input. That is a bit scary at first as the scooter starts to move on its own but since it’s doing only 3kmph you get used to it quickly. Then there’s the reverse mode. To enable it you need to push a bunch of buttons including a reverse switch that is placed where you would usually find the headlight flash button and to make the scooter go in reverse after engaging the mode you need to pull the reverse trigger. This makes it a rather complicated process that could very easily be simplified and it definitely needs to be as well.
Bounce Infinity E1 price and buying options
As aforementioned, the E1 can be bought either with or without the battery pack. If you were to buy it with the battery, the scooter would cost Rs 68,999 ex-showroom Delhi. This price is after the state-wise and FAME subsidies. If you were to buy the scooter without the battery, there are two options for you to choose from. The first is where you pay Rs 56,999 upfront for the scooter and Rs 849 per month for the battery. The second option is where you pay Rs 45,099 upfront and Rs 1249 per month for the battery. And if you use the battery swap stations you’ll have to pay Rs 35 per swap. Now, paying the lesser amount upfront might sound like a sweet deal but in the long run, I feel like subscribing to the battery will become the more expensive option, but it’s nice to see a model like this exist.
Bounce Infinity E1 verdict
Deliveries for the Bounce Infinity E1 will begin between the last week of March and the first week of April. Do I feel that Bounce Infinity E1 is a viable replacement for your ICE scooter? The short answer is yes. There is a lot of promise with the E1. It is a good handler, has adequate levels of performance and has enough in terms of features. Is it perfect? Far from. There are a lot of teething issues that need to be ironed out before they start delivering the scooters to buyers but once they do, Bounce has a great product on their hands. Especially so because of the battery swapping infrastructure. Bounce has plans to get a station up to every 1km and if they manage to do that, range anxiety will be a thing of the past. Battery swapping also seems like the only viable option till we have battery packs that can do significantly longer distances on a single charge. At this price point then, the E1 seems like a promising choice.