How is it to live with a budget-friendly, Made in India electric scooter?
Before I was handed the keys to the EeVe Xeniaa, I had never ridden/experienced any electric vehicle. So, going into the testing of the EeVe Xeniaa, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. My daily ride for the last three years has been the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V and I’m extremely used to the thrills it offers.
And so began a month-long stint where I parked my Apache and used the Xeniaa, exclusively. The Xeniaa does have the characteristic immediate torque delivery that electric motors are known for so that was a pleasant experience. The Xeniaa proved to be a handy companion for the local runabout, provided you use a backpack to carry whatever you pick up because the under-seat storage is good for not much more than a phone and wallet after putting the battery and its charger.
Speaking of the battery and its range; over the course of the month — I’m not sure if it’s my throttle hand or the battery that has an adaptive system that I am unaware of — the range improved by around five to seven per cent. So, in terms of the range I averaged about 25km from 75 per cent in full power mode, because — let’s be honest — that’s the only mode in which the scooter felt usable and I could justify using it over walking to my destination instead. Range anxiety is a menace and it was the first time I felt it so strongly. Because the option of quick charging isn’t available, all my commutes had to be calculated to ensure I don’t run out of charge. The prospect of plugging the scooter directly (nifty feature) in or taking the battery home was an experience that took time to get used to. In my case, I had to charge the battery at home because I didn’t have access to a wall plug in the parking. The battery would take around three and a half hours to charge fully from about 30 per cent. The ride and handling are something I still haven’t gotten used to. The springs are too softly sprung and I felt like a shook up can of cola after every ride on it. It feels under-damped over bigger speed breakers or potholes, with the plastics in the floor board feeling like it’ll give way over prolonged use. I am a hefty guy, but not enough to warrant that level of uncertainty of the structural integrity of the scooter. Braking performance, however, has remained sharp with no noticeable fade.
To summarise, the Xeniaa has been a fun vehicle for roaming the urban jungle, but its substandard ride quality leaves a lot to be desired. And at an ex-showroom price or Rs 73,900, it is cheaper than its competition but still doesn’t make a strong enough case for itself over a more traditional IC-powered scooter. I guess, I won’t be keeping the Apache parked for much longer.