Electric scooters have been extremely successful along with attracting the attention of the buyers. New players like Ola S1 claiming record bookings or other players like Ather also doing well, can you say this is the end of petrol scooters? not enough.
Petrol scooters like the popular Honda Activa have remained extremely popular and are still the best selling scooters. Yes, they may not have got the same popularity as Ola, but that does not mean that it is not selling. Honda Activa, TVS Jupiter and TVS Ntorq 125 currently dominate the best selling petrol scooters. Electric scooters may still take some time to match the reliability or the range or even the reach. Let’s look at some points.
Generally electric scooters are more expensive than petrol scooters but due to subsidies the cost has come down. Petrol scooters are cheap for now. Even the maintenance cost of an electric scooter is easy to keep up with as there are fewer parts in the electric scooter. However, the long term also needs attention as a petrol scooter can last for many years whereas the battery life of an electric scooter can be limited to maybe 4 years?
This is where electric scooters win as they are very fast and smooth with smooth acceleration. For city use that requires instant acceleration, an electric scooter is easy to drive. Electric scooters have a lot of torque which further adds to the performance. It is not that petrol scooters are slow but electric scooters have more instant pull.
Range And Usability
This is where petrol scooters win, electric scooters can promise a lot of range but the real world cannot match the convenience of petrol scooters. Certainly for city commuting, the new line-up of electric scooters only makes sense with a good range of real-world ones, but currently their range has been reduced to a petrol scooter with a simple- ‘Fill it, shut it and forget’. Not enough to outperform in terms of.
With a petrol scooter, you can take it anywhere without any worries. There is also a lack of charging infrastructure. Barring a few cities, the charging infrastructure cannot match the ease of use offered to you by a petrol scooter- no matter how expensive the petrol is. Also, installation of charging stations or access to charging remains a major problem for the buyers. A petrol scooter is more reliable and works everywhere – that matters.
What To Buy
If you live in big cities and have charging facility at your home/office and you will be using the scooter for short distances, then an electric scooter makes sense. The range is fine, smooth, fast and easy to use. Also, they are cheap to operate due to the high petrol prices.
Petrol scooters are a bit tough, reliable, easy to maintain for years, with the freedom to carry anywhere as well as just fill up with petrol and go. The charging infrastructure is a hassle along with the high cost of buying an electric scooter. In many ways, a petrol scooter still makes more sense overall and it is no surprise that they are sold in such large numbers.