Ampere, recently bought out by Greaves Cotton, has been making various electric mobility solutions for over 10 years. Their recent launch of Ampere Zeal electric scooter reminded us and many of the brand that was overlooked for a long time, especially in the current period when electric vehicles are rapidly gaining public interest.
We have recently been test riding the electric two wheelers of the present age, like the Revolt RV400 and the Ather 450, which made us wonder what game the decade old company is playing in the market now amidst its seemingly superior competition. That’s when we got an Ampere Zeal for a first ride review.
Turns out, Ampere hasn’t taken a big leap into the future with a laundry list of tech or a head turning selling point that nobody else has thought of before. The Ampere Zeal’s USP seems to be practicality to price ratio, rather than cost-hiking features that we may never use or snob value. Their approach continues to be down to earth, trying to provide a solution for the mobility requirements of today.
The emphasis on ‘today’ has been appropriately met by the Greaves Zeal we must say, given that the older notion of Ampere vehicles being ‘too slow’ has been broken with the top speed of 55 kmph on the Zeal. Adding to the same is the modern look that’s not too quirky to stand out as an obvious electric vehicle.
Not just the top speed, the acceleration (initial pickup) is also quite surprising when you compare the very old models that Ampere became famous for. The Zeal comes loaded with contemporary features like LED headlight with Daytime Running Lamp, telescopic fork, tubeless tyres, digital speedometer with charge level indicator, hot switchable Speed and Economy riding modes, removable Lithium Ion battery, regenerative brake controller, and Harmonic Braking System that essentially cuts of power (throttle) when the brake lever is engaged. That last one turned out to be tricky while riding for the first time, but it’s something that can be gotten used to. The brakes on front and rear are 130 mm mechanical drum type, with Combi-Braking.
The BLDC hub motor on the rear wheel is of 1200 W capacity, powered by a 60V 30 Ah Advanced Li-ion battery that is claimed to have a pristine life span of 650 cycles (a cycle is a full charge and discharge). The Ampere Zeal can be charged in 5-6 hours from nil to full that is claimed to provide a range of up to 75 km. We rode over 50 km with charge still remaining.
The 78 kg scooter is said to achieve 0-50 kmph in just 6 seconds, which is seamless when you’re planning to switch from a regular scooter to such an EV, and especially the pickup from halt or during stop-go traffic is strong enough to make navigating city traffic hassle-free. Such a convenient performance remains consistent even while riding with a pillion. The scooter is rated for a total payload of 130 kg.
For the price of Ampere Zeal at Rs. 66,950 ex-showroom, after the subsidy of Rs. 18,000 via the FAME II policy of the Indian Government for electric vehicles, this scooter is a pretty good value proposition. The service / maintenance cost is quite marginal, the warranty is 2 years, and the daily expenditure is barely a sum that you may not bother to sit and calculate if you’re someone who’s currently fuelling up for Rs. 100 or more every two days.
The bottom-line here is that, anybody who’s looking for a new vehicle to commute, and happen to be interested in the long list of electric products that are making the news every week, the Ampere is something that is definitely worth considering and test riding, for the simple reason that they are a well-established company with history and an already existing dealer and service network across the country, and also because they focus on value-for-money products that are built more for purpose than technological show off.