BGauss B8 Review
BGauss Electric is testing the waters with its two offerings- the A2 and B8 that have been imported from China but tuned to suit Indian conditions. So, we rode the B8 Lithium-ion variant for a couple of days to find out what the scooter is all about and how easy it is to live with.
BGauss Electric, a subsidiary of RR Global is the newest player in the sea of electric scooter brands in India. However, unlike most brands that import from China, re-brand those products, and sell them here as part of a long-term plan, BGauss claims to have a different approach. With a plant in Chakan near Pune, the company claims to be working on a line-up of electric scooters that are completely developed and manufactured in India, with the first model to be launched in March 2021.
But before that plan comes into action, BGauss is testing the waters with its two offerings- the A2 and B8 that have been imported from China but tuned to suit Indian conditions. So, we rode the B8 Lithium-ion variant for a couple of days to find out what the scooter is all about and how easy it is to live with.
The BGauss B8 is a tiny-looking scooter. However, a glimpse at the spec sheet reveals that the B8’s dimensions are nearly the same as the Honda Activa 6G. The electric scooter is taller and wider and also has a minutely longer wheelbase. In terms of styling, the BGuass B8 gets clean lines and an interesting shape, especially on the front panel that houses a pair of LED turn signals.
The sleek headlamp also has a unique, spider-like placement of LEDs. Approach the B8 from the rear and you’d be welcomed by the vertically stacked LED tail lamp that needs to be turned on manually. While looks are subjective, the B8 stands out without trying too hard like most Chinese EVs. But if I had to nitpick, a slightly larger grab rail would have made the scooter more aesthetically pleasing to look at.
Now, the paint quality on the B8 is good but the silver finish for the grabrail and mirrors make it look plastic-y. Even the switchgear looks and feels tacky and can be tricky to use at times. Apart from these snags, the overall build quality and fitment of components is commendable.
BGauss is offering the B8 with features that are on par with scooters in its price range. So, there is an IP 65-rated, fully-digital display that provides info like battery range, mode, and temperature along with odometer and speed. Furthermore, the scooter gets keyless ignition that also locks/unlocks the scooter, an anti-theft alarm, and a side-stand sensor.
The B8 also comes with a USB charger fitted on the front apron with a useful pocket just underneath it to keep a phone or bottle. Speaking of which, the underseat storage is decently spacious and can store a full-face helmet easily.
One can also access the removable 11kg battery pack from under the seat or charge it by plugging in the charging to the port provided upfront. Notably, the BGauss B8 doesn’t need a fancy charging setup and can be charged using a regular three-point socket. The 1.45kWh lithium-ion battery is fully juiced-up in three hours and offers a maximum range of 70km on Mode 1. On the other hand, Mode 2 and Mode 3 offer a range of 65km and 60km respectively.
The BGauss B8 can be turned on like a regular scooter or you could also unlock it from afar. (A well-deserved flex since you just saved a bit of environment by buying one!). And if you do use the keyless ignition, just press the blinking ‘Go’ on the instrument dash and the B8 is awake switching to Mode 2 as standard.
The eerie silence takes time to get used to. But twist the throttle and the Bosch-sourced motor with 1900W of peak power and a healthy 94.6Nm torque, whirs ahead. There are no neck-breaking G-forces usually associated with EVs, but the B8 is quick off its feet reaching a top speed of 42kmph on Mode 2. Switch to Mode 3 and with a slight surge in power, the B8 hits its top speed of 50kmph. While this is much lower than most highway speed limits, BGauss’ solution is the ‘boost mode’- a button on the switchgear that offers slightly more speed to overtake, regardless of the mode the scooter is running in.
As I mentioned before, the BGauss B8 is a small scooter. Nevertheless, it offers a decently large floorboard and a large seat that comes with plush cushioning. The seating ergonomics is comfortable for an average-sized individual, although anyone over 5’8’’ would have their knees grazing the handlebar at each turn. With a seat height of 745mm, the BGauss B8 is also easy to flat-foot and it weighs a meagre 76.5kg so moving it around is a complete no-brainer.
The scooter even offers a reverse mode that makes backing up even more effortless. What we liked the most is the suspension setup which feels plush and a million times better compared to other e-scooters even on small bumps. However, due to the suspension, the ride gets bouncy on larger potholes but never feels uncomfortable. The B8 offers regenerative braking and uses 180mm discs on both ends that work extremely well, offering good feel and bite. And the setup is also assisted by a combined braking system.
The BGauss B8 lives up to the brand’s tagline and makes sense in city conditions. And while the scooter offers decent range, its easy-to-use quick charging feature further reduces range anxiety; the biggest factor for potential EV buyers. It also has good build quality for the most part and is comfortable as well. Overall, the BGauss B8 is quite a decent product, even better than most e-scooters available in the market today.
But the B8 does have some downsides. To begin with, the e-scooter is built keeping short riders in mind. Larger individuals might want to look elsewhere. However, the cost, which is the main deciding factor could be a turn-off for many. BGauss has priced the Lithium-ion variant of the B8 at Rs 82,999 (ex-showroom) which is slightly on the expensive side. At this price, customers are bound to opt for petrol-powered scooters like the Honda Activa 6G or Suzuki Access 125 that offer an increased sense of reliability. While this might change as EV infrastructure and awareness increase over the years, competitive pricing, additional features, and a wider service network would work majorly in favour of the BGauss B8.
Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi
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