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Ampere Primus electric scooter: First Ride Review

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Neil Nair

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Introduction

Ampere Primus Left Side View

Ampere- the sub-brand of Greaves Electric Mobility- is fourth on the chart of highest-selling EV two-wheeler brands. It has offerings in the B2B segment and a decent family scooter that also contributes to a major chunk of sales. Now, to build on the family e-scooter line-up the brand has the Primus.

It promises to be more refined while also focusing on performance and being more premium than its sibling. To find out if these claims are true, we rode the Ampere Primus for a short stint. While we were at it, we looked to figure out whether it makes for an alternative to the standard TVS iQube that is priced only a couple thousand rupees more.

The Visuals

Ampere Primus Right Side View

While Ampere Primus does look like the lovechild of the TVS Wego and long-lost Honda Activa-i if you look hard enough, it is handsome nonetheless and would appeal to a variety of buyers. It gets flowing lines on the side panels and a shapely front end with a design said to be inspired by the Artic Tern bird. Ampere has also designed it in a way that the Primus looks bigger than it is with the large grabrail and panel extension that covers the scooter’s underpinnings.

Ampere Primus Front View

But above all, the Primus looks premium. Its matte-finished colour options with piano black accents highlight that aspect. Quality has also been paid attention to and is top-notch in most areas. While the headlamp and high-beam buttons on the switchgear feel tacky, these are the only bits we found lacking. The rest of the scooter is well-fitted and has a good finish, to say the least.

Ampere Primus Left Side Multifunction Switchgear

The Package

Ampere Primus Left Side View

Let’s get the numbers out of the way first. The Ampere Primus is kitted with a 3kWh Lithium Ferro Phosphate (LFP) battery that is much safer than the NMC battery packs e-scooters usually use. And this is because LFP batteries generate lesser heat and also need lesser maintenance. It is mated to a 3.8kWh mid-mounted motor with belt drive that can propel the Primus to a top speed of 77kmph.

Ampere Primus Left Side View

However, we did see 83kmph on the screen during our ride. But that speed depends on which of the three modes is selected. In Eco, the Primus can do up to 45kmph and up to 65kmph in City. Power is where it can hit its top speed and the transition between the three modes is smooth.

The important bit though, is the range it has to offer. Similar to a lot of its rivals, the Ampere Primus offers a claimed 107km in a single full charge that can be done in 5hrs. The brand is also offering a fast charger as an optional extra that cuts the time down to 2.5 hours.

Ampere Primus Instrument Cluster

Well, when it comes to features, there is not much to brag about. It does get the essentials like LED lighting for the headlamp and tail lamp. It also comes with Bluetooth connectivity. However, the screen isn’t the best unit on the market. While it does the job and displays all information clearly, the digital unit looks cheap and is small in size too.

Ampere Primus Underseat Storage

Practicality on the Primus is a plus point though. With a cubby hole in the front apron that can easily store a phone and wallet, the electric scooter also gets a 22-litre under seat storage compartment.

The Ride

Ampere Primus Right Side View

Hopping onto the Primus feels natural. And keeping both feet on the ground is easy thanks to its low seat height. It wouldn’t matter even if you are 5’5. That said, with your feet on the floorboard, the Ampere Primus is equally welcoming. There is ample space to keep a large bag between your feet and still have some room to move.

Ampere Primus Bike Seat

The seat too is wide and long making it accommodating for larger riders as well. And because of the seat’s large dimensions, a fairly large pillion can be seated in comfort. Well, since we are on the topic of comfort, the Primus ticked all the right boxes there; even when it comes to ride quality. Now the reason I emphasize its ride quality is that it is one of the comfiest electric scooters I have ridden.

Up until now, the TVS iQube had pliant suspension. But the Primus goes a level higher. Equipped with telescopic forks at the front and a pair of shocks at the rear, the setup absorbs everything thrown at it without complaint. We even rode it two-up on an unpaved, broken road and it still felt equally comfortable.

Ampere Primus Rear View

It is also when the 3.8kWh PMS motor that is focused on performance revealed what it is capable of. It jollied all through the broken section with enthusiasm. Although what impressed me, even more, was when we had to climb a significantly elevated section of the off-road path and the Primus didn’t even break a sweat. Mind you, this was with a pillion on board and the scooter in its City mode. Switching it to Power wherein the scooter offers the most power would have translated to an even smoother climb.

Ampere Primus Left Side View

Regardless, the motor is smooth with almost no vibrations throughout. What did seem to hinder the otherwise silent experience was the noise of the belt drive that increased as the ride came to an end. Now, the Primus not only boasts of a potent motor but also intuitive handling. At 130kg, It is around 15kg heavier than the TVS iQube, but it feels extremely agile and light on the move. The belt drive makes it slightly difficult to move around but that is when the Reverse mode comes in handy. Now, when it comes to brakes, the Ampere Primus has a decent set. The feel and feedback from the setup are adequate however we would have to use it extensively to tell you if the bite is consistent.

Should you buy it?

Ampere Primus Right Side View

Right from the get-go the Ampere Primus is a welcoming and likeable scooter. It is styled well with quality and components that are well put together. With a decent top speed and a claimed range that is on par with scooters like the Ola S1, TVS iQube and Ather 450X, the Primus is impressive. It makes a strong case for itself with its pliant suspension setup and commendable ride quality.

But on the other hand, its features, or lack thereof, is its negative point. Especially considering the standard TVS iQube costs just Rs 2,000 over the Primus that is priced at Rs 1.09 lakh, ex-showroom. When compared, the former’s quality and fitment are undeniably better while offering usable features that feel premium too.

Ampere Primus Right Side View

But then, if you can look past this downside, the Ampere Primus sure is a practical electric scooter that you can buy. And in case you are concerned about purchase and service, the brand also has a sizable number of outlets across the country and is offering a three year or 30,000km warranty to customers for more peace of mind.

Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi

Gallery

Ampere Primus Right Side View
Ampere Primus Right Side View
Ampere Primus Left Side View
Ampere Primus Head Light
Ampere Primus Right Side View
Ampere Primus Left Side View
Ampere Primus Left Side View
Ampere Primus Instrument Cluster
Ampere Primus Right Side View
Ampere Primus Right Side View

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