Why to buy it?
-Accessible buying options
-Offers a comfortable ride
Why to avoid it?
- Could get smoother throttle calibration
- Build quality could be better
Even though petrolheads might despise the idea, the world is rushing towards electrification at erm…the speed of light. And with the Indian government pushing for the process by showering with subsidies and benefits, we’ve seen an influx of e-vehicles in our country.
One such example is Bounce; a Bengaluru-based company with its first-ever offering- the Infinity E1. Now, apart from how it rides and etcetera, I wanted to find out what makes the E1 stand apart from the rest of the herd because a boatload of EVs with a boatload of claims is easy to have you- a buyer- confused right?
Well, before I answer all of that, let us begin with the exteriors of the Bounce Infinity E1. If you find the E1 to be looking familiar, it's because the scooter is essentially the i-Flow from 22Kymco. Bounce took over their operations when the brand went defunct. Anyway, the Infinity E1 looks like a conventional scooter for the most part with a styling that takes inspiration from the present day rather than going overboard and futuristic.
The hints of sharp creases also make it interesting to look at. But the somewhat retro, bullet-shaped headlamp seems out of place in this design, even though it does look cool. Even the round mirrors- they add aesthetic, but with a small size, provide a limited rearview and multiple blind spots.
That said, the quality and fitments of parts are decent for a two-wheeler from a brand new company. Yes, there are a few teeny gaps on the lower side of the bodywork, and a slight lapse in paint finish around bolts, but other than that we found nothing to grumble about. The switchgear is adequately tactile and easy to use and so is the LCD instrument cluster.
The instrument cluster, in its retro-style, offers essential info like the battery percentage, range, speed, odo, and trips. While it does have the option to connect to an app, the display in itself is quite basic. Nonetheless, it also displays the mode the scooter is running in. There are two on offer- Power and Eco that limit the speed to 65kmph (its top-speed) and 41kmph respectively.
Other than that, you also have a ‘Drag’ mode and Reverse mode. While the use of the reverse mode is self-explanatory, the drag mode assists the rider in case of a puncture or breakdown by treading at a max speed of 3kmph. Both of these modes trigger the LED hazard lights for added safety.
The scooter also boasts an LED tail lamp and an LED headlamp with DRL. While we did not get a chance to test it at night, we can easily tell that the setup would provide a decent throw but lack the spread needed to illuminate well.
The Bounce Infinity E1 looks like a normal-sized scooter and with a low, 780mm seat height, it is also easy to get on. The seat in itself is soft and well-cushioned, both for the rider and pillion. It also has enough real estate to seat two comfortably. However, since it is wide even at the front, having both feet planted with ease would be a task for anyone shorter than 5’7”.
On the other hand, the low-set handlebar that digs into the knees in a full lock turn would be a problem for taller riders. So, a tapering seat and a slightly higher handlebar would do the trick for the Infinity E1, because otherwise, it feels comfortable to be perched on. There is also ample space to move your feet and keep a small bag in between- something that we found lacking in most similarly priced EVs in the market.
Equally impressive is the Infinity E1’s ride quality. Even though the hardware is basic, it feels well set up. While the rear feels a tad stiff, with a pillion on board, the ride gets better and the scooter absorbs bumps and undulations in the tarmac with ease. That said, let’s come to the performance which is as easygoing as the scooter’s ride quality. Fitted with a BLDC motor that produces 1.5kW (2bhp) and 85Nm of torque, the Infinity E1 isn’t exactly race material. However, it still manages to go up to 65kmph in Power mode. Whereas in Eco mode, the scooter hits the limiter at 40kmph which is decent enough for city riding.
The switch between the modes is seamless, the whine from the motor is minimal and while the throttle is abrupt at the start, it feels smooth once on the move. The brakes were mighty impressive too offering sharp bite at both ends with little lever effort. Having said that, the Bounce Infinity E1 is an agile scooter. It is also light, weighing just 94kg. That also makes it easy to move around and pull out of a tight parking spot, even without the need for its reverse mode.
Now, with limited time on our hands, we weren’t able to test its range, but the company claims a maximum range of 85km from its 1.87kWh battery. Although, this would be while riding in Eco mode and the range will be much lesser if ridden at higher speeds.
Should You Buy It?
Bounce has created a major USP for the Infinity E1 with its buying options. Apart from offering the scooter with a battery and charger as standard for Rs 59,999, the Infinity E1 can be bought without the battery too for Rs 36,099 (both prices, ex-showroom Gujarat). The battery can be ‘rented’ out for a monthly subscription of Rs 1,249. Although the scooter is currently available only in Bangalore, it is expected to be launched in 10 cities by April 2022.
Now in comparison to the TVS Scooty Zest 110, which is the most affordable ICE scooter in the market, the E1 with a battery costs Rs 8,500 lesser. Not only that, but the E1 is also lighter, and riding it at its top speed would be a much smoother experience than the Zest 110 at 80kmph. However, with a range of roughly 220km, the Zest 110 can run 3 times longer than the E1 on a full tank.
Well, that is where the swappable battery pack comes in. The company has set up battery docks and aims to have one every 2km at pop stores, ATMs, and ironically, fuel stations as well. And the process is quite simple. Just get to the dock, enter a code, and exchange the used battery with a new one. This costs a nominal Rs 35 per swap, negates the charging time, and would eventually address the biggest concern with EVs which is range anxiety.
However, this is exclusively available for customers who choose to rent out the battery separately and just like the scooter, offered extensively in Bangalore as of now. Nonetheless, the brand claims that it is looking to set up 300 charging docks across all major cities in the country.
That said, the Infinity E1 as a scooter is quite likable. It offers good ride quality and comfort and a motor that performs decently in the city. The claimed range is decent, but we’ll only know for sure when we ride it extensively. And if we had to nitpick, smoother calibration between the brakes and throttle and slightly better build quality would make the Infinity E1 a better scooter to ride. But only if Bounce is able to fully capitalize on its charging docks and offer seamless dealer operations across the country would the E1 be a satisfactory electric two-wheeler to own.
Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi
Bounce Infinity E1 Electric Bike Battery Pack