Hero MotoCorp has finally entered the world of electric vehicles through its new brand – Vida. Vida isn’t a new company. It is a brand with a separate identity from Hero's, but all its sales and performance will be tracked under Hero MotoCorp.
For now, Hero has launched two variants - the Vida V1 Plus and V1 Pro. We got an opportunity to ride the Pro version, their top-end variant. It's priced at Rs 1.59 lakh, ex-showroom and is currently on sale in three cities - Jaipur, Delhi, and Bengaluru. The bookings for these cities have already begun on their official website and can be done by paying just Rs 2500, and the deliveries will begin in December.
The Vida V1 Pro has been built in India but for the world. The brand has global aspirations, so the scooter gets a design that’s made keeping in mind the global audience. The primary design elements are pretty sleek and balanced. There aren’t a lot of curves or creases, but the fascia does have some aggressive lines. The credit goes to that angular headlamp design and the tinted flyscreen.
The split seats give it a sporty feel from the side, but as you move closer, you’ll notice the seat texture looks quite basic. The wheels are neatly designed, but the one at the rear has a funky look. The rear of the Vida V1 Pro looks a bit out of place due to that large black tail section. The cycle part is removable, but that design gives it a bit of a utilitarian look, which isn’t a good feeling.
This scooter is available in plenty of colour options. While the brand is pushing the orange one the most, the blue variant looks quite youthful.
Now there's one aspect where Hero has gone berserk: the features. The first thing I want to talk about is this instrument cluster. It's a seven-inch full-colour touchscreen unit and shows quite a bit of data. Other than the usual bits like the speed, range, clock and charge, it also allows the rider to toggle between riding modes. While there's an option to change modes through the instrument cluster, I found doing it through the switchgear easier and friendlier. The cluster also has an option to store and display your driving license along with the scooter paper. There's turn-by-turn navigation, for which you'll need to be connected to the smartphone Vida app. Unfortunately, we weren’t given access to that app.
Other useful features include LED headlamps, removable batteries, fast charging and more. In terms of utility, there's 26-litre under-seat storage which can store ample things. The brand has also given it a USB charger, but there are no front storage holders to keep the phone. There are a few more features like limp home mode, anti-theft alarm, geofencing, two-way throttle for reverse and regenerative assist, SOS alert, and OTA updates.
The Vida V1 Pro also gets keyless ignition as standard. Through this feature, the key can be kept inside the pocket, and the vehicle can be started using just a button. To open the boot, there’s a button right below the ignition key that needs to be used.
Now before we tell you how the Vida V1 is to ride, let's talk about some spec numbers. Both variants have a top speed of 80kmph. The rider can use four ride modes – Eco, Ride, Sport, and Custom. The 0-40kmph acceleration times for the Plus and the Pro variants stand at 3.4 seconds and 3.2 seconds, respectively.
Now when it comes to batteries, the Pro gets a bigger 3.94kWh battery pack, whereas the Plus version gets a 3.44kWh. As a result, the Pro has a more extended riding range with its relatively larger battery pack and gets an IDC-certified range of 165km. The Plus version, on the other hand, receives a certified range of 143km. Meanwhile, the fast charging speed of the V1 is rated at 1.2km per minute.
How does all of this come together? Well, the Vida V1 Pro was tested on two tracks – the long 2.2km performance track and the handling track. At the performance track, the e-scooter managed to show us what Sports mode is all about. Whack that throttle open, and the scooter generates instant torque to help you reach good speeds in no time. While the top speed is limited to 80kmph, I did hit 85kmph many times. But the surge in speed from 60kmph is sober and a little less exciting. The scooter has something called Boost mode. Here, when the rider is in Eco mode and wants to overtake a vehicle, the system activates the Sport mode and allows the rider to perform the overtake. However, this mode is activated by default for 30 seconds which I feel is a bit unnecessary. The brand did say that the production-ready will have Boost mode based on just the throttle-position sensor.
The handling track is where things got a lot exciting as the Vida V1 Pro started showing its true colours. The scooter is super easy to ride and handle, especially at back-to-back turns. The front churns out a light feel but manages to show stability simultaneously. The feedback on the handlebar allows you to push a lot more than you would want. In the corners, the scooter held lines and how. A closer look at the action pictures revealed some good cornering clearance. I feel the overall weight distribution is neatly done, which could be felt while doing full lock turns or trying to get it out of a parking spot.
The brakes on the scooter work well. They aren’t impressive as such, but it does the job. The overall ride quality couldn’t be tested, but I feel this scooter could churn out a plush ride. It’s just a feeling from whatever small bumps I could find at CIT.
Should you buy it?
The Vida V1 Pro was tested in Hero’s test track for a limited time. So the verdict here is from that experience. But we will give you a detailed review when we get the e-scooter in Mumbai for multiple days.
So, if you are in the market for a new electric scooter, you should consider the Vida V1 Pro because it gets many things right. It looks good in person. It has design elements that make the scooter look bigger from the front. It has a claimed IDC range of 165kms, which is quite good. And then there are the features like cruise control, keyless ignition and a seven-inch touchscreen, which make the scooter aspirational.
The performance from that motor and battery works well in its favour. The Sport mode is where all the excitement is, but things get better when there’s a well-laid-out handling track. This is where we realized how well the V1 Pro handles. It is easy to tip in. It can change direction instantaneously, and not much effort is required to manoeuvre the vehicle. The overall balance of the scooter is well-defined, and these attributes are something we are eagerly waiting to test on city roads.
But two things don’t work in its favour – the pricing and the overall quality. The V1 Pro is one of the priciest e-scooters in the segment, and to justify that pricing, not much effort has gone into making the overall fit and finish look outstanding. The quality of some parts is quite bad, and in certain sections, it lacks finesse. But Hero did say that these are prototypes and the final production-ready model won’t have these niggles.
Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi