Hero Vida V1 First Ride Review: The Hero Indian Electric Scooter That We’ve Been Waiting For?

  • Oct 15, 2022
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The Vida V1 maybe late to the party but it’s proposing a new outlook towards charging

When the world’s largest 2-wheeler maker decides to make an electric scooter, you’d better sit up and take notice. Notice we did, and so did all of you. And, like most of you, we too had a multitude of reactions to the new Hero Vida V1 e-scooter. Emotions ranging from…’OH YEAH’ to ‘OH NO!’. I think you guys know what made us have that last reaction, but let’s find out if we’re thinking of the same thing.

Things that made us go “Oh Yeah”

Charging flexibility

Sometimes It’s easy to forget just how important charging flexibility is. The Hero Vida V1 is the only premium scooter in India currently which allows you three ways of charging it.

1- Fast charging: Vida has been smart about leveraging their connection to Ather and their own fast chargers use Ather’s open standards.Which means, you can not only charge the V1 at Vida’s fast charging stations, but also use the Ather’s fast charging Ather Grids. Ather currently has 580 fast charging points in over 56 cities. Also, in the long run, this will be beneficial for Ather owners too.

2- You get a conventional, portable home charging cable which slots in under the V1’s seat.

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3- And if you can’t charge at home, say you don’t have a dedicated parking space, you can always take both the batteries out and charge them indoors at home. It is quite a workout (11.5kg each) to do so, but hey, at least you have that option.

Vida V1 Plus

Vida V1 Pro

2 x 1.72kWh battery pack

2 x 1.97kWh battery pack 

Charging time: 

Fast charging 0-80 percent 

65 minutes claimed

Portable charger 0-80 percent  

Less than 6 hours claimed 

Removable Batteries 0-80 percent  

Less than 6 hours claimed


But here’s a question that we had and I’m sure you did too. Can the Vida V1 be operated on just one battery and the answer is, YES! On the console you’ll find two bars, one for each battery’s respective charge levels. The on-screen distance to empty is calculated using the charge available from both battery packs. Remove a battery, your scooter will run, but at the cost of a 50 percent lower DTE and you won’t be able to access Sport mode.

Range:

Vida V1 Plus

Vida V1 Pro

143km IDC claimed

165km IDC claimed 

The Vida V1 Plus and V1 Pro weigh 124kg and 125kg respectively. That may seem a little heavy, the e-scoot feels balanced and almost as light as a regular 125cc scooter. In fact, if you remove either one of these 11.5kg battery packs out, The Vida V1 weighs almost the same as a Maestro Edge 125.

Handling

At 124 kg, the handling of the Vida V1 surely came as a surprise. If you're someone who enjoys riding scooters more enthusiastically this one puts a smile on our faces. But then again we did ride it at Hero's test track at the Center of Innovation and Technology and its real world agility is yet to be seen.

That said, the suspension setup on Vida V1 was set beautifully for attacking corners. In fact, on occasions, Arun and I were itching to lean it over further but kept getting rudely interrupted by the main stand. 

Ground Clearance

155mm

Seat Height

780mm

Brakes

Front - 190mm Disc, Rear- 130mm Drum (with CBS)


Speaking of performance, there’s nothing special you get out of its 3.9kW motor and the regen is mild. Top speed on both variants is limited to 80kmph and 65kmph with one battery pack. On the track however, I saw a speedo-indicated 53kmph in Eco mode, 64kmph Ride and 84kmph in Sport. 

Rider Weight

65Kg


You also get short bursts of boost at the end of a full throttle (beyond 90 percent throttle) to make quick overtakes and it can be sustained for 30second pulses. But credit where it's due, after the Ather 450X, this is one of the smoothest throttle calibrations we’ve experienced on e-scooters lately.

Ride modes:

Vida V1 Plus

Vida V1 Pro

Eco | Ride | Sport

Eco | Ride | Sport | Custom mode (100 + combinations)

The Custom mode on the V1 Pro variant allows you to choose between 10 levers of regeneration and acceleration modulation. This allows you to customise the V1 exactly to your riding habit.

Design

I think what I like the most about the V1 is that it isn’t following the run-of-the-mill EV design trend. In fact, at first glance you take it for a regular, petrol powered scooter, doesn’t it? The Vida V1 has quite a few attractive design elements. There’s LED lighting all around and the headlight looks particularly sweet - almost reminds us of a BMW GS.

But there's no escaping it, the quality of plastics feels a little underwhelming. The plastic felt flimsy, panel gaps were prominent and the buttons felt a bit fiddly. Granted this is a pre-production model and we’ve been assured that these will be addressed by the time the scooter reaches you, the customer, but we expected more from this scooter because… Hero MotoCorp!

That said, the coolest part of this design is this modular rear section. Vida says in future updates you will have accessories which will help you turn this commuter into a sporty single seated scoot. Also, just because the V1 has under seat removable batteries, you are not left lacking for storage. Your portable charger sits over the battery pack cover and there’s a dedicated 26-litre bin behind that. 

Storage

Storage space over batteries

Main storage cabin

4-litre

26-litre


Features

You get a 7-inch touch screen TFT console which looks quite good and is quite responsive too. The features list has all the usual suspects rounded up - geo-fencing, e-document storage, vehicle diagnostics, turn-by-turn navigation, SOS function etc. Good news though, the cruise control function works just fine, so two thumbs up for that.

The bits that made us go “OH NO!”

Price

Now, this one is obvious isn’t it, especially when Vida made the claim “not the first”, that kind of implies it’s going to do things better than the others.

Vida V1 Plus

Vida V1 Pro

Rs 1,59,000*

Rs 1,45,000*

*Ex-showroom Delhi | Including FAME II | Excluding state subsidies

The charging flexibility is something unique to the V1, but the price sort of kills the value proposition completely. The V1 Pro is the most expensive electric scooter in the country right now, and for what… features we’ve seen before on other premium e-scooters? Granted, there are some good bits like the buy back guarantee of getting 70 percent of your cash back if you sell your V1 back to Vida in 16-18 months, 3-day test ride, or even the road-side emergency repair service in addition to conventional roadside assistance.

Limited availability

Hero’s biggest strength is their nation wide network. But to launch in just three cities to start with  - Jaipur, Delhi and Bengaluru feels like a missed opportunity. You’d expect a company with the scale of Hero MotoCorp to hit the ground running across the country with their first electric offering, or at least in all the major cities

Verdict

While there’s much to like about the Vida V1, there’s enough to keep it from being an instant hit. One of those things or rather its biggest hurdle is its price, which we were hoping for under the one lakh rupees mark, which would have made us overlook most of its niggles. That said, the convenience of removable batteries and the trust factor that this is a Hero backed product is something that’s unseen in the EV space today. We are hoping that the future products from Vida hit the price mark better and offer a stronger value proposition.

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