River Indie EV Road Test Review: Quirky, But Practical

  • Jun 15, 2024
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We put the River Indie EV to the test to find out how convenient and practical of an EV option it is

Branded as the SUV of EV scooters, the River Indie aims to offer a practical and functional riding experience. We spent around two weeks with this scooter and properly put it to the test in different conditions. Here is what we think:

River Indie EV Design

The River Indie has been branded as the SUV of EV scooters and it surely has a quirky design. There is nothing that looks like this EV scooter making it a very unique offering. The styling is more function than form and we see that from its large proportions and the use of 14-inch alloy wheels. River has managed to incorporate a ton of storage space into the scooter with this design language. The crash guards at the front and pannier mounts at the rear give the scooter a rugged look. It is available in three flashy colour schemes including yellow, red, and blue. Looks are subjective, and personally, I am not a big fan of how it looks, but throughout my time spent with the scooter, many stopped to appreciate the design. 

River Indie EV Motor, Performance, and Range

The River Indie offers adequate performance for cruising around the city. It gets three ride modes that can be switched on the go which include Eco, Ride, and Rush. The modes properly distinguish themselves apart with different levels of throttle calibration. Eco can get to a top speed of around 50 kmph. The acceleration is linear in Eco mode but to make quick overtakes, riders will need to switch to Ride mode. The 4kWh battery pack has an IDC estimated range of 161 kms. 

Performance 

(VBox tested)

Eco

Ride

Rush

0-40kmph

11.3s

4.63s

3.62s

0-60kmph

-

10.29s

7.41s

0-80kmph

-

-

20.20s

Top Speed

51.53kmph

70.23kmph

80.23kmph

Out on the highway, riding using a mix of Ride and Rush modes is ideal. Ride can get to an indicated top speed of 76kmph and Rush does an indicated top speed of approximately 90kmph. While we do agree that EV scooters are not meant for the highway, sometimes we do need to use the highway even in our day to day commutes and this does get the job done. From our tests, we did find that there is a fair amount of speedo error and when the dash is displaying a top speed of 90kmph in rush mode, it is actually doing a top speed of 80kmph.

Mode

Indicated Top Speed

VBOX Tested

Eco

56kmph

51.54kmph

Ride

76kmph

70.23kmph

Rush

90kmph

80.23kmph

In our real-world tests, we were able to get a range of 117 kms on a full charge with a mix of riding in Eco and Ride modes. On a full charge, the range displayed on the dash is 105 kms in Eco mode but we managed to get more because of the charge that the scooter regenerates through coasting regen. This riding range will further vary depending on how much load the scooter is carrying. So, astride the River Indie, range anxiety won't be an issue because it accurately displayed range and even provided more than promised. When the scooter indicated 15km of remaining range, it was able to run for almost 25km before running out of charge. With 117km of usable range, riders who have daily commutes of 20-odd km can use the scooter for almost four days before having to recharge the battery again. 

River Indie EV Ride Quality, Handling, and Braking

In the handling department, the River feels stable and planted when it is on the go and while cornering as well. The handling isn't sporty but that is not what this scooter was meant for. The suspension is on the stiffer side and while riding through bad patches of road, you feel a jolt from the front fork and the scooter's weight is also prominently felt. With a pillion and more weight on the scooter, the ride quality feels more plush. 

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The braking setup includes disc brakes at both ends with the assist of combined brakes. To get the best out of this setup, riders will have to get on the rear brake lever first. This gradually gets the scooter to a halt with good feedback at the lever. If you get only on the front brake, the feedback is not great and it feels like the scooter is taking longer to come to a halt.

River Indie EV Comfort and Storage

Unlike many EV scooters that feel really lightweight, the weight of the River Indie EV is felt as soon as you get astride. Although, with the extremely low seat height and its large proportions, it is accessible to both, short and taller riders. The seat is really comfortable and with itslarge size, pillions can fit comfortably even while a rider is wearing a backpack. 

What makes this scooter unique are footpegs for the rider which can be used while carrying luggage on the floorboard or just to relax their legs while riding for a long duration. While using these footpegs, you feel like you are astride a cruiser motorcycle.

With 55 litres of storage space as standard, the River Indie becomes the Indian EV scooter with the most storage capacity. You get 43litres of underseat storage and a glove compartment with 12litres of storage. Thanks to the outboard rider footpegs, the floorboard doubles as storage area. Additionally, there is an accessory detachable floor cage that makes carrying goods on the floorboard much safer.

There are also a bunch of other accessories on offer like a Top Box (25 litres) and Panniers (40 litres) that further increase the storage capacity. With all this storage functionality, the scooter will be a great option for riders that needs to commute with a lot of luggage. This is a ton of storage space for a scooter. But, to take full advantage, riders are going to have to spend extra on all of these accessories. 

River Indie EV Features

It gets a 6-inch TFT screen that displays adequate information and is laid out well to give riders important information at a quick glance. To make life easier, it gets a reverse mode but the process of entering this mode is a bit tedious. It would have been nice if there was a single button on the switchgear to swiftly activate it or switch it off. The Indie unfortunately misses out on Bluetooth connectivity but they do offer a bolt-on mobile phone holder as part of the accessories.

River Indie EV Verdict

Priced at Rs 1.38 lakh ex-showroom (Bengaluru and Hyderabad), the River Indie makes a good case for itself to a family looking for a spacious, comfortable EV scooter that can also be used for transporting goods. In terms of performance it is similar to something like the Ather 450 S. We feel like this would also be a great alternative for the gig economy as they wouldn't have to carry large bags around while making deliveries. Overall, the River Indie EV is a well-built scooter that offers a lot of functionality, especially in the comfort and storage department. What needs to be seen now is how they expand their presence in the Indian market as there seem to be many interested customers who currently don't have access to a dealership. 

River Indie Video Review

River Indie
River Indie
Rs. 1.38 Lakh
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