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HERO ELECTRIC PHOTON: CHARGED AND READY

herophotonnepalcoverThe Photon is one of the electrically powered scooters from the Hero Electric stable. Electrically powered vehicles have become increasingly popular in the wake of the fuel crisis that has hit the nation. In our efforts to accept the changing times we decided to test ride a product that didn’t run on fossil fuel. To be completely honest, this wouldn’t have been our first preference. But it seemed like it was time to get on the “save the environment” bandwagon. Although it did take some coaxing into, we were finally able to give it a shot and test what Hero Electric has christened as a “high speed electric scooter”.Hero-Photon-Nepal-1STYLING 

It’s difficult to differentiate the Hero Electric Photon from any other conventional automatic scooter. It’s an all black affair with a hint of brown on the seat covers and silver accents on the grab rail and shocks. An oval polycarbonate head lamp sits atop a sleek apron clad in a combination of shiny and matt black. Indicators have been integrated into the apron as well at front fender levels.Hero-Photon-Nepal-8Simple plastic side panels take up the rear with clear indicator lights and a rounded tail lamp sitting below the grab rail. The seats are wide and comfortable. As like most conventional scooters, there is a compartment on the apron. There is also ample leg room, even for taller riders.Hero-Photon-Nepal-4FEATURES

There is ample room in the under seat storage. It also houses a point for charging your mobile phone as well as a miniature circuit breaker (MCB) switch as an added security system to shut down the e-bike and disable the ignition. On the console are two dials, both analog, which display the speedometer and the amp meter along with indicator lights. Switches comprise of the indicator switches, headlamp switch and two horns. Because push start ignition isn’t required to start the electric scooter the thumb starter has been turned into a horn. Confused? So were we. We’ll explain this later.Hero-Photon-Nepal-5You also get a key with remote controlled antitheft alarm activation. The Photon gets 10-inch wheels, with a front disc brake and front telescopic suspension, two driving modes–economy and power.Hero-Photon-Nepal-6Charging is also not a hassle. Plug the power cord into the scooter and the other end onto a charging socket for 6-8 hours to fully charge the scooter. On Power mode, the bike will run for 50km on a full charge and on Economy, the company claims it has a 65km range.

RIDE AND HANDLING

The conventional styling similar to any other automatic scooter will throw you off. It was embarrassing to be reminded that the thumb starter was a horn when we went for it out of instinct only to be answered with a loud beep. All you have to do to turn on the scooter is turn the key. And because it’s quieter than a church mouse you won’t know if it’s running, thankfully there is a red light that turns on to indicate that the machine is alive.Hero-Photon-Nepal-9Rolling off a dead stop comfortably took a little getting used to. If you’re on the brakes the power is completely cut off so you have to release it for the throttle to kick in. Once you get used to the mechanism you can enjoy the ride. It provides adequate torque, similar to any other scooter, but the silent nature of the Photon dampens the experience to some extent.

Skeptical about the capabilities of the electric motor we took the Photon to a moderately steep climb, brought it to a complete stop and proceeded to twist the throttle. Now remember, we attempted this with a rider weighing in at a little over the 100kg mark. It put our doubts to rest and eased off to a roll comfortably, albeit the amp meter was struggling to keep itself upbeat. Also, there wasn’t too much a difference to talk about regarding the economy mode and power mode.Hero-Photon-Nepal-3For an electric scooter the Photon performs well. Brakingis crisp thanks to the front disc. A little more response on the handlebars could have been useful. Although you won’t reach breakneck speeds, the Photon holds its own on the roads and can easily gain speeds of up to 35-40kmph. The company claims the top speed to be 45kmph which is attainable if you give it a decent amount of free space. On an uphill though, don’t expect too much of the same prowess.Hero-Photon-Nepal-2VERDICT

The age of electric vehicles might be upon us. Not just considering the current situation of the nation but the entire global issue of fossil fuel consumption. The Photon is a fun electric scooter to get you started. It’s a preppy scooter that performs more than adequately to get you around the city. However, because it requires 6-8 hours of charging to reach full charge the load shedding might play a role in achieving this.Hero-Photon-Nepal-10The cost saved on fuel and the satisfaction of leaving behind minimal carbon footprint could be enough for many people to opt for the scooter, even if it does set you back as much as an Activa. So do we see ourselves going out and buying one for ourselves? No. We’re non-environmentalist scum who love internal combustion engines that makes a noise and propels you at high speeds. You have to be a better person than we are.

PRICE: 1,60,000

For specifications & other details, click here 

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