Ampere Primus First Ride Review
- Ampere Primus is the new flagship electric scooter from Greaves Electric Mobility
- Claimed range of 107 km, maximum top speed of 77 kmph
- Ampere Primus priced at Rs. 1,09,900 (Ex-showroom)
The Ampere Primus is the flagship electric scooter from Greaves Electric Mobility, one of India’s fastest growing electric mobility companies. According to Greaves Electric Mobility, the Ampere Primus has been conceptualised and developed from scratch to production form in record time of just under 12 months. And it boasts of being a highly localised electric scooter, designed, engineered, developed and manufactured in India.
Positioned as a universal scooter, the Ampere Primus intends to offer an electric alternative to India’s highest-selling petrol-powered scooters. At the same time, it will also try and take on other popular electric scooters like the TVS iQube, Ather 450, Ola S1 and even the Bajaj Chetak, although the Primus offers a price advantage over its competition. But does it have what it takes to power the ambitions of Greaves Electric Mobility? We try and seek some answers after spending a couple of hours with the Ampere Primus near the company’s manufacturing facility in Ranipet, Tamil Nadu.
The Ampere Primus has a safe and conventional design. Not too flashy, or loud and designed to make it universally appealing.
Design & Features
At first glance, the Ampere Primus looks like a conventional and well-proportioned scooter. There’s nothing too loud, nothing too brash about the design, so that will perhaps be the strong point of the scooter to make it universally appealing. A lot of people from different demographics, different age groups will possibly like this scooter, because it’s a nice-looking, well-built scooter.
Also Read: Ampere Primus Unveiled At Auto Expo 2023
The Ampere Primus has 12-inch alloy wheels shod with tubeless tyres, but misses out on a front disc brake.
Now, it runs on 12-inch wheels at both ends with tubeless tyres mounted on alloy wheels. On the feature front, it gets a LCD instrument console with Bluetooth connectivity. Through the app, you can also access features like turn-by-turn navigation. So far though, the app is only available for Android devices.
The LCD screen has decent number of features, but loses premium appeal, when the competition has full-colour screens, and some with touch response.
Under the seat, you get ample amount of storage space, about 22 litres in all, but you still can’t fit a full-face helmet under the seat. So that’s a bit of a problem, but otherwise, there’s ample space to keep your bag, carry knick-knacks, groceries and what-not. There’s also a small cubby hole on the inside of the front apron, as well as a hook to hang a grocery bag or two.
There's ample 22-litre underseat storage space, but still not enough to store a full-face helmet.
What could have been better, in my opinion? It also gets a LED headlight, but the turn indicators are halogen as is the taillight, and these could have been finished better. The key, along with the key slot also doesn’t talk much about it being a premium scooter, so that’s something which could have been designed better.
The LED headlight is fine, but the overall front apron design, as well as use of halogen turn indicators and taillight, makes the Primus score low on the desirability factor.
After all, the Primus is the flagship product of the company, and it’s the attention to detail which makes the overall product feel more premium. So, overall, the Ampere Primus is a good-looking scooter in the conventional sense, but if you’re looking for premium bits, that’s what’s missing in the design.
Throttle response is crisp and linear, and the Ampere Primus has respectable performance. Nothing to complain about here, but nothing that will wow you either.
Performance & Range
The Ampere Primus is powered by a 4 kW mid-mounted motor with a belt final drive. And the battery pack is 3 kWh with a claimed range of over a 100 km on a single charge. Talking about charging, you can charge the battery in about 5 hours from 0 to 100 per cent. Now, claimed top speed is about 77 kmph, 0 to 40 kmph in 4.2 seconds. During our brief first ride, we spent some time riding through some narrow lanes, as well as spending some time out on a stretch of two-lane highway.
In Power mode, the Primus can sit at over 70 kmph quite comfortably.
On the move, what is immediately likeable is the throttle response. Throttle response is quite linear and smooth, so you won’t feel any jerky movements. Even in Power mode, the acceleration is quite linear and smooth, so it won’t surprise you. Even if you’re a new rider, or somebody in the family is a new rider, the Primus doesn’t have that snatchy throttle response that some electric scooters have. So, anyone with any kind of riding experience can be immediately comfortable with how the Ampere Primus delivers its power.
The Primus has three riding modes, Eco, City and Power, as well as a Reverse mode to help park in tight spots. Eco mode will give maximum range and top speed is limited to 40-42 kmph, and in City mode, you can still do 60-65 kmph top speed, which is more than enough for your daily runaround. And if you want to do longer runs out on the highway, you can use Power mode, and even for quick overtakes you can hit about 75-80 kmph top speed. Claimed top speed is 77 kmph, but we saw a speedo-indicated top speed of over 80 kmph. Considering around a 5-7 per cent speedo error, the top speed is still respectable.
The Primus offers stability and impressive handling. Although for slightly taller riders, the ergonomics aren't the best. You will feel your knees folded up over the tall-ish footboard.
Ride & Dynamics
Ride quality is quite nice; it’s firm but not stiff. So you can take on broken patches, potholes and road undulations quite comfortably, without the scooter feeling bouncy or unstable. in terms of handling, that’s where the Ampere Primus surprises really. It’s a very good handler, remains planted and stable, and even if you’re taking corners at higher speeds, the scooter remains stable, and you will remain in control. That’s the big takeaway; in terms of handling the Ampere Primus is very impressive indeed.
Also Read: TVS iQube Vs Bajaj Chetak Comparison Review
The Ampere Primus should have had a standard front disc brake considering it's the flagship product of Greaves Electric Mobility.
What could have been better are the brakes. It gets combi-brake system, yes. But it doesn’t get a disc brake up front, which in my opinion, is a miss, given that the Primus is a premium product. So, you will have to squeeze the brake lever quite a fair bit to get that hard braking performance, if you want to do emergency braking manoeuvres. The inclusion of a front disc brake could have made the braking department much better, but that’s something the company says it will introduce in the coming updates.
The Ampere Primus is priced at Rs. 1,09,900 (Ex-showroom)
Priced at about Rs.1.10 lakh, the Primus will be available pan-India very soon, and you can buy it from as many as 700 dealerships across India. As the latest product from a growing electric mobility company, the Ampere Primus has its strengths, and it is impressive in some respects, but the design and details misses out on that premium appeal, which is a miss.
The Ampere Primus has its strong points, with good performance and impressive dynamics. But it misses out on being a desirable premium electric scooter.
And the Primus also goes up against very tough competition like the TVS iQube, for example, even though it has a minor price advantage. So, that’s going to be the challenge, to take on the likes of the TVS iQube, the Ather 450, the Ola and the Bajaj Chetak. Overall, the Ampere Primus is still an impressive first step in the premium electric scooter space towards the future of Greaves Electric Mobility.
(Photography: Arvind Salhan)