Electric vs Petrol: Which scooter for a young college student?

auto, autos, car, cars, electric vs petrol: which scooter for a young college student?

The boot storage in electric scooters is a synonym for useless things so we switched to second hand scooters and checked out the Activa 4G, 5G; but to our surprise their starting price is Rs. 70,000!

BHPian @torquistic recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hi everyone, I’m a student looking for a scooter for daily running. I need advice on the basis of following criteria:

  • Our budget is Rs. 40,000 – Rs. 80,000
  • My daily running is minimum 40 kms
  • We’ll keep the scooter for 3-4 years only

Currently, I don’t have a driving license as my age is 17 years and the RTO office in Kanpur city has stopped making learning license from 2020

So till now, we have checked the non – RTO electric scooters in my city which include scooters from brands such as Benling, D-Lite, Hop electric, Hero Electric etc. The common issue faced by me and my father in these scooters is that the floor is a little high compared to normal scooters or even RTO scooters from the same brands. Also leaving Benling and Hero electric aside, there is no surety of other brands if they’ll be alive for another year or even 6 months.

The boot storage in these scooters is a synonym for useless things as the space is limited to half a helmet ONLY! Observing all these issues, we switched to second hand scooters and checked out the Activa 4G, 5G but to our surprise their starting price is Rs. 70,000! Also, we are well aware of the tricks and scams done by these dealers.

So, we switched to the OLX app to come in direct contact of owners of scooters (no promotion of the app is done here). Should I switch towards the non RTO scooters or checkout the second hand scooters and if I should checkout the second hand scooters, what should I look for?

Here’s what BHPian condor had to say on the matter:

With a budget of 80k, I guess your best option is a petrol scooter. I don’t think any of the better electric scooters are in that range for a new one. However, you could check for a used non-chinese brand (TVS / Bajaj / Ather). But one issue would be the resale after that 4 year period because of the cost of replacing the batteries at that time / by next buyer.

Here’s what BHPian SKC-auto had to say on the matter:

May be try OLA S1 Air, if you book now you will get by the time you have your license.

At a saving of 2₹/km, 40km×250days×4years×2₹/km = 80,000₹ saving compared to ICE scooter, should not be worried about resale value.

Here’s what BHPian IshaanIan had to say on the matter:

Go for a Yamaha Ray ZR 125 hybrid or if you don’t want to exceed your budget even one bit, then look for old models of the Yamaha Ray (110cc not 125 since you will find more value in those in the used market). I have been recommending this scooty time and time again to everyone. It is a good 10 kilos lighter than anything in the class and most importantly, it feels taut and ready to flick from side to side with immediacy and confidence inspiring progression  just feels natural to ride which is more than I can say for 95 percent of scooters in our market and I’m including big names like the Activa/Dio, Access, Aprillia, Vespa etc. It is Japanese and therefore reliable, it is light and therefore frugal, and should serve you well be it 3 years or 10 years.

If you are in the mood for something offbeat, the Navi does somehow bring a sense of joy even though it suffers from having Activa cycle parts (not the best chassis or suspension or even motor for that matter).

Here’s what BHPian Sudarshan42 had to say on the matter:

You’re 17. Do not settle for a non RTO electric scooter- you’ll want to change it in under a year. Like most others here have said, get a petrol scooter or a second hand motorcycle. Pretty sure you can get umpteen Pulsars and Apaches 2nd hand within your budget.

College time should be about a bit of fun too, not to mention building your self confidence. Get something that you’ll be happy with for longer.

PS: I’m assuming you’re a guy. If not, petrol scooters over motorcycles would be my generalised recommendation.

Here’s what BHPian COMMUTER had to say on the matter:

I recently bought an Yamaha Aerox. We have a Honda Cliq in our native place too. I have completely ignored the battery bikes. If you are considering battery bikes, you should buy a high end bicycle. I have been cycling in a simple folding bike(Dahon SUV D6) for 40+ km a day with ease. It would appear impossible at first but will become a cakewalk in a few months after we start cycling. Health will be a massive bonus too when we cycle. These battery bikes can’t match what a good bicycle does in what ever their propagandists pout about the battery bikes being capable of. They are extremely flimsy. Their range is fake and fickle, massively affected by the temperature and speed. The limitation of being unable to get topped up immediately is an insurmountable let off.

The supply of fuel in our country had been fully stable compare to the pathetically unstable nature of power supply which again favours the regular scooters. The fake cost calculations are temporary because these battery bikes are not taxed and electricity is heavily subsidised. Once the road tax and the electricity Tax kick in, as opposed to the current subsidy, their etherial advantage in cost disparity will be easily seen through and get even more adverse.

I too was looking for a used scooter under 3 years, 50k km mark. I too was shocked to find them selling for 70+k too. You yourself have seen the used scooter selling for 70k, would you be able to consider buying a used battery bike for even 50k? No,

These batteries will cost more than what a second hand scooter costs and will require replacement if one is confused enough to buy a used battery bike.

The drop in Fuel economy of regular scooters over a decade or even two will be negligible compared to the degradation of batteries in a battery bike.

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