Motoring

A review of the Gemopai Astrid Lite e-scooter

The last few years have seen a massive influx of electric scooter companies with strong Chinese connections. While a majority of them try to portray themselves as completely Indian brands, Gemopai doesn’t, and has in fact adopted its Chinese connection’s name in its own. Gemopai claims quite openly on its website that its Chinese partner, Opai Electric, has over 15 years of experience in the field, with a total of 25 international patents for its line-up of 70 electric two-wheelers and three electric car models.

Gemopai’s honest approach is quite refreshing, but let us see if the company’s Astrid Lite e-scooter has what it takes to come across as a commendable product.

First impression

At first glance, the Astrid Lite looks like any other Chinese electric scooter, with its comparably smaller and narrower design. When you get a little closer, you begin noticing the design highlights, and while the materials still feel low-quality, the paint finish and styling are very nice. The blue, black and white three-tone colour scheme on the Astrid Lite is unique and something we found attractive.

What we also liked is the legroom on the footboard and large rear-view mirrors. Another useful touch is the deep pocket on the apron that can easily store a pair of riding gloves.

The interiors

As for other storage spaces, the Astrid Lite’s under-seat capacity is not the largest, but it is on par with some petrol scooters. This under-seat space has a crude bare-plastic finish to it, which looks and feels quite cheap, so quality leaves a lot to be desired. At the bottom of this space is a rather flimsy flap that opens to reveal the removable 72V/24Ah lithium-ion battery.

That said, the low-quality strap that came with it broke rather quickly on our scooter and the battery could not be securely tied down anymore — it would make a loud clattering sound over big potholes or speed breakers. This battery takes 3 hours 53 minutes to fully charge with the charger provided, which fits comfortably under the seat.

A review of the Gemopai Astrid Lite e-scooter

Lights

The Astrid Lite uses LEDs all around and the headlight unit is also decent; the DRL strips do help the scooter stand out. However, we are unsure about the function of the white DRLs that sit above the tail-lights, from a safety standpoint. Usually, white lights are only seen at the rear in cars for their reverse gear.

Digital instrument cluster

We really liked the Gemopai’s simple, no-nonsense digital instrument cluster. It is bright, laid out well and features a regular battery gauge. The Okinawa and Ampere electric scooter we rode a few months ago feature real-time battery-level gauges that fluctuate wildly; but luckily, that is not the case here and the Gemopai’s gauge is quite accurate as well.

A review of the Gemopai Astrid Lite e-scooter

Speed

On our range run, the Gemopai ran for 61km (in City mode) after which the battery was completely exhausted. That is not bad, but it is important to note that the scooter did not cross 15kph in the last 10km of range, so the effective usable range is around 50km when ridden at about 30-40kph in city mode. This is quite far off the company’s claimed 75-90km range.

Moving on to performance figures, the 2,400W BLDC motor allows it to go from 0-40kph in 7.39sec. Our Vbox indicated a 45kph top speed, while the digital speedo was claiming 61kph. That translates to a massive 26.03% speedo error. This was recorded in the scooter’s maximum-performance Sport mode and it only gets slower in City and Eco modes.

Smooth ride

On the move, the scooter gets along quite nicely and just about manages to keep up with traffic — as long as you are not on a fast and flowing main road. I even found myself overtaking other two-wheelers a few times. It is not too bad on inclines and manages flyovers without stress when it is got enough charge. The ride quality is decent as well and a little better than the two aforementioned e-scooters. What also helps the comfort level of the scooter is the soft seat that is nice over shorter distances. On the flip side, the riding position is slightly awkward due to the high-set floorboard, although this is still vastly better than the Okinawa Praise Pro’s and is not a deal breaker.

How it handles

As far as how it handles, it is not the most stable electric scooter and leans over a little too quickly, resulting in a nervous feel. This is not a surprise as the scooter rides on 10-inch wheels at both ends, although the Continental tyres are quite nice. Another thing that makes low-speed manoeuvres, like U-turns, very cumbersome is how touching the brakes, even a little, cuts off the accelerator.

Pricing

Gemopai is asking for ₹80,000 for the Astrid Lite. It is not eligible for the FAME II subsidy and sells out of around 50 dealerships (in India and Nepal), according to the company. At that price, it is around ₹10,000 pricier than the Ampere Zeal and around ₹7,000 more expensive than the Okinawa Ridge Plus. While it may fit in with the Chinese-origin EV crowd in terms of how it feels, it is still too expensive for what it offers and there is also the concern that this is a completely new and unknown company with no history to fall back on.


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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 10:22:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/motoring/a-review-of-the-gemopai-astrid-lite-e-scooter/article31462539.ece

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