The PluginIndia team got the ETrance electric moped from the PURE EV dealer here in Pune for 5-6 days. What blew our minds was the incredible efficiency of 13.714 Wh/km, we could manage to achieve with the eTrance. This surely has to be one of most energy efficient two wheelers in the market. In this article, we showcase our findings after testing the wonderful ETrance for a week.
For those of you who are on the wrong side of 40, you may remember the Kinetic Luna. It was a crazy underpowered moped, with a square tube naked frame, and we would fondly call the riders – Lunatics. The Pure EV, in the looks department, reminds you of the Luna. It even has the dysfunctional pedals that the Luna had. The only time we would see Lunatics using the pedals was on inclines, where the ungeared 50 cc engine would be straining to climb. If there were two Lunatics on the same Luna, one of them had no choice but to get down and Johnie Walker style – start walking!
But the resemblance of the Trance to the Luna stops at the pedals. For this babe packs a neat punch. We tested the Trance double seat with yours truly and Kamlesh going up a 10% incline. The Trance passed the 150 kg payload test in flying colours. The power to weight ratio is quite good. If you are riding singles, you actually end up overtaking ICE scooters on inclines.
Another thing fascinates about the traction is the hub motor – absolutely soundless – and without any vibrations. One feature that I liked is that the vehicle does not start, if the side stand is not tucked in. Though the power is adequate, the seat isn’t. Double seat for two 65 kg+ guys is an issue. The rear rider has to literally, hang out! In contrast to the soundless motor, the indicator beep is scary. Will wake Kumbhakaran from his sleep. I just started showing my hand instead of using the indicator to avoid exposing my eardrums to 100 dB audio inputs. The luggage hanger interferes with key insertion into the lock. In the test ride vehicle that we received, the lock was defective. The key worked only 2 out of 3 times.Video :
PURE EV ETRANCE : Budget Electric Scooter Test Report
The top speed is quite reasonable for most city rides. What I like is the zip. I rode the bike for 20 km in the rain. Though brakes seemed adequate, my recommendation would still be to have disk brakes in front, with associated hydraulics. The Trance has 3 levels of speed, but I think Pure EV can do away with the levels, for she is best driven in Level 3 mode. I can only think of using level 1 only when I have to crawl back as the battery runs out of juice. There is a pedal assist mode which in the current state is quite useless. It’s a 4 magnet sensor, and the only thing it tells the motor is to switch on or off. I would recommend a change in gearing ratio. To run comfortably at 30 kmph, you need the right ratio. The Trance comes with small 0.5 m dia wheels. At 30 kmph, the wheels would be doing 0.5 km a minute. The wheel circumference is about 1.5 m. So we are looking at 500/1.5 = 300 rpm. Assuming a cadence of 50 rpm, we would be looking at a gearing ratio of 6. Am not too sure if the Trance has the space for a 72 tooth sprocket at the front. The lateral thinking alternative is to fit a shaft drive.
The Pure EV guys work mostly with NMC Chemistry in their Li Ion cells. This means that you can have a simpler BMS – as the range drop is proportional to voltage drop. It also means that the speed comes down as the battery discharges. There is a 5 kmph difference in top speed in the Trance between full charge and full discharge battery states. A low speed vehicle helps set low expectations for speed, so in the Trance’s case, this speed drop is not irritating. But am sure in Pure EV’s high speed models this may not please riders. What is great about the battery is the portability. This is one battery that you can genuinely lift and take home for charging. My guess is that the 1 kWH battery weighs about 2 kg. The Trance would be a go-to vehicle if you live in a top floor flat and the electricity meters are not on the ground floor.
The Trance suspension is amazing. Even at the top speed of 35 kmph, you don’t need to slow down on speed breakers. The smaller wheels means lower unsprung mass, so the jumps over the speed breakers come out quite well. Also the Trance’s frugality means fewer plastic parts – and almost all of them are bolted directly to the frame, with very few cantilevered projections outside the frame. This helps in getting a nice solid feel to the vehicle on bumpy roads. One small irritation was the center stand, which goes into Simple Harmonic motions on every bump and causes a rattle. Can be fixed easily with a stiffer spring.
The seat is quite comfy and sofa like. You kind of sink into it. I did about 2 km of pure pedalling on the bike. Because of the high friction (and mea culpa – the unoiled chain) I ventured into the pure pedalling mode only on downslopes. While pedalling, I had to encroach upon the rear seat to give me space to get into the right posture. Another recommendation is that there should be a level 0 mode in the bike – which will allow you to continue pedalling and watch your speed and distance as you pedal. This is standard in all e cycles. I had to switch off the vehicle to get into level 0 mode.
The Trance scores high on the looks department. At the risk of being labelled an MCP, I always think of this vehicle in the feminine sense. She always gets second looks. And gets propositioned by at least 2-3 passer-bys on every journey that she makes. The feeling is quite visceral – no one asks about whether it is electric, what is the range – the viewer is hypnotised and literally goes into a trance.
The only question that gets asked – Where can I buy this?
PureEV ETrance is just an awesome ride. Everyone who rides it has a smile on their faces. Everyone stops you on the road and asks you questions about it. We loved the efficiency, comfort, performance for a low speed electric, and the design. We wish PURE EV team puts some effort into localising the ETrance just like they did with the ePluto 7G electric scooter.