Ampere, the Ranipet-based company parented by Greaves Electric Mobility is not at all a newcomer to the world of EVs. With products like the Magnus and Zeal already in the market, it now puts forward its latest flagship offering, the Primus. Claiming to be at par with some of the top premium electric scooters on Indian soil, the Primus does seem to have set high expectations. Now the responsibility lies on our shoulders to put those claims to the test.
At first glance, the Ampere Primus doesn’t really strike as anything out of the ordinary and carries a fairly generic silhouette. The build quality feels fairly sturdy and decent in comparison to most of the new EVs of today. There are certain areas that could do with better quality components, or maybe a slightly refined fit and finish. A few squeaks and creaks were heard during the ride, but nothing to really be worried about.
The Ampere Primus is powered by a 3kWh Lithium Ferro Phosphate (LFP) battery connected to a motor with a peak output of 4kW. The non-removable unit is housed under the seat, and it offers an ARAI-certified range of 107km. The mid-mounted motor powers the rear wheel via a neat belt drive setup. Ampere claims a top speed of 77kph in power mode, but the dial showed a maximum speed of 82kph during our test run. We love a vehicle that beats the manufacturer’s claims, but on the flip side, acceleration felt mildly sluggish unlike the claimed zero to 40kph in 4.2 seconds.
The Primus features an LCD console with Bluetooth connectivity, which feels like it could use a bit more refinement. It displays most of the relevant data but lacks a switch to toggle between display options, if any. It does seem to need better calibration in terms of SOC, DTE and other readings, which seemed to be a little off. A full charge from empty to 100 per cent on the provided home charger is said to take right around 5 hours. Ampere also plans to offer a fast charger in the future which should bring this charging time down to around 2.5 hours.
The Ampere Primus gets three riding modes, namely Eco, City and Power, and an additional reverse function that is an essential feature in EVs today. In Eco mode, it goes up to 45kph, 65kmph in City mode and 77kph in Power mode, according to the manufacturer. Modes can be switched seamlessly on the go, although we had it locked in Power mode for the majority of the duration of our ride.
The ride quality of the Primus is fairly good as far as EVs are concerned, and with a kerb weight of 130kg, it is on the heavier side. The e-scooter feels relatively planted and handles well with a low centre of gravity, courtesy of the in-floor placement of the battery. This however plays into the issue of the riding position with the raised floorboard, which feels slightly cramped with the handlebar grazing our knees on tight turns. The braking is slightly disappointing, with drum brakes on both ends, it takes quite a bit to bring the e-scooter to a halt.
When it comes to storage space, the Primus features a generous 22-litre under-seat storage compartment that should be able to accommodate a half-faced helmet. It also gets a fairly deep storage recess on the front apron with a USB charging port too. Considering the other electric scooters available in the market, it is priced fairly competitively at Rs 1.10 Lakh (ex-showroom).
In conclusion, while the Ampere Primus electric scooter barely manages to fit into the premium electric scooter segment, it does feel more like a basic and simple e-scooter. The new LFP battery and the three-year or 30,000km warranty do have a certain appeal, but it remains to be seen how much of a difference is made. Now the choice lies in the hands of the consumer, because while it sure is a practical electric scooter that you can buy, there are other products that offer more for not that much of a difference.
4 kW (5.36 bhp)
F/R: drum combi-brake/drum
F/R: 90/90 R12 / 90/90 R12
Rs 1.10 lakh (ex-showroom)