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Simple Energy Announces Second E-Scooter – But Where Is The First?

With not even 50 units of the Simple One electric scooter on the roads, a new, cheaper scooter is being pitched to seemingly keep interest alive.
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By Amaan Ahmed

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1 mins read

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Published on November 28, 2023

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Highlights

  • The Simple Dot One is pitched as a more affordable e-scooter with a range of up to 151 km.
  • Six months have passed since Simple One’s second launch, but it has not even touched 50 units in sales as per Vahan data.
  • Start-up targets delivery of 10,000 scooters by end-FY24; is yet to receive FAME-II certification.

One of the most hyped – and most heavily-delayed – products of the recent past is the Simple One. An electric scooter that was originally ‘launched’ in August 2021, Bengaluru start-up Simple Energy’s maiden offering promised to one-up the likes of Ola Electric and Ather Energy, and scores of potential customers put down a symbolic Rs 1,947 as a booking amount in the hope of securing one. However, it was only a false start – it wasn’t until May earlier this year that Simple said it was finally ready with the road-going One. Now, six months on, Simple has announced it will introduce its second scooter, dubbed the ‘Dot One’, on December 15 – but its first product is still practically nowhere to be seen.

 

Also Read: Entry-Level Simple E-Scooter To Come With Fixed Battery; Dot One Name Trademarked

 

Simple claimed to have received over 1 lakh bookings for the One, and at the launch on May 21, co-founder and CEO Suhas Rajkumar told carandbike the company was aiming to fulfil pre-orders over the following eight to ten months after commencing customer deliveries on June 6, starting with Bengaluru. But in nearly six months since, the start-up has failed to deliver even 50 scooters, with just 37 units registered so far as per the latest VAHAN registration data.

 

The Simple One was launched a second time in May 2023, at a higher price of Rs 1.45 lakh (ex-showroom).

 

When asked by carandbike about why so few scooters have rolled off the production line so far, a Simple Energy spokesperson said, “Regarding deliveries and sales, it's important to note that this was attributed to a comprehensive pilot program aimed at evaluating real-world scenarios and potential user-related challenges. Such assessments are a standard practice to ensure the utmost quality and customer satisfaction.”

 

Also Read: Simple Energy Targets Deliveries Of 100 One E-Scooters In June

 

In response to a set of questions from carandbike, Simple confirmed “approximately 20 per cent” of pre-orders stand cancelled, leaving it with “around 80,000 to 85,000 scooters” to deliver at this time. The Simple One’s starting price is Rs 1.45 lakh – up Rs 35,000 from its original price revealed in August 2021 – with no price protection for even those who had booked it early. Adding a 750W charger drives the price up by a further Rs 14,000.

 

The scooter is not yet eligible for incentives under India’s Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles – II (FAME-II) scheme, with Simple Energy saying it is “in the concluding phases of the FAME-II certification process”.

 

Simple had earlier stated it was targeting delivery of 100 scooters in June, but it is yet to reach even half that figure.

 

It also started reaching out to some customers in the last few weeks, requesting them to cancel their pre-orders. Clarifying why it had to do this, a spokesperson said, “Emails were specifically sent to select customers residing in cities where fraudulent activities were detected, posing a potential risk to our company's reputation. This proactive measure was taken to safeguard our customers and offer them the option of a refund, should they wish to reconsider their pre-bookings”. It must be noted that pre-bookings for the scooter are closed at this time – a notice on the Simple Energy website says ‘We will reopen the pre-booking option for the Simple One in a matter of weeks. Our dedicated team is tirelessly fulfilling existing pre-orders. You'll receive a notification once the booking window becomes available again’.

 

Simple is also yet to open a showroom or experience centre, and its public fast-charging network – which was said to be on track for inauguration in August 2023 – is also yet to go live. For now, the start-up has nothing to offer beyond stating its first experience centre will open in Bengaluru, and that its fast-charging network will be deployed “soon”.

 

“Starting December, we plan to significantly scale up our production efforts. Over the next six months, we are set to initiate deliveries in key cities such as Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Surat, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Vizag, and Goa”, the spokesperson said, adding that Simple Energy is targeting delivery of 100 scooters a month in “prominent southern and western cities”, which will take it to “10,000 units by the end of the ongoing financial year”.

 

Also Read: Simple One Electric Scooter Price Hiked; Deliveries Begin June 6

 

The more affordable Dot One is said to have a smaller battery and lesser range than the One.

 

At a time when its first product is yet to cleanly get off the mark, Simple says it will roll out the more affordable Dot One scooter, which is based on the One platform, but has a fixed 3.7 kWh battery, over 30 litres of underseat storage and a range of up to 151 kilometres. Its announcement also goes on to say that pre-bookings for this model will be opened on December 15, and that ‘existing customers can consider the Dot One as an alternative to the Simple One’, further casting a shadow of uncertainty over the One’s future.

 

The start-up’s plant in Shoolagiri, Tamil Nadu, is said to have an installed capacity of 25,000 units a month, but it’s still unclear how long of a wait potential buyers of the One will have to endure, given the company has already shifted focus to a more accessible (and volume-driven) offering.

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