The year of 2020 has been the most unusual to say the least. And the effect of the pandemic could be felt on the Indian auto industry as well. 2020 had its fair share of two-wheeler launches, but scooter launches? Well, they were between few and far. More so, if you took electric scooters out of the equation. You would be surprised to know that the month of January 2020 saw the launches of four scooters that made it to our list, namely the Honda Activa 6G, Bajaj Chetak, Ather 450X and the TVS iQube. Yes! January 2020 also saw three electric scooters being launched, which was unprecedented to say the least. Nonetheless, we list out the top 7 scooter launches of 2020.
Also Read: Top 5 Electric Scooter Launches Of 2020
Honda Activa 6G
The Activa is the best-selling scooter in India and perhaps the world! Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India launched the sixth generation model of the Activa, which has been on sale in India since 2001. The scooter was significantly updated, with minor cosmetic upgrades, new features, and an updated fuel-injected engine as well. The engine gets a new silent-start ACG starter motor, which negates any gear meshing noises in the starter motor. The updated engine makes 7.68 bhp at 8,000 rpm and 8.79 Nm of peak torque at 5,250 rpm. The front wheel is a larger 12-inch diameter now, replacing the 10-inch wheel of the Activa 5G. Suspension has also been updated, with a telescopic front suspension, and a 3-step rear adjustable suspension. Prices for the Activa 6G start at ₹ 65,892. The company recently launched a new 20th anniversary edition of the Activa and the prices for the special edition model start at ₹ 67,392. All prices are ex-showroom, Delhi.
Bajaj Auto brought back the iconic Chetak brand in India in the form of a new electric scooter. The Bajaj Chetak is offered in two variants. The Urbane edition is priced at ₹ 1.15 lakh, while the Premium edition is priced at ₹ 1.20 lakh. The Urbane edition features solid colours with glossy finish, while the Premium variant features metallic paint, among other cosmetic changes. The Chetak gets features like full LED lighting, premium paint finish, alloy wheels and a full digital instrument console which gives out information like battery range, and real-time battery indicator, as well as keyless ignition. The Chetak's electric motor makes 4 kW (5.36 bhp) of peak power, and 3.8 kW (5 bhp) of continuous power, and 16 Nm of torque. The Chetak gets two operational modes - Eco, and Sport. In Eco mode, the Chetak has a claimed maximum range of over 95 km, while in Sport mode, the range is limited to over 85 km on a single charge. The top speed is limited to 60 kmph. At present, the Chetak is sold only in Pune and Bengaluru.
Ather Energy launched a new and more spruced up version of the 450 electric scooter in the Ather 450X. The Ather 450X is a step-up from the now-discontinued 450 and boasts of new colours, larger battery pack and even a higher-spec 6 kW electric motor. As a result, the 450X now makes 26 Nm of peak torque, while the range stands at 85 km on a single charge. The edgy and futuristic design, coupled with top-notch build and performance, makes it one of the most sought-after electric scooters in India. Yes! It is expensive at ₹ 1.60 lakh (ex-showroom) but our road test review of the scooter proves that it is well worth the money. The company is expanding its presence to 27 cities by the end of FY2021 and that is definitely a step in the right direction.
Also Read: Ather 450X Road Test Review
Along with Bajaj Auto, TVS too jumped into the EV fray with the iQube electric scooter. The first ever fully electric scooter from TVS, the iQube was launched in January 2020 and it is only sold in Bengaluru for now. The electric scooter gets a 2.25 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that powers the 4.4 kW motor with 6 bhp on offer. The scooter promises a top speed of 78 kmph while the claimed range stands at 75 km on a single charge. It will take about 4-5 hours to completely charge the scooter from a standard 5 ampere socket. The design of the TVS iQube is conventional and that should appeal to a bigger audience once the company decides to make the scooter available in other cities in India as well. The on-road price of the TVS iQube is ₹ 1.37 lakh but the scooter gets a FAME subsidy of ₹ 22,500 which makes the price of the scooter to be ₹ 1.15 lakh.
Also Read: TVS i-Qube Electric Scooter Review
Yamaha Ray ZR 125 FI/ Street Rally 125 FI
The Yamaha Ray-ZR 125 FI replaced the older 113 cc version in the company's line-up in the beginning of the year. The sporty looking scooter gets a new frame, 12-inch alloy wheels, unified braking system, a side-stand cut-off switch, multi-function key, foldable hook, USB charging and more. The scooter is powered by the 125 cc Blue Core single-cylinder, fuel-injected engine that produces 8 bhp and 9.7 Nm of peak torque. Yamaha says the new motor is about about 30 per cent more powerful than the 113 cc models, while fuel efficiency stands at 58 kmpl (claimed). The scooter also gets a start-stop system and a traffic mode. The Ray-ZR 125 FI weighs just 99 kg, making it the lightest scooter in its class, and also comes with the new start motor generator that allows a silent start. The Ray-ZR Street Rally 125 is a variant of the Ray ZR. It gets additional bits such as hand guards, knobby tyres and an off-road inspired colour scheme. The Yamaha Ray ZR is priced at ₹ 70,330 while the Street Rally variant is priced at ₹ 74,330. All prices are ex-showroom, Delhi.
Special Mention: Aprilia SXR 160
We say special mention because Aprilia is yet to announce the prices of the SXR 160 in India. The new maxi-scooter will be launched in India this year itself probably in the last week of December 2020. Bookings for the Aprilia SXR 160 will begin in a few days. The Aprilia SXR 160 gets a 160 cc three-valve, single-cylinder, fuel-injected engine from the SR 160. Power figures haven't been revealed but expect the motor to develop about 10.7 bhp and 11.6 Nm. The motor will be paired to a CVT unit. Expect the scooter to be priced somewhere between ₹ 1.25 to ₹ 1.30 lakh.
Also Read: Aprilia SXR 160 Launch Details Revealed