Update: Bird Group has signed an MoU with Vmoto, the Australian company with exclusive sales and marketing rights for Super Soco products (and Vmoto products) globally, excluding China, to launch the CUx and CUMini scooters in the Indian market.
Vmoto formed a joint venture company called Vmoto Soco with Super Soco last year, and now, it intends to create an exclusive distribution partnership for the Super Soco CUx and Super Soco CUmini. The terms of the MoU include the Indian company buying 20 CUmini sample units for trial this month. These trial units can be tested in a government-initiated ride-sharing project in New Delhi. These products could be rebranded for our market.
Bird Electric showcased its first electric scooter the Bird ES1+ at the Auto Expo 2020. The Bird ES1+ is a badge-engineered Super Soco CUx electric scooter which was then announced to be manufactured at Bird Electric’s plant in Manesar that produces other electric products. Bird is the distributor of Segway, Ninebot and Mini pro products in India.
Speaking about the electric scooter at the Auto Expo, Ankur Bhatia, Director of Bird Electric Mobility told EVW:
We’ve done one electric scooter now, the ES1+, and for that I’m looking at a price range of Rs. 50,000 to go to market on that. It has a 50-60 km range/charge, the battery is swappable. Yes, this is a model we are importing from China and assembling in India, whatever the FAME regulations are we have to use those. We are in touch with battery manufacturers who can do local supplies to us because we want to optimize the cost to the best extent.
On the retail strategy, Bhatia said:
The advantage our Bird Electric dealers will have is that they will sell both a two-wheeler and a four-wheeler, they would have the capability of looking at the two segments with margins in both products. Our retail facilities would have all electric products in one area.
Bird Electric said last year that the scooter will be launched in Delhi-NCR followed by other tier-1 & tier-2 cities. The company had then said it was looking to introduce the scooter in mid-2021, but an update on the timetable is awaited.
The electric scooter is designed with sharp LED headlamps and the dashboard has an LCD screen with switchgear that look premium. The clean bodywork gives the scooter an understated look and the rear is complete with an LED taillight in a split-type arrangement. At the tape, the Bird ES1+ electric scooter is 1,782 mm long, 727 mm wide and 1,087 mm tall. The wheelbase stands at 1,217 mm and the seat height has been kept at a low 720 mm. The ground clearance is 140 mm.
The scooter’s hardware specifications include front telescopic forks and rear twin springs. Disc brakes are spotted on both wheels that give the scooter a premium visual look.
The ES1+ is powered by a 3Ah lithium-ion battery pack that offers a range of 55km/charge. It takes 7-8 hours to charge to 100%, and a has a top speed of 55 km/h. The scooter weighs just 62 kg and rides on 12-inch alloy wheels that are covered in 90/90 section tyres at both ends.