Mahindra’s new electric scooter
You might know what Mahindra is if you live in the United States, but there’s a pretty good chance that you don’t. The massive conglomerate is a major car manufacturer in India, a big player in the tractor industry, and even fields a team in all-electric racing series Formula E. Mahindra has recently started making electric scooters, too, and so the company brought its latest one to CES to show it off.
The GenZe 2.0 isn’t particularly eye-catching, at least in white. But it’s a polished scooter, and it’s remarkably easy to use. It has a low center of gravity thanks to the 30-pound battery that sits right below the seat, and it’s extremely composed thanks to a solid suspension and a big front wheel.
That battery gives the scooter a 30-mile range, which doesn’t sound like much. But it’s removable, and it gets a full charge in about three and a half hours over a standard AC outlet. You can ride the GenZe in three modes — sport, economy, and safe — and it tops out at 30 miles per hour, a choice made by Mahindra in order to allow people to operate it without a motorcycle license.
All these things work together to create a very smooth and quiet ride that isn’t in the least bit disturbing, even on four-lane roads. I rode the GenZe 2.0 for the better part of a day here in Las Vegas, and while it’s not really the kind of scooter you want in a city where 30 mile per hour speed limits are a little hard to find, I still loved the experience.
THE GENZE’S RIDE IS SMOOTH AND SILENT
The electric motor is nearly totally silent, which is good if you’re worried about a car or truck sneaking up behind you. It also, like basically any electric motor, gets you off the line nice and quick. It doesn’t give you that jolt like some electric vehicles are so good at, but it’s enough to elevate the experience.
For a pretty plain-looking scooter, there are a lot of nice little touches on the GenZe 2.0. It has a decent cargo bucket behind the cushy seat, there’s a cigarette lighter port if you want to charge your phone,
But the standout features are the Mahindra app and the touchscreen display on the handlebars. The screen tells you the important information like speed, estimated range, and remaining battery life. But dig into the settings and you’ll find that you can adjust things like the amount of torque, or limit the power to the wheels. The scooter also beams this information out to the cloud using a small cellular radio, and that powers the phone app, which lets you run diagnostics, locate the scooter, or plan your route.
Where Mahindra takes these electric scooters next will be a fun story to follow. The company has invested heavily in making electric vehicles like the cute E20, and its involvement with Formula E could accelerate the development of that EV technology. The GenZe 2.0 is probably not the mode of transportation I buy if I have $3,000 to spend. But the company is definitely gliding gently down the right road.