A two-wheel electric alternative for around town
Sometimes it’s just about getting from point A to point B with:
- Electric power
- Faster than you can pedal
- Without having to worry about parking a car
- Scoring some style points
Those four simple attributes sum up the GenZe 2.0 electric scooter from Mahindra, which I recently had the chance to take for a short test drive.
The genesis of the GenZe: Four years ago, the big ($17.8 billion in sales annually) India-based multinational company, Mahindra & Mahindra, looks at issues such as city population growth, congestion and a growing youth population and decided to move into a new segment in the American market. The product development folks were looking for a multi-functional utility vehicle, a “no hassle” product. Oh, and it had to be electric. It was destined to become the vehicle that would launch a new independent division.
The zippy little scooter has got enough style to pass for an Italian product and enough technology to justify the company’s headquarters in Silicon Valley. It has a removable 30-pound 1.6 kWhr lithium-ion battery that can be charged in a wall plug in three and a half hours. It has a cloud-based seven-inch touchscreen display just like what you find in a modern sedan that shows your speed, range and charge level. Telematics are built into the display’s computer brain with an eye toward potential rental fleet or commercial use. It has the capability to have a geo-locator or geofencing (which would limit it to function only within a defined area) as part of its technology package.
A Cruise around the Block
Also, just like a modern car, you don’t need a key to get going, simply enter a four-digit code when you hop on board, twist the throttle and off you go. The Mahindra GenZe 2.0 has a top speed of
only 30 mph, but it gets there quickly. It feels even quicker because you sit upright with the wind in your face. The electric bike is stable, easy to maneuver and features enough storage space to haul a bag of groceries. The 30-mile range is more than enough for this class of mobility tool, which could be used for a short commute or around-town errands. Regenerative braking helps extend the range and the removable, plug-in battery offers some additional comfort on longer trips.
The Mahindra GenZe 2.0 retails for $2,999, including a year of free connectivity for the cloud-based electronics. Or it can be financed for as little as $68/month. The bike can be purchased online or at a dealer and can be delivered to your home. Initially Mahindra has dealers in California, Washington, Oregon and Michigan.
Check out this video of the Mahindra GenZe 2.0
It can handle a total of 295 pounds of payload. The aluminum bike itself weighs in at 232 pounds, so if it does tip over, it could be a handful to get upright again. The bike is assembled in Michigan.
Licensing varies state-to-state with the vehicle classified as a moped, which may require a special license. In California you can take a CHP-run certified training and safety course as a shortcut to getting the special M2 license. The Mahindra GenZe 2.0 comes with a three-year, 5,400-mile warranty.
The Mahindra GenZe 2.0 comes in four colors—white, charcoal, lime green and blue. I’d recommend the lime green for visibility and because if you’re riding one of these you probably want to be noticed. It has some other cool features such as a port to charge your cell phone while driving.
Like any good Silicon Valley piece of technology, the electric scooter has an app that can help with route planning, weather outlooks and even roadside diagnostics.
This division of Mahindra also has an electric bike available.
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