Autonix Easy review: A made-in-India, electric cycle for urban mobility
This small, electric folding cycle could be the answer to a lot of common mobility problems.
Price: Rs 30,000
Specifications: 8.8Ah detachable lithium ion battery (rated for 750 charge cycles), 3-4 hour charge time, 250W 36V electric hub motor (rear wheel), 25kmph top speed (electronically limited), chain cover, 45km range in pedal assist mode, 38km range in electric only mode
Pros: Long range, quick charging, small size takes up less space, foldable design, built in horn/light, digital display for speed/battery/mode
Cons: Harsh ride (no suspension), conventional cantilever/drum brakes instead of discs, no brake light
It makes little sense to use a gas guzzling vehicle for daily, short distance travel. It’s not just about the environment but also about running costs. If you often make quick runs to the local market or have a short commute, using an electric cycle can save you thousands in the short term itself. For an electric cycle like this, running costs are literally one tenth of a Rupee per km of travel.
This product – Easy, by Noida-based company Autonix – is a small, folding electric cycle designed for urban use. Save for the 18650 type cells in the battery and electronic components, 70% of it is made and assembled in India. Granted, the 20-inch wheels are smaller than the typical 26-inchers of a normal adult bicycle but the compact size has some advantages. It takes up less space at home or in the garage. It’s lighter and more easily manoeuvrable too. The company also sells a more conventional, full size cycle (26-inch) with disc brakes – they call it Autonix Go (Rs 25,000).
The cycle comes in a box and some minimal assembly is required before you can ride it. You need to install and tighten the handle, seat and pedals. The Allen key and spanner you require for this are included too. Also in the box is a 220V charger for the lithium ion battery. You can charge the battery while it’s still on the bike or simply slide the battery out using the grab handle and charge it inside your home. To keep the battery locked in place and to prevent unauthorised use of the cycle, the company provides a lock and key. However, this key only controls the electronics and physically locks the battery in place. To secure the cycle itself, you will need another standard cable lock.
On the left side of the handlebar, you’ll see buttons for the horn and LED headlight but there is no brake light (just a reflector on the back). On the right is a tiny backlit digital display that shows you speed, battery charge level and power mode. There are also two ways to ride the cycle: throttle only (where you twist and it goes) or Pedelec (push off manually and turn the pedals three times before the motor kicks in). The range gets a slight boost in Pedelec mode as you can imagine (45km vs 38km). There are also two brakes as usual: the front brake is the conventional cantilever (V brake) type while the rear is a small drum. It would have been nice to see a front disc brake, especially at the asking price.
In case you were wondering, there is a 12-month warranty on the battery, motor and electronic components. You can also ride in moderate rain without an issue. After the battery’s useful life, you can get a new one for about Rs 6,000. It’s a lot of fun to ride an electric cycle and the motor is powerful enough for most uses. Keep in mind that you can’t go up steep inclines, carry two people or tow something on motor power alone. Speed is electronically limited to 25kmph as per govt. norms for unregistered electric vehicles. We found the ride a bit harsh on rough roads (no front or rear suspension) and the price is a bit on the higher side, especially when you consider that more established names like Hero are selling electric cycles (Lectro series) for Rs 18,000 onwards. For Rs25k, Lectro has a cycle with 250W motor, front disc brake and Shimano gears. However, if you need a small, folding electric cycle that’s still large enough for most adults, the Easy is a good fit.