It was the morning of Sunday 17 May'2009. We had been planning to test drive the BSA Motors electric scooters on the Maruthamalai ghats. So we gathered at the Sankrithi BSA showroom at 8.00 am - Shobha & I, Ramesh & Prakash. Two e-scooters were brought out of the showroom - a blue Roamer & a Black Diva. Ramesh & Prakash wore smart black BSA T-shirts and donned white & red BSA peak caps. The scooter rally started at 8.20 am and took off towards Maruthamalai - a distance of around 10 kms. We followed in our blue Indigo. We went past GCT & then turned right at TNAU point towards Maruthamalai. Enroute we crossed Vadavalli as well as the vast sprawling campus of Bharatiar University and finally reached the base of Maruthamalai hills - one of the well known abodes of Lord Muruga. Then the climb began - the scooters went first into the ghats and we followed. The gradient climbing ability of the e-scooters was excellent. The 500 watt Roamer maintained the specified speed of 40 Kmph while the 250 watt Diva followed at moderate speed of 25 Kmph. Halfway up the ghat climb we stopped briefly for photographs. Then the journey resumed. Being e-Scooters these vehicles climbed silently as they are powered by electric motors. Since there are no engines as in petrol vehicles, these scooters are eco friendly and do not spew exhaust fumes.
We reached the top in virtually no time. We then took some time off to visit the sanctum of Lord Muruga and offer our prayers. Then we began the downward descend. The e-Scooters desecnded at much faster speeds since they had the gravitational support.
On our return we were ravenously hungry and so were the boys. We stopped over at Vadavalli Ananda's for a comprehensive breakfast of Rava Roast, vada sambar & strongly flavored decoction coffee.
We were back at the showroom at 10.20 am. The entire trip/rally had taken all of two hours of which 45 minutes were spent at Anandas. The Rally was remarkably successful - proved beyond doubt the hill climbing capability of BSA e-Scooters.
Trivia: Low speed BSA e-Scooters do not require registration or license and are powered by maintenance free batteries. They are extremely economical to run and batteries are rechargeable. The electricity consumption for charging the battery is one unit which translates to Rs.2 @ domestic rate. The range(or mileage) of a fully charged battery is around 60-70 Kms. This means cost of running an e-Scooter is 3 paise/Km as compared to Rs.1.25/Km for petrol vehicles. This vehicle is ideal for city running and totally pollution free.