Vida V1 Plus vs Ather 450S: Battle of the Affordable Electric Scooters
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Vida V1 Plus vs Ather 450S: Battle of the Affordable Electric Scooters

Reviews by Team Drivio | Mar 28, 2024

On paper, the V1 Plus sounds more enticing with its higher range 

  • Those wanting a sporty electric scooter might prefer the Ather 450S 
  • But those looking for a more family scooter might like the Vida V1 Plus more
  • In terms of features, both scooters get a big TFT console 

 Affordable electric scooters are proving to be immensely popular in India, as they offer a compelling combination of reliability and affordability, while also delivering significant savings on fuel expenses. Presently, two standout contenders in this segment are the Vida V1 Plus and the Ather 450S. Determining which of these deserves your hard-earned money requires a closer examination.

Vida V1 Plus vs Ather 450S: Designs

The Vida V1 showcases an appealing design language blending classic elements with futuristic aesthetics. It sports a sleek grille and an LED headlight system reminiscent of a robot's face.

Equipped with a fully digital TFT touchscreen instrument console, the Vida V1 offers customisable riding modes, including Eco, Riding, and Sport modes. Noteworthy features include a two-way throttle, cruise control, turn-by-turn navigation, parking assist, emergency alarm, and keyless entry via a key fob. Additionally, the scooter provides trip analytics, scooter diagnostics, regenerative braking, follow-me-home lighting, anti-theft alarm, and document storage functionality.

The Ather 450S closely mirrors the 450X, with the only noticeable difference being the black plastic component around the headlight, now aligned with the scooter's colour. Despite the more budget-conscious approach, Ather maintains robust construction quality. The "450S" emblem is subtle, emphasizing design continuity with the 450X, as both share significant traits beneath the surface.

Another standout feature of the 450S is its updated, new LCD console. Unlike some other manufacturers' attempts, this one doesn’t feel cheap at all and exudes a premium feel despite being cost-effective. Moreover, its readability is impressive. Even in early morning, overhead sunshine, the console remains perfectly legible, with no issues reading even finer print located on the top of the console.

Vida V1 Plus vs Ather 450S: Motors

Specifications  Vida V1Ather 450S
Motor6kW (Peak)3kW (peak)
Top Speed80kmph90kmph
Battery3.94kWh3kWh
Range165km/charge 90km

The air-cooled swingarm-mounted motor delivers a maximum output of 6kW, offering performance comparable to the Ather 450X. Particularly in Sport mode, acceleration between 20-50kph feels impressively robust, although it tends to taper off beyond that range. The scooter boasts an indicated top speed slightly exceeding 80kph and exhibited no signs of thermal distress during our testing period.

The key to the 450S' affordability is its smaller 2.9kWh battery pack compared to the 450X's 3.7kWh pack. Ather claims an initial distance coverage (IDC) range of 115km, with real-world estimates of 90km in SmartEco mode and 70km in Sport mode. While testing is pending, Ather's track record suggests accurate range estimations. During preliminary testing, the scooter covered approximately 75km on a full charge, primarily in Sport and Ride modes. 

The interface is intuitive as well, with toggling around the menu through the console feeling seamless. Users will quickly become familiar with the controls, aided by the tactile feedback of the toggle switch cube.

Vida V1 Plus vs Ather 450S: Suspension, Tyres & Brakes

SpecificationsVida V1Ather 450S
Front SuspensionTelescopic ForkTelescopic fork
Rear SuspensionMonoshockMonoshock
Front Tyre304.8mm90/90-12
Rear Tyre304.8mm100/80-12
Front brakeDiscDisc brake
Rear brakeDrumDisc brake

While our experience with the V1 was limited to the smooth test tracks at Hero's expansive Centre for Innovation and Technology in Jaipur, the suspension system appears to offer a commendable level of compliance. Once on the road, this scooter is expected to provide a comfortable ride with its well-tuned suspension setup.

What we can confirm is its excellent handling capabilities. During our time on Hero's handling track, the scooter demonstrated predictable and stable performance, without exhibiting excessive agility or overly quick manoeuvring, which can be characteristic of some scooters. Equipped with 12-inch wheels and MRF tyres, the V1 delivers adequate traction, particularly in dry conditions. 

The main stand, which begins to scrape at extreme lean angles, was the only limiting factor on the track. However, this is hardly a concern in real-world scenarios, ensuring a well-balanced scooter that offers an enjoyable riding experience.

Vida V1 Plus vs Ather 450S: Dimensions

DimensionsVida V1Ather 450S
Wheelbase1301mm1295mm
Seat height780mm780mm
Ground clearance155mm153mm
Kerb weight125kg111.6kg

In person, the Vida V1 presents itself as a substantial scooter, which translates to a comfortable seating position. The floorboard sits at a natural height, the seat provides comfort, and the handlebar positioning is optimal. Weighing 125kg, the Vida V1 Plus falls within the heavier end of the scooter market, comparable to the Ola scooter. However, it doesn't feel cumbersome, and it features a reverse function, a common feature among EV scooters. Moreover, the braking performance is sufficient for its level of performance.

While not as potent as the 450X, the 450S exhibits commendable agility, particularly in Sport mode. With a maximum speed of 90kph, it matches the 450X's performance. Throttle mapping adjustments in Eco and Ride modes aim to deliver a smoother response, facilitating newcomers to electric vehicles. However, taller riders may experience slight constraints during U-turns, and the ride quality maintains a firm feel.

Our rider, standing at 6 feet tall, did feel somewhat cramped on the Ather 450S, and executing tight U-turns resulted in tall riders brushing their knees against the front apron-mounted panel. As for ride quality, lighter riders may find the Ather 450S’ ride a bit bouncy, especially on broken roads. However, with a pillion, the ride quality improves significantly.

Vida V1 Plus vs Ather 450S: Price

ModelVida V1 PlusAther 450S
Price (Ex-showroom)Rs 1,15,000Rs 1,29,999

The Hero Vida V1 is offered in two variants: the Vida V1 Plus, priced at Rs 1,15,000, and the V1 Pro, priced at Rs 1,45,900 (ex-showroom, including FAME 2 subsidy). However, this still positions the electric scooter as more expensive than desired, especially given Hero's reputation for competitive pricing. When considering that the Ather 450S is priced significantly below Rs 1 lakh, ex-showroom, the V1 Plus seems pricey and the V1 Pro even pricier.

Ather has competitively priced the 450S at Rs 1.30 lakh, ex-showroom Bangalore. While that is a bit more than the Vida V1 Plus, one cannot help but feel that the extra money you are spending is totally worth it. Despite the less range, what you are getting is a scooter that is a lot more sporty to ride and that will make your dull everyday commutes a lot more fun. So if you are looking for something that is engaging to ride as well, we think the Ather 450S makes more sense. 

Verdict

The Vida V1 undoubtedly offers a plethora of features, but its pricing remains a point of contention. Priced at Rs 1.15 lakh ex-showroom for the Vida V1 Plus after the FAME 2 subsidy, the scooter stands at the pinnacle of the EV scooter market. Hero appears to have drawn inspiration from the success of the Ather 450X and the Bajaj Chetak, which perform well despite commanding similar price points.

However, the issue arises from Hero's historical positioning in the market as provider of cost-effective, value-for-money solutions, typically priced lower than the competition. The Vida V1 not only stands as the most expensive Hero offering to date but also commands a price nearly double that of some of its petrol-powered counterparts, which may pose a challenge for the company.

In summary, the Ather 450S proves to be a worthwhile investment. Ather has successfully crafted a more economical model without compromising its essence. Cost reduction measures are seamlessly executed, maintaining the scooter's performance-focused character. The Ather 450S stands as a testament to Ather's commitment to delivering an electric scooter that combines adept handling with a broad smile-inducing performance, reminiscent of the 450X.