Before we dive into the different drive modes available on EVs and how they interact with your daily commute, let’s recap the basics first!
What are drive modes?
Well, quite simply, it is a set of options that a rider can choose from to change the state of engine/engine tuning. This allows the rider to extract as much power as they want at that exact moment. Here is an example, the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V is an entry-level sports motorcycle with three basic riding modes – Urban, Sport and Rain. While sport mode gives you access to the full 20.8 hp of the internal combustion engine (IC), rain and urban reduce it to 17.3 hp, allowing for a more relaxed approach. However, while talking about internal combustion engines, this process is a bit trickier for manufacturers to perform and requires an ECU to control the power and ignition timing to alter the performance the engine can deliver. This complicated mechanism is completely bypassed in electric vehicles, no guessing points, as there is no motor. An electric vehicle is driven by a motor powered by batteries and the entire system is monitored using sensors and programmable silicon chips, much like in your cell phones or laptops. So with a few lines of code, an engineer with a laptop can create presets that change your driving experience based on your mood. As easy as making toast then? Well, yes and no. Easier and cheaper than on an ICE but very dependent on data. Discover the advantages of living with an EV.
What happens when you switch between driving modes?
These modes change the sensitivity of the throttle and the quantum of power the motor will receive. Therefore, rear wheel power can be increased or decreased depending on your environment and needs. Here are the different types of electric drives.
EV Drive Modes Starter Pack
Most EV manufacturers will keep it simple. You will have a mode to maximize autonomy, one to manage speeds in town and one to have fun! Go for range and drop power. Switch to pleasure and the range decreases. Stay in between and you experience the best of both worlds unbiased. This is a template. Now, depending on make and model, you can expect a few extras over the norm for more fun or a better between Eco and Urban. Find out how an electric motor works.
As the name suggests, it’s all about being frugal with your energy usage. It reduces speed and greatly increases range. Which is good for those looking to put in more miles per day and aren’t really in a rush to do so. The throttle isn’t exactly lazy and acceleration is quick (due to the instantaneous torque response nature of an electric motor) but flattens out just as quickly. Once in Eco mode, the software controls the power for you even if you twist the throttle to a stop. Simply drive at 30-40 km/h on average, all day!
This is the most neutral state of being for an EV motor. Most of us end up riding this one because it gives decent cruising speed to do your city overtaking and daily racing with a dash of power. This reduces the range a bit, but still expect an average range of over 50km per day (at least for most electric scooters). Speeds can vary on the motor and an average of 50-70 km/h can be extracted from scooters like the OLA S1 or the Ather 450X. The throttle is much more responsive and feels like a regular scooter but pepperier.
This mode allows these holy saviors of Earth to play at sinful speeds. They have different names, but the end result is the same, a mind-blowing thrill. Yes, the intensity varies depending on the power of the motor, but if you’ve heard that electric vehicles can be frighteningly fast, chances are they are used in this mode. Unlike internal combustion engines which inefficiently burn air and fuel multiple times inside a chamber to repeat over and over again, all the power from the batteries is transmitted directly to the engine driving your rear wheel in a electric vehicle. The result is a surge that most people aren’t used to. Electric vehicles don’t develop their power, they get all the torque on demand like an on-off switch. This is called flat torque, and it is this phenomenon that makes the EV experience extremely exciting!
Power delivery on electric vehicles is a simple act of software manipulation. Create firewalls in the power map and you control how far or how fast it can go. Some scooters like the Bounce Infinity E1 even offer a reverse mode that lets you use the throttle to spin the rear wheel in the opposite direction, helping you get out of parking lots and tight spaces. These scooters also receive periodic software updates like your smartphones for a better and smoother interface. For example, in a recent OTA (over-the-air) updates the Ather 450X got a new mode called the ‘smart-eco’. This calibrated a smoother transition between Eco and Urban driving modes, all on the internet! What’s amazing is that the more you drive, the more data these brands have about your driving habits, which they can use to create better and smoother driving patterns for you in the future!