Unlike cars in Bangladesh, the two wheeler segment has been lagging quite far behind when it comes to embracing an electric future of automobiles, even when compared to neighbouring South Asian countries like India.
In India, companies such as Honda and TVS, as well as new automakers like OLA, offer electric scooters.
Chinese electric scooters have been available in Bangladesh, through the grey market, for more than a decade now. However, any vehicle without an engine cannot be registered in the country, and this leaves owners of e-bikes in a predicament. Anyone can import these bikes, but no one can use them on the road legally.
Walton, however, is the first company to release government approved electric scooters in the country. The Walton Takyon 1.00 has been available since 2021, they worked behind the curtains for over two years now to ensure that the Takyon is the first electric scooter that can be registered under Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA).
Looking at the exterior, the Takyon 1.00 is possibly one of the most unique and futuristic looking scooters in the market right now. In fact, the whole bike looks like it belongs in the game 'Cyberpunk', especially the vibrant red and blue colour variants.
The headlights resemble 'Robocop' himself, especially with the daytime running lights. It also uses LED lamps for both the headlights and taillights.
Coming from my personal scooter, the TVS Ntorq 125, which I use as my daily commuter, the first thing I noticed on the Takyon 1.00 was the impressively spacious leg room. Despite its amazing ground clearance, the bike seat is quite low, it has a seat height of just 770mm. The leg room is spacious enough to accommodate riders of all sizes, and can even accommodate a couple of grocery bags which can be hung from the hook below the dashboard.
The dashboard features a huge LCD display, something which is not common in bikes of this price segment. The digital cluster shows basic features such as speed, battery charge, odometer and gears. Below the dashboard is a USB charging socket that can be used to charge phones, although Walton doesn't provide any phone holder from the factory.
One of the primary reasons people buy scooters is because of their sheer practicality. These two wheelers even offer hooks and the underseat storage spaces. In conventional fuel run scooters, majority of the underseat storage is taken up by the engine and the fuel tank.
Since neither is necessary for an e-bike, the Takyon 1.00 is able to provide probably the best underseat storage space of any scooter available in Bangladesh. Although the charger, which is marginally bigger than a typical laptop charger, takes up some of that space; it is still enough for one to store a helmet and even more grocery bags.
The under seat also comes with a power cut switch which can help reduce unnecessary battery drain and act as a safety feature.
Powering the Takyon 1.00 is a 1.2KW DC brushless motor. Paired to a 1656 Wh battery, the bike produces a maximum power of 1.5KWh and a very impressive maximum torque of 88 Nm.
According to Walton's officials, who have been using the Takyon for over a year at the Walton Micro-Tech Corporation's premises in Gazipur, the bike takes six to eight hours to be fully charged, from a conventional AC 220V power socket, and can be driven up to 60 to 70 km.
There's no sound when the bike is switched on. It features a 'car-like' remote key which is a segment first. At the first throttle, I was shocked at how much torque the bike had. Despite its meaty 100/80-12 rear tyre and 90/90-12 front tyre, the bike moves from rest instantly. This is the perfect edge to have over other vehicles in traffic.
The bike also has superb acceleration initially, but it starts to show its power cap as soon as it reaches speeds of over 40km/h. Given its 50 km/h top speed limit, it's quite easy to ride the bike at its maximum power output. According to Walton, switching to the second gear using the switch beside the throttle will help with the power delivery, but we didn't notice a large enough difference.
Weighing barely 76kgs, and having its eight cell lithium ion battery pack entirely on the floorboard helps to keep the bike very stable when cornering at its, hilariously fun, maximum speed of 45 km/h. That remains true even when there is a pillion, as long as they don't weigh twice the weight of the bike. Part of the credit goes to the 12-inch wheels again.
The Takyon 1.00 is the first in its class to feature dual shock suspension, and it ensures the bike travels extremely well over speed bumps and potholes (as long as its travelling below 15 km/h).
Given the current fuel prices, per kilometre cost for even the most efficient 150cc bike bottoms out at nearly Tk 3/km. The Takyon 1.00 on the other hand, will barely cost Tk 0.15/km.
Priced Tk. 1,27,750, the Takyon provides an extremely feature experience for its class, the cherry on top is its low maintenance.
The bike is fun to ride and has a decent tested range that should be enough for intra-city commutes.
Walton ensures that the Takyon 1.00 is the first electric scooter that can be legally taken on highways. However, it's better not to do that, unless you want to experience first world problems like range anxiety faced by EV owners of the West.
The Takyon might be costlier than other e-bikes, imported through the grey market, but this is the only electric scooter which has been carefully tested by Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET).
Currently being assembled in Bangladesh, with future plans for local manufacturing, Walton promises to ensure spare parts, including individual replacement battery cells, at all times.
Motor: 1.2 KW DC Brushless Motor
Top Speed: 45 km/h
Torque: 88 N.m.
Battery: 72V 23Ah Graphene Lead Acid Battery
Charging time: 6-8 hours
Colour: Red, Blue, Grey