The Blueshark R1 is not just another electric scooter you can find online or rent through an app.
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It’s a serious vehicle that requires proper licensing, plates, road tax, and insurance. The R1 provides a budget-friendly gateway to Malaysia’s EV scene, even outpacing certain four-wheeled choices in technological advancements.
The Blueshark R1 stands out due to its groundbreaking swappable battery system, equipped with two 2,880 wH LFP battery packs empowering a 5,000-watt electric motor, generating 201 Nm of rear-wheel torque.
Food delivery riders and other gig economy workers can easily swap battery packs for fully charged ones at specific stations.
Riding conditions determine the range, spanning 70-110 km on full charge. The R1 offers Eco, Normal, Sport, and Turbo modes for varied performance, with cruise control for longer rides.
Blueshark collaborates with PETRONAS to expand battery swap stations, ideal for extended commutes. Swapping costs a maximum of RM4, rivaling conventional fuel scooters.
The vehicle features advanced tech, like a 10.4-inch HD IPS dash with rear-view camera for parking assistance.
The dash features engine sound simulation speakers and Bluetooth connectivity for smartphone music playback and GPS navigation directions.
Built-in Wi-Fi and SIM card connectivity allow for remote locking and unlocking, viewing telematics, GPS navigation, and more.
In terms of performance, the R1 is not lightning-fast off the line, but it’s far from sluggish. The lack of ABS is offset by a combi-brake system (CBS) that evenly allocates braking force to the front and rear disc brakes.
Ground clearance might be an issue during fast cornering, although the suspension has been improved in newer models.
The fully-loaded Blueshark R1 carries a price tag of RM9,390, making it competitively priced against premium Japanese combustion scooters.
However, it offers unique high-tech features and a guilt-free, zero-emissions experience. Moreover, its allure is enhanced by affordable long-term operating expenses, encompassing minimal insurance, steady service rates, and waived EV road tax until 2024.
Although the Blueshark R1 may not fully convert existing 150cc scooter riders, its innovation, affordability, and EV appeal make it enticing for newcomers.
The R1’s execution of zero-emissions technology is commendable, promising a bright entry into the EV realm.