Desi's new companies travel to China for Make-in-India electric bicycles

NEW DELHI: The last thing I would associate with electric mobility and green two-wheelers would be a company called Jitendra EV, a small establishment based in Maharashtra. And if that is not surprising enough, there are similar ones with not-so-impressive names. As an example, there is Kabira Mobility, which is an electric bicycle seller that assembles its attractions in Dharwad, as well as M2Go, a company based in the town of Punjabi Bagh in Delhi.

These companies are part of a large group of emerging companies, and their number is growing day by day, which have emerged throughout the country in recent years to take advantage of the growing momentum towards electric mobility in what technologies are. First days in India.

The game plan is simple: get batteries, controllers and body parts and join them (many of the companies proudly call it 'local manufacturing', although it is not much more than just a cosmetic assembly), before selling it under the 'Make' Label in India '.

The supply is mainly from China (and now even from India) and is similar to what happened in the early days of the mobile phone industry in India. People (some from unrelated fields) sometimes bought almost finished parts from China, assembled them here in small stores, and Everve Motors, based in Hyderabad, is owned by Reddy Customs, which are high-end car modifiers. Gurugrambased Evolet India is a company run by defense veterans, while Emote electric, based in Coimbatore, is run by young engineers.

Emote is showing its most sophisticated model prototype that has gears and can go from 0 to 60 km in less than 4 seconds.

Most of these companies have 50 employees or less and sales volumes of less than 5,000 bicycles annually.

M2Go is a startup conceptualized by some students from a private university in Delhi who joined for a project. One of the university's promoters liked the idea and decided to invest through initial funds.

He then passed them as local products under his own brands.

While the trick worked for some years, it was not sustainable in the long term without adequate R&D for these vendors, who often also lacked an adequate corporate structure and/or long-term plans. Today, Chinese telephone companies rule the chicken coop and have more than 75% share in the smartphone market, while many of the Indian companies have perished.

Ask, owner of Jitendra EV (who are traditionally car dealers), about why he decided to have the company under his own name. Pat replies: If it is my name that is being used, how can I compromise quality? A logic funny enough but certainly plausible for him to choose the name.

Kabira Mobility scooters and a high-speed sports bike will begin commercial sales starting in March of this year and, the project manager, says the project was completed in the last two years or so.

Many of the products, which cost between Rs 45,000 and Rs 1.1 lakh, offer a mobility range of 60 km to 100 km (under different driving conditions) with a charging time of about 4 hours. Some of them also offer the convenience of portable batteries, which weigh around 12 kg, that can even be taken home.

Experts believe that, unlike traditional gasoline car products that need high-tech engineering to design engines and transmission systems, the heart of electric bicycle technology is its battery and engine, which is mainly imported from China . The rest of the components are manufactured locally or imported as kits to assemble and sell in the Indian market.

And, while small new businesses are trying to find their feet in the electric bicycle segment, the largest ones like Bajaj Auto, TVS, Hero Moto-Corp and Honda 2wheelers have not yet shown any serious intent, since the last two They haven't released any EV Products yet.