Keep the bike away, because the e-bike is here

Do you remember the first time you got on a bike? The first unsteady pedals, then the feeling of freedom when you learned to balance it and ride it into the sunset. Okay, you probably just rode it to the park, because in all likelihood you learned to cycle as a child. While most of us rode our bikes to school or the neighborhood park with friends growing up, the eco-friendly two-wheeler was soon abandoned in the shed as we moved on to gas-guzzling four-wheelers. If you want to combine the fun of cycling with the suitability of an automobile (think more speed, less sweat), try an electric bike, a bike with an electric motor and battery.

Unlike an e-scooter or e-bike, an e-bike has more of an assist function than a full-fledged e-motor. So in the case of an e-bike, your pedal movement is assisted while you ride, relieving some of the pressure on your legs. The motor spins up when your speed drops below a certain level, giving you that electric boost to boost your mood and speed, allowing you to keep feeling the wind in your hair no matter how tired you get. Likewise, once the speed exceeds a certain level, the motor cuts out, allowing you to drive at a constant speed. While e-bikes are all the rage around the world, especially in Europe, they are still in their infancy in India. According to a report by research firm Mordor Intelligence, the electric bicycle market in India was valued at $1.02 million in 2020 and is expected to double to $2.08 million by 2026, projecting a CAGR of 12 .69% over the forecast period (2021-2026). ).

Over the past two years, several companies have launched e-bikes in India. These include Hero Lectro, GoZero Mobility, Zadd Bikes, Being Human, Giant Bicycles, EMotorad, and Nexzu Mobility, among others. Given the lack of cycle lanes in the country, it is unlikely that many of us will adopt e-bikes for our daily commute. But it’s still fun to take one for a spin. So what should you pay attention to when buying an e-bike? Rather than getting bogged down in price, speed, mileage, assembly, etc., Aditya Munjal, CEO of Hero Lectro, suggests that you first think about what you plan to do with the e-bike. “When selecting an e-bike, one should identify their purpose for going e-bike and select the bike that best suits them in terms of range and ergonomics,” he says. Hero Lectro offers 14 models, with the Hero Lectro F6i priced at Rs 54,999 being the fanciest. The e-bike has a crossover MTB frame, which makes it ideal for road and off-road use. It comes with a removable battery that gives it a range of over 60 km on a single charge.

It also has Bluetooth connectivity, an LED display and USB charging. Hero Lectro currently holds 70% of the e-bike market in the country. If you live close to your office and decide to commute to work, chances are you need something that’s lightweight, durable, and easy to store once you get there. In that case, you might like to explore the idea of ​​a foldable cycle. Or maybe you’d like to explore the idea of ​​a foldable cycle just because it’s super cool. EMotorad launched Doodle. Priced at Rs 79,800, it is India’s first foldable electric bike. With a maximum speed of 25 km/h, it has a range of 40 km on a single charge. “It’s a well thought out fat tire e-bike. It is also known as the SUV of e-bikes due to its terrain-friendly design and structure,” says Aditya Oza, CMO and Co-Founder, EMotorad.

The world’s lightest folding electric bike is made by British company Hummingbird and shipped to India. Priced at £4,495 (around Rs 4.5 lakh), the Hummingbird Electric Gen 2.0 weighs just 10.3kg. It gives you a range of 50 km on a single charge, with a top speed of 25 km/h. It comes in four colors including Canary Yellow and by paying £500 (just over Rs 50,000) extra you can get a custom paint job. Another thing to watch out for is the battery. Most e-bikes are equipped with lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of 8 Ah to 14 Ah, with a voltage of 24 V to 36 V. Depending on the model you select, the life of your battery can vary considerably . Typically, the most common battery in e-bikes is a 36V, 10Ah battery. On a single charge, this can take you up to 50km using the highest level of assistance or up to nearly 100km using the lowest. The higher your battery capacity, generally, the longer you can ride. Of course, these are just guidelines. Things like terrain, heavy weight transport, etc. may drain the battery faster. Most e-bikes come with a two-year warranty. But batteries usually need to be replaced every three years.

Nexzu Mobility’s Bazinga offers a range of 100 km on a single charge. It has a 14.5 Ah lithium-ion battery and has a range of 750 charges. Priced at Rs 49,000, the cycle gives a top speed of 25 km/h. “Consumers can choose based on range, user accessibility, technology used, build of the bike and distance traveled,” says Atulya Mittal, founder of Nexzu Mobility, adding that the Bazinga is ideal for commuters as well as those who ride for fitness. Of course, if you want an e-bike to brag about, check out the limited edition Black Trail BT-01. Priced at $80,000 (about 60 lakh), this German e-bike is considered the most expensive in the world. What’s special is that it looks like something from the 1930s because that was the inspiration. Constructed of lightweight carbon fiber, aerospace aluminum, titanium and magnesium, the e-bike has a top speed of 100 km/h and weighs just 16 kg. Its 17Ah lithium-ion battery gives you a range of 200 km on a single charge of 2.5 hours. If you like to ride a bike but want something with a little more speed and panache, the electric bike is for you.

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