How My First Electric Bike is Predicting the Future!
Little under four year back, I got really excited when I read about electric two-wheeler technology getting upgraded from lead acid to lithium battery technology. Like almost everyone else my perspective of electric bikes was that they were unreliable moped / cycle style two wheelers that are relevant for within campus or around your neighborhood kind of use only.
When I did a test ride for one of the first lithium battery models, I was literally blown away. The pick-up and top speed was good enough for my office commute, there was hardly any sound or vibration and the best part was zero tailpipe emission. The ride was so smooth that I felt that I was gliding not riding. I impulsively brought my first electric scooter in March 2018. The product technology and industry has seen some exciting developments since then. Without any change in the size of the battery, the capacity of the battery has gone up by 50%. The battery then was of 20AH and the OEM is now offering 30AH batteries. So the bike (double battery model) which would give me a range of 70-75kms, with the latest batteries would give me 100-110kms range.
The price of the vehicle has come down slightly. One key factor is the change in the GST rate from 12% to 5%. However, the exciting part is that the increase in battery capacity did not increase the price of the bike. And this was also in spite a very small decrease in the subsidy amount and Indian Rupee depreciating around 10% compared to USD. “If you want to know the future, look at the past.” — Albert Einstein
On the other hand, the prices of petrol bikes have seen significant increase in capital cost. This was due to increase in input costs as well as more stringent emission norms. Further, their operating cost - petrol have gone up substantially over the last couple of years with no respite in sight. The cost of electricity on the other has been stable and what is even better is that the pie of non fossil fuel electricity generation is going up steadily.
The above observations are only based on the electric bike model I purchased. There are multiple new and old OEMs who have introduced models that are taking the industry forward quite rapidly. From better and higher capacity batteries to higher capacity motors. While looking back at the 3-4 years, I have been tracking this industry, the future is quite clear and exciting form my perspective. There is a lot of talk of the industry reaching 20%, 30% or 50% in the next few years. From my perspective, further advancement in the technology and economies of scale in the next 2-4 years will set up the industry on a strong footing to get to 100% transition to electric 2Ws in the next 10 years or less. The Future is Clear, We Only Need to Build It!
Published by Vikas Jain Founder & CEO at Welectric