Public transportation plays an imperative role in ensuring hassle-free daily mobility for the masses. This is conducted by having an adequate number of buses and cars.
However, public transportation in many Indian cities is often overcrowded, unreliable and inefficient. Traffic congestion is a major problem in urban areas, leading to increased travel times and reduced productivity. The high level of air pollution in many Indian cities is a growing concern too.
To improve transportation infrastructure and reduce congestion, the Indian government has been implementing various policies, such as the National Urban Transport Policy and the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan.
Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go in terms of improving the state of urban transportation in India. The rise of electric cycles, or e-bikes, is seen as a potential solution to many of these challenges, as they offer a more efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective mode of transportation for short trips.
The Increasing Popularity of E-Bikes in India: The Reasons
There are four-wheelers and bikes. Then there are electric cycles and electric bikes. These have become a revolutionary mode of transportation among the masses. The e-bike market in India is still in its nascent stages, but it is rapidly growing as more and more people are discovering the numerous benefits of e-bikes. Some of the most significant ones are:
- Having an e-bike means more savings
One of the main reasons for the growing popularity of e-bikes in India is their cost-effectiveness. E-bikes are significantly cheaper to operate than cars or motorcycles, and they require less maintenance. This makes them a more accessible mode of transportation for people with limited financial resources. In addition, e-bikes can help save money on fuel costs, which can be a significant burden for many Indian households.
- Convenient to use
Another major factor driving the growth of e-bikes in India is the convenience they offer. E-bikes are lightweight and easy to maneuver, making them ideal for navigating through crowded, often narrow streets and heavy traffic.
Not only that! But they are also much more efficient for short trips, which is a common feature of the urban Indian transportation landscape. Moreover, e-bikes can be charged easily at home or at a charging station, which eliminates the need for frequent trips to a gas station.
- Eco-friendly transportation option
With the rising concern for climate change and global warming, overlooking the environment-friendly benefits of e-bikes is difficult. E-bikes produce zero emissions and can help reduce air pollution in urban areas. This is particularly important in India, where many cities have extremely high levels of air pollution. E-bikes can also help reduce dependence on fossil fuels, which can help curb the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Related Read : The Health Benefits of Riding an E-bike
In fact, e-bikes produce 40 to 140 times fewer greenhouse gases in contrast to a 30 mpg gas car.
When it comes to leaving behind a carbon footprint, a study by the European Cyclists Federation reveals that even compared to electric cars, e-bikes are better for the environment. An electric bike releases 2.5 to 5 grams of carbon dioxide per mile as compared to an electric car (150 grams per mile).
Despite the growing popularity of e-bikes in India, there are still some challenges that need to be addressed. One of the main challenges is the lack of infrastructure for e-bikes, such as dedicated bike lanes and charging stations. This makes it difficult for e-bike riders to travel safely and easily. Many people are still unaware of the benefits of e-bikes and the government should focus on increasing awareness and education about e-bikes.
Overall, the widespread use of e-bikes in India is a promising development for the country’s transportation landscape. With the right support and infrastructure, e-bikes have the potential to revolutionize urban transportation in India.
Market Analysis for E-Bikes in India
The e-bike market in India is currently experiencing significant growth in sales, with projections indicating that this trend is likely to continue in the future. Mordor Intelligence states that the current value of the Indian e-bike market is estimated to be at USD 2.1 million, and it is projected to grow to USD 12.3 million with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.75% during the forecast period.
One of the main reasons behind this growth is the increasing awareness and concern about the environmental impact of fuel-powered vehicles. E-bikes are seen as a more sustainable and eco-friendly alternative, as they produce zero emissions and require less energy to operate. Not to forget, e-bikes are becoming more affordable as the cost of battery technology continues to decrease, making them a more accessible option for a wider range of consumers.
Another factor contributing to the growth of the e-bike market in India is the government’s push for electric mobility. The Indian government has set a target of having 30% of all vehicles on the road be electric by 2030, and is offering incentives to manufacturers and consumers to encourage the adoption of e-bikes. This includes subsidies for e-bike buyers, tax exemptions, and the development of charging infrastructure.
The e-bike market in India also presents a significant opportunity for manufacturers and entrepreneurs, as the demand for e-bikes is expected to increase in both urban and rural areas. In urban areas, e-bikes are seen as a convenient and cost-effective mode of transportation for commuters, while in rural areas, they are used for the transportation of goods and agricultural activities.
Are e-bike sales in India increasing?
Yes! The sale of electric bikes is rapidly rising in India and the manufacturers are achieving new sales records every month. And did you know? 76,163 units of electric scooters were sold in India in November 2022. To be more precise, Ola Electric grabbed the top spot by selling over 16 thousand units of their electric scooter followed by Ampere (12,232), Okinawa Autotech (9,038) and Hero Electric (9,008).
Related Read: Is Buying an Electric Bicycle Worth it?
Top E-Bike Manufacturers in India
The Indian e-bike market is currently dominated by several major manufacturers. Some of the most notable companies in the industry include:
- Hero Electric: Hero Electric is the first manufacturer of e-bikes in India and currently has more than 3 lakh satisfied customers. Founded in 1956, the company has the largest pan-India distribution with an extensive variety of e-scooters, e-cycles, and e-mopeds. Its A2B is an award-winning variety of electric two-wheelers that are perfect for traveling short distances. The company is known for its highly reliable products that are rigorously tested, inspected and experience 46 stringent quality checks before they reach the customers. Their products have a strong presence in both urban and rural markets.
- Ampere: Based in Tamil Nadu and founded in 2008, Ampere is also another leading company in the Indian e-bike market and is known for its innovative and high-performance e-bikes. The company prides itself for driving 1.3B+ kilometers, saving 35M+ litres of petrol and having satisfied 175K+ customers. It’s newest launch called the ‘Primus’ can ride at a speed of 77 kmph with an acceleration of 0-40 kmph within 5 seconds.
- Okinawa Autotech: Another renowned Indian e-bike manufacturer is Okinawa Autotech. Their e-bikes are categorized into lithium-ion high-speed and lithium-ion low speed covering an expansive range. Established in 2015, the EV brand focuses on bringing innovative, sustainable solutions to consumers while ensuring complete satisfaction. RIDGE+, PRAISE PRO, IPRAISE+, OKHI-90, R30, and LITE, among others, are Okinawa’s indigenous electric vehicles that offer a viable alternative to gasoline and diesel vehicles. Furthermore, millions of Indians can access their EVs, thanks to Okinawa’s retail footprint across the country, which includes over 350+ dealers.
- Hero Cycles: Known as the largest bicycle manufacturer in India, the company creates reliable, innovative e-cycles, MTBs, bicycles for men, women and kids, designed with everyone’s needs in mind. Founded in 1956 in Ludhiana, the company records manufacturing capacity of over 7.5 million cycles annually and has a market share of more than 43%. As one of the world’s most popular cycle brands, their products are also available in Europe. By acquiring Avocet Sports, HNF, and Firefox Bikes, Hero Cycles has entered the electric bike market as well as the premium cycle market.
- Avon Cycles: The company started as a bicycle saddles and brakes manufacturer in 1948 and began producing bicycles in 1951. Avon Cycles quickly made an impression through their premium technology, consistent quality and effective after-sales service. In the year 2007, Avon entered the electric mobility market by launching electric scooters and rickshaws under the brand name E World of Avon. Their latest launches include E-Star DX, E-ZAP DX, and E-Scoot 504. These reach a top speed of 24 kmph and have a charging time of 4-5 Hours (Lithium-ion batteries) and 7-8 Hours (Lead batteries).
These manufacturers have a strong distribution network and good after-sales services, which has helped them to maintain a strong market position and increase their market share. Furthermore, most of these manufacturers are also investing in R&D to come up with new and innovative products.
How Urban Transportation is Getting Impacted
Traffic congestion is a major issue in many Indian cities, causing delays and reducing the overall efficiency of transportation. E-bikes can play a significant role in addressing this problem by providing a more efficient and sustainable mode of transportation for urban commuters.
Since e-bikes are smaller and more agile than cars, they are well-suited for navigating crowded city streets and avoiding traffic congestion. This can help to reduce the number of cars on the road, thereby leading to a decrease in traffic congestion.
E-bikes also have the potential to help alleviate traffic congestion by providing an alternative mode of transportation for short trips. Around 30% of trips in Indian cities are less than 5 km, and e-bikes can be an efficient and cost-effective way to make these trips.
As electric cycles, or e-bikes, are becoming an increasingly popular mode of transportation in India, there are a number of infrastructure challenges that need to be addressed in order to fully realize their potential.
One of the main challenges is the lack of charging stations and battery-swapping systems. Without access to charging stations, e-bike riders may be limited in the distance they can travel, which could hinder the adoption of e-bikes as a reliable mode of transportation. Furthermore, battery-swapping systems are not yet widely available in India, which makes it difficult for e-bike riders to quickly and easily replace their batteries when needed.
Another major infrastructure challenge for e-bikes in Indian cities is the lack of dedicated bike lanes. In many Indian cities, the infrastructure for bicycles is inadequate, with few dedicated bike lanes and little protection for riders from cars and motorcycles. This makes it difficult and dangerous for e-bike riders to navigate through the city, which can deter people from using e-bikes as a transportation option.
The lack of proper parking facilities for e-bikes in Indian cities also poses a challenge. Without proper parking, e-bike riders may have to park their e-bikes on the street or on sidewalks, which can be inconvenient and can also pose a security risk for the e-bike.
Furthermore, the lack of awareness and education about the benefits and proper use of e-bikes is a major challenge in India. Many people are not aware of the benefits of e-bikes, and some may not be familiar with the laws and regulations related to e-bikes. This could lead to confusion and misunderstandings about the use of e-bikes on the road, which could discourage people from using them.
Government Initiatives Taken to Promote Electric Vehicles in India
There is no denying that the global electric vehicle sector has rapidly expanded over the last decade. While China is the leader in the EV industry, India, on the contrary, still has to go miles in order to dominate the EV market. From adding more innovation to the models to creating infrastructure for charging, India still has a lot of work left to be done.
The best part is that the government is actively providing support to help India become the leader in the EV industry. Numerous initiatives and schemes have been introduced to increase the demand for EVs and prompt manufacturers to invest in the EV infrastructure.
Some of the policies for electric vehicles in India launched by the government includes:
The Department of Heavy Industry launched the PLI (Production Linked Incentive) Scheme in June 2021. The main motive is to allure international and domestic investors to invest in India’s robust ACC (Advanced Chemistry Cell) manufacturing facilities. The overall budget of this scheme is set at INR 18,100 crore to be paid after the production facility is functional in over 5 years.
With the aim to reduce the usage of diesel and petrol vehicles, the government introduced the FAME-II India scheme in April 2019. The scheme focuses on four core areas like:
- Demand for technology
- Development of technology
- Infrastructure for charging
- Pilot projects
A budget of INR 10,000 crore was allocated to increase the number of electric vehicles in India – 7,000 e-buses, 55,000 e-passenger vehicles, 500,000 e-three-wheelers, and one million two-wheelers.
Battery Swapping Policy
The Finance Minister will introduce the Battery Swapping Policy to regulate the standards of batteries used in EVs across. This policy will help speed up deliveries and inter-city transportation as replacing a drained battery with a fully-charged one is more feasible than charging since it takes longer time.
Duty Reduction on Electric Vehicles
The main aim is to reduce custom duties on the batteries used in EV. This, in turn, will also help bring down the EV battery production costs. With this initiative, the custom duty on Nickel ore and concentrates will be down from 5% to 0%, Ferro Nickel from 15% to 2.5% and Nickel Oxide from 10% to 0%.
The future of urban transportation in India is poised for significant change with the increasing adoption of e-bikes. These bikes offer numerous benefits such as reducing traffic congestion, decreasing air pollution, and improving accessibility to transportation. However, to fully realize the potential of e-bikes, it is crucial that the government provide support in the form of infrastructure, policies, and incentives.
As consumers, we have a role to play in shaping the future of transportation. By embracing e-bikes as a viable option for our daily commute, we can drive demand and support the growth of this innovative and sustainable mode of transportation. Let’s join hands to create a greener, more accessible, and efficient future for urban transportation in India.
A digital content writer by profession and a tech enthusiast by heart, the world of Electric Vehicles has always left me fascinated. And I am sure there are many like me who wish to know more and more about electric cars and bicycles. This has led me to share all the hottest news in this industry with my readers! Exploring new places, trying out different cuisines or binging on Netflix always brings a smile, of course when I am not writing!