The Emergence of Electric Bicycle
The first-ever noted electric bicycle design dates back to 1897. The initial motivation to invent the electric bicycle is rooted in demand for an easier and greener commuting solution. Ever since, there has been considerable research and development to improve the efficiency and ergonomics of electric bicycles, more popularly called e-bikes.
Over the years, the number of e-bike users has significantly grown in many countries. As a safer, cleaner, and easier to use commuting solution, e-bikes have become desirable for all age groups.
E-bikes Entering the Local Market
While the initial e-bikes had already entered the international market before the 2000s, it was post-2010 that e-bikes made their breakthrough in the Indian market. With localized manufacturing and assembly setups, Indian brands have launched several e-bikes that cater to a broad age group with varied interests.
The Price Range of E-bikes
The electric cycle price range is quite diverse. The lower-end, basic models of e-bikes can cost as low as Rs 20,000, and the premium range can go well over Rs 1,00,000. In addition, there are Indian brands with local assembly and manufacturing units aiming to reduce the cost of e-bikes further. However, several factors affect the price of e-bikes.
- Availability of components: The availability or unavailability of parts in the local market drastically affects the price of e-bikes. Availability of locally manufactured components can bring down the overall manufacturing cost of e-bikes.
- Government Subsidies: Subsidies granted to local brands significantly boost local manufacturing, bringing down the overall cost of e-bikes.
- Research and Development: The e-bikes segment is still a relatively new field in India. Indian brands are still improving e-bike components like batteries to reduce the total manufacturing and maintenance cost.
Maintenance Costs of E-bikes
An e-bike includes integral components that affect the performance and overall maintenance cost.
- Led Display: Most e-bikes come with a display that allows riders to toggle between speed modes and check the battery condition. In addition, for the overall safety of the display, they come with IP65 rating protection against all weather conditions. Therefore, the chances of damage to the display are minimal, significantly reducing the cost of yearly maintenance.
- Motor: E-bikes come with motors that cut off at a particular speed to prevent damages. Therefore, e-bike motors require less frequent servicing than motors of other vehicles.
- Battery: The battery of an e-bike is integral and requires frequent monitoring. However, it is easy to monitor it with the display. Therefore, the only regular cost involving the battery of the e-bike is charging, which is significantly less than fossil fuel. With specific e-bikes, the cost per km can be as low as 4 paise.
- Tires: Tires are an inevitable cost for an e-bike. Tire airchecks, even at regular intervals, are fairly low costing.
- Chains and sprockets: Chains and sprockets affect the performance of your e-bikes. Keeping them clean and free of mud or dirt is sufficient to maintain them.
Are E-bikes an Investment?
The primary purpose of e-bikes is to lower environmental pollution and reduce the daily commute cost. Although the initial cost of purchasing an e-bike may seem significant, the overall cost of maintenance and operation charges justifies the price. As a result, the number of e-bike users has drastically grown over the years.
In addition to the overall charges of e-bikes, there is an added convenience to e-bikes. The lower-end battery cycle is on par with basic two-wheelers in terms of price. However, the maintenance cost and time are higher for two-wheelers like scooters. E-bikes target the two main issues – environmental consciousness and personal health. Therefore, they have easily made their place in the vehicles sector, making them a worthy investment for the present and the future.