Releasing prototypes create waves in the electric bike industry

From major Japanese player such as Honda to the startup Revolt Motors, every automobile player has recognized the need of an hour and the future to launch the electric bikes.

Electric bikes will become omnipresent in near future with rise in concerns related to environment and growth in awareness among consumers regarding carbon footprint. Major players have begun implementing various strategies to enter the industry and gain an international presence. From major Japanese player such as Honda to the startup Revolt Motors, every automobile player has recognized the need of an hour and the future. They have begun planning and been taking different steps to make those plans a reality.

Uber, the ride-hailing giant has decided to launch its electric bikes on rent in Paris, France. In addition, GoZero Mobility has plans to enter the Indian market. The entry into new markets is one of the strategies adopted by market players. Another strategy is the launch of prototypes of electric bikes. This strategy has enabled players to state their intentions to enter the market and raise the competition.

The market for electric bikes has gained traction. According to the research firm Allied Market Research, the global electric bike market is expected to generate $23.83 billion by 2025. Following are some of the activities taking place in the industry:

Entry into emerging markets to present new opportunities:

Entering the new markets is one of the vital strategies adopted by market players to gain major market share and competitive edge in this fiercely crowded marketplace. The ride-hailing service giant Uber outlined that it would begin deployment of electric bikes and scooters on rent in Paris. Initially, the group plans to extend 500 jump bikes along with 500 scooters in the French capital, before extending to further cities in the country. These will be “dockless” rentals that can be picked up from one place and can be left at the other.

Currently, nearly 15,000 scooters are in operation since the beginning in the last year. By the end of 2019, the number is estimated to reach nearly 40,000. There are currently nine operators in the city. Uber will need to pay the yearly licensing fee of nearly 50 to 65 euros per scooter. The company has already signed on the code of good conduct, which was unveiled by Paris officials. These scooters can reach the top speed of nearly 20 km/h, while bikes can reach up to 25 km/h. The company also plans to offer electric scooters across various European cities.

A major British player, GoZero Mobility, will enter the Indian market to meet the demand of electric bikes in the country. With this entry, the company plans to launch its flagship bikes, “One” and “Mile”. It has collaborated with Kolkata-based Kirti Solar for manufacturing and development of products. As a part of collaboration, Kirti Solar has invested nearly $2,50,000 in GoZero Mobility. Ankit Kumar, the CEO of GoZero Mobility, outlined that the company sees a significant opportunity with a significant focus of the Government of India for electric mobility in two wheelers and it is the right time for them to enter the market. The role of electric bikes is crucial as they help commuters in covering the distance faster and reduce pollution along with eliminating traffic congestion. The company sees a considerable opportunity in offering e-bikes to transform the way people commute in India.

The GoZero One is equipped with a 400Wh lithium battery pack that enables the bike to travel up to 60 km in a single charge. On the other hand, GoZero Mile is equipped with a 300Wh lithium battery pack that enables the bike to travel nearly 45 km in a single charge. As the company describes these products as “specialized performance e-bikes”, there will be multiple modes of operation including Throttle, Walk Mode, Cruise Mode, Pedal Assist, and Manual Pedal. The company is headquartered in Birmingham, U.K. Its operations in India will be conducted from Kolkata and the company will strive to offer its range of products to meet demands in India.

Revelation of prototypes by major players:

Companies have revealed their prototypes of electric bikes. Revolt Motors, a Gurugram-based startup company has unveiled its new prototype with plans to enter the electric bike market in India. The company has announced its plans to launch the bike into India, but not released the specifications of the bike. The company has been founded by Rahul Sharma, who also founded Micromax. The images have made its presence felt on the internet. The images show that Revolt’s electric bike has an angular headlamp design. Moreover, there is an upright and flat handlebar. The tank design is also angular and gives a sporty look.

The fuel tank will obviously be replaced by lithium-ion batteries. Moreover, the electric motor is expected to be placed in the center for low center of gravity. The test prototype contains a single seat and upside down forks at the front. The power output and power train details have not revealed yet. The prototype will be equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) and contains embedded 4G LTE SIM. According to the company, the top speed of the bike will be reach up to 85 km/h and travel up to 150 km in a single charge. The company would offer the production version by June this year and more details will be revealed.

Another major player Honda has revealed the concept of electric motocross bike. This is the first prototype and indication that the electrification plans are underway. The CR Electric MX bike is equipped with a CRF based twin-spar frame, which shows that the company in collaboration with Mugen has developed an electric motor and small sized batteries that are able to fit into the frame of a motocross bike.

The company has not revealed the specifications and capacity of batteries. The lithium-ion battery will be featured in the design and a Japanese consumer electronics firm Maxell has developed the battery. There are liquid-cooled inverter and electric motor in the electric bike. This enables enhanced performance in motocross races. The production timeline has not set yet, however, the concept shows that Honda intends to come into the business of electric bikes.

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Written by Pratik Gundawar

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