How are eBikeGo and Rugged changing the semantics of the Electric Vehicle Industry in India?
10 minute read
Somewhere, during the fall of 2015-16, two students, Mr Irfan Khan and Mr Hari Kiran, expected to determine a straightforward issue- transport from their hostel to arrive at their University. Their University was located in the beautiful lovely peaks of Dalhousie. Both students, who were active environmentalists, wanted an option that didn’t taint the beauty of this wonderful location while at the same time that was less effort than a bicycle, which is why they chose an electric bike. E-bike during this time was not a common mobility market product, in fact during this time electric bikes were barely fairing. With not more than 22,000 EVs sold at that moment, where 20,000 were Electric Cars and 2000 were Electric Bikes (Link: Source) people were sceptical of adopting electric bikes.
The two young men pooled their assets to buy an e-bike for their conveyance and soon enough they saw an opportunity among the University students for a need for conveyance to reach the University, but not all of them could afford a bike or its maintenance cost. Taking a gander at the economies of the equivalent, the two companions purchased a total of six e-bikes and began leasing them to understudies for their movement for a nominal charge.
In no time the demand for their renting services rose to new heights and the profit they made out of the renting business was used to purchase more bikes. With a fleet of 20 bikes under their hood by the end of the year, the bikes that were initially rented by the day later started getting rented out monthly.
At this point, they had also been educating themselves in and out about the e-bike market, the product itself, the quality of spare parts, batteries and bikes, the management of operations, and the potential future of such a business model. Soon, with a fleet of almost 120 e-bikes at this point, the largest fleet owned by anyone else in India, the two friends moved to Amritsar where they scaled their operations and established the brand as we know it today- eBikeGo.
For the longest time, food delivery services did not really pay heed to how the food was being delivered, this is when eBikeGo walked in to teach the market about the benefits of renting an e-bike for last-mile conveyances. This was also one of the first instances where e-bikes were adopted for commercial purposes.
eBikeGo realised that the potential of the e-bike renting model was much higher, given the rate of absorption of 120 bikes was 100% in the Amritsar market. This is when they planned to move to a Tier 1 city for further expansion and received funding to execute the plan further and moved to Mumbai, expanding it into a 600 odd e-bike renting giant with their presence in 7 cities in India.
Once eBikeGo showed the success rate of their business model, soon competition followed. This is how eBikeGo set a precedent of renting-first models in the e-bike space and commercial ownership of e-bike fleets.
Throughout its successful run, eBikeGo also collected data points on e-bike functioning, user behaviour, user issues and other factors of the market. This is when they realised that most e-bikes that came with the guarantee of 4 years were not even meeting their warranty, the bike quality was poor and suffered multiple issues and breakdowns during the journey.
At this moment, most e-bike manufacturers procured their raw materials from the Chinese market that were low quality for a low cost. This was an issue for a brand like eBikeGo for the smooth functioning of their business. At the same time, this was an issue for the whole market as it reduced the adoption rate of the bike. This is when they decided to take the matter into their own hands and developed a bike on the basis of their research and data collection.
On their lookout, eBikeGo got in touch with a Coimbatore based e-Bike manufacturer called Boom Corbett and reached out to them for the manufacturing of a bike that met all the pain points of the consumer.
Before the onset of COVID-19 and the other external factors influencing the Indian market including the Government’s active initiatives like Make-In-India and Atmanirbhar India, eBikeGo with Boom Corbett had already started working towards a product that was sourced solely in India that overcame all the flaws that its predecessors faced.
By mid- 2021, eBikeGo, which was a company that worked on the internet-based e-bikes renting system, in association with Boom Corbett, launched- Rugged e-Bike.
eBikeGo Rugged G1, an electric moto-bike is India’s toughest e-bike to date and valued at Rs 84,999 and the other variant the G1+ retails at Rs 1,04,999 (both prices are ex-showroom, exclusive of FAME II subsidy).
The G1 offers an 80kms range while the G1+ offers 160kms.
The main distinction between the two variations is the accessibility of an additional battery pack for the second option.
The Rugged G1 looks fairly barebones in its appearance, with its thick, uncovered steel support outline, yet eBikeGo backs up its cases of sturdiness by offering a seven-year guarantee on the chassis.
eBikeGo Rugged G1 is made in Coimbatore, at a plant that is nearly arriving at a limit of one lakh units soon.
While eBikeGo features Rugged as the sturdiest electric bike at any point made, it has additionally been dealing with growing its essence in more urban communities around the nation. The team has closed deals for master franchises of Rugged in three states – Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Maharashtra already. It has likewise established 22 dealership showrooms.
Pushing ahead, eBikeGo anticipates that the pace of bookings should stay fast, particularly due to the ongoing festive season. It is India’s most environmentally friendly, smart, and sturdy electric motorbike, which will change the bearing of e-mobility in the nation and push innovation in the electric bike sector.
This is how eBikeGo and Rugged continue to change the semantics of the EV industry in India.