Last months’ terrible traffic jam and worsening climate got me thinking about greener modes of transport. What are the non-fossil fuels based transport avaiable to us Indians ? Turns out, not very much. Whatever options are available today are way more expensive and cumbersome than the simple petrol/diesel engine based vehicles. But still, there are quite a lot of options, the general public is not aware of them.
For instance, take electric bicycles. These are the standard pedal cycles, but with an additional electric motor which can be used to further the distance that can be covered. The only company currently seen selling such bikes is Hullikal, and the bikes are priced way high.
Around Rs 30,000/-. For this price, one can easily buy a second hand petrol engine bike. And this pricing is the biggest problem which will hamper early adoption of this novel new technology.
For the same price, or slightly more, one can buy a full fledged two wheeler, which looks like any one of those million scooters on the road. And it says it can travel double the distance.
The company every e-bike enthusiast is watching right now is Ather. They have promised to deliver a futuristic looking smart bike, with full integration to smartphones and gps. But this bike will be priced > Rs 75,000/-
But those few who can afford these vehicles , and their monthly electricity bills, and care for the planet, are surely buying and using them. In Bangalore, I see a lot of electric cars from Mahindra on the road. It was initially priced at ~7 lakhs, but now the price is down to ~5 lakhs.
Going green is definitely expensive. That and the non-availability of charging stations around town is going to slow down this even more.