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Crowd-funded e-bike will hit the market in Sept

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on January 18, 2018 Published on July 31, 2016

Pedal power First crowd-funded e-bike SPERO manufactured by Coimbatore-based jute manufacturer Milltex Engineers - Photo: K MURALI KUMAR

Priced up to ₹50,000, SPERO will be produced only on demand

The country’s first crowd-funded e-bike SPERO, manufactured by Coimbatore-based jute manufacturer Milltex Engineers, will hit the market in September.

It will be available in men and unisex models and in three variants E30, E60 and E100 that have a range of 30 km, 60 km and 100 km, respectively, on a single charge. The e-bike is priced between ₹30,000 and ₹50,000.

While it can be used as a normal cycle, the bike comes with five-speed digital gears in electric mode and is password protected.

It takes four-six hours to fully charge and has an additional regeneration feature for charging on-the-go.

The bikes will be manufactured on demand and take 60-75 days for delivery. Addressing media, S Manikandan, Managing Director, Milltex Engineers, said the company will scale-up production based on the response it gets.

The facility can manufacture close to 2,000 vehicles per month.

The e-bike was put up for crowding funding first on Bengaluru-based platform fueladream.com a few months ago and received about ₹38 lakh, which will be used for production.

The first batch of 105 bikes will be delivered to funders in September.

“We are setting up eight support centres where we are delivering cycles. Numbers will increase in the next three years depending on the type of support we need to provide,” Manikandan added.

The company is planning to introduce an exclusive model for women as well.

“We are getting enquires and an exclusive design for women is in the pipeline,” he added.

Manikandan agrees that the e-bikes market is nascent and is yet to pick-up.

“The push towards green environment and smart cities project will propel e-bikes in the country and from that perspective it will be a huge market,” he added. Though crowd-funding is a new concept in India, it is a $34-billion industry with the ideas and charity segment accounting for about $6 billion.

Ram Prasad, Chief Marketing Officer, fueladream.com, said: “Projects like e-bikes come under idea segment and has an immense potential for growth as it benefits both the manufacturer and funder.”

People who have funded can now avail themselves bikes at a discount of 40 per cent.

For a manufacturer, he gets working capital, and does not have to spend on marketing and branding, saving cost. “So it is a win-win situation for both,” Prasad said.

“After the success with the first round of funding, the company is now planning for second crowd-funding for the next round of production,” Prasad added.

Published on July 31, 2016
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