Electric motorcycles (e-bikes) are gaining popularity in India off late due to a steady rise in petroleum prices and environmental issues. Due to their many advantages, Electric bikes in India are given priority and many companies are coming up with the latest green technologies in the automotive sector. India is becoming a hub for e-bike manufacturing companies, with localized technologies to show their performance on Indian roads.
E-bikes are typically driven by a brushless DC electric motor (BLDC) powered by a rechargeable battery, charger and a controller, unlike the internal combustion engines that burn liquid fuel to drive their engines. The main highlight of these vehicles is no fossil fuel is consumed to drive them. They are subjected to less maintenance since they have very few moving parts. When compared to conventional fuel bikes, these e-bikes are reliable, energy efficient and are eco-friendly too.
With a speed of just 20-40 kilometers per hour, electric bikes in India are exempted from road tax and other regulations, and require no license to operate. These vehicles are pocket friendly as well, with most of them costing around INR20,000-30,000. These bikes can be handled with ease by any age group. The total cost of ownership is as low as one third as compared to a regular fuel bike on Indian roads. However, we must consider their disadvantages before purchasing these vehicles.
Since e-bikes in India have very less fuel capacity or range, they are not suitable for fast travel. These battery-powered vehicles find it hard to travel long distances since they lack extended battery life. Bike owners have to constantly charge the battery for at least 8 hours everyday, which reduces the battery life. Replacing the battery once every two years costs more than INR5,000, which is bit expensive. Most of the e-bikes require a 6-8 hours of charge for a full battery. The main differences between conventional fuel bikes and e-bikes are as follows:
Different Brands of Electric Bikes in India
|Conventional fuel bikes||Electric bikes|
|Operate on petroleum fuel||Operate on DC battery|
|High speed – 60-150 kmph range||Less speed – 20-40 kmph range|
|High cost of purchase and maintenance||Lower cost of purchase and maintenance|
|Fuel capacity range – 300-600 kms||Battery charge range – 50-70 kms|
|Requires license||Require no license|
|Taxes need to be paid||Exempted from taxes|
|Pollutes the environment||Environment friendly|
With rising environmental threats and fuel price hike, one can opt for e-bikes. Based on the customer needs, many companies are customizing their products. Today, various automotive companies offer many brands of e-bikes in the Indian market. The list includes BSA Motors, Hero Electric, TVS Motors, Eko Vehiles, BPG, Yo Bikes, Enigma Intense, Lectrix, etc. We can choose any brand based on the cost, technology and speed. Some of the leading brands are reviewed here:
Brand Motor Battery Maximum Speed Km/ Charge Payload Starting price
Hero Electric BLDC 20 AH 25 kmph 70 km 2 adults INR 19,250
BSA Motors BLDC 20 AH 40 kmph 70 km 2 adults INR 27,760
TVS Motors Hybrid 20 AH 40 kmph 50 km 2 adults INR 65,000
Eko Vehicles BLDC 20 AH 25 kmph 60 km 130 kg INR 21,000
Indus Yo BLDC 20 AH 45 kmph 60 km 2 adults INR 36,500
Enigma Intense BLDC 25AH 25 kmph 50 km 2 adults INR 28,500
Hero Electric is the leading e-bike manufacturing company in India. The company provides 8 models that are below 100CC in India. Hero Electric has also introduced innovative technologies such as range extender, charging stations, personal charger, etc. Its bike is equipped with 250W BLDC motor that has a speed limit of 25kmph and can travel for 70 km/charge. The vehicle is equipped with a battery of 20AH, 40V, which requires 6-8 hours charging. Hero Electric Zippy is the cheapest model, whereas Hero Electric Photon is the most expensive one. The price ranges from INR19,250 to INR42,500. The company also provides door-step service to its customers.
BSA Motors are the leading manufacturers of cycles and its accessories in south India, who have moved into the e-bike segment as well. Their vehicle is powered with 250W BLDC motor. With a price from INR27,760, BSA Motors has been listed as one among the top e-bike brands. It has a mileage of 55 km per charge. With 8 Amp load, it can be ride for about 2.5 hours. The battery is of 22AH and is both lockable and removable. This enables one to charge the battery inside the home and fix it later with the vehicle. However, the replacement of battery is quite costly at around INR10,500. Further, the vehicle must be well protected during rainy season, as it can affect the speedometer and other devices attached.
TVS Motors, the leading brand in two-wheeler manufacturing, also has e-bike production. With not much promotion, TVS has gained popularity among the public mainly backed by its efficiency and quality. The company offers good service and has a green approach towards its product manufacturing. The e-bike comes with sealed lead acid battery with 48V, 20AH. The bike has a speed limit of 40kmph and rides for 50 km/charge. The company is expected to release its new hybrid model of e-bike soon. Although the model is expensive, around INR65,000, it can be either used with petrol or electric.
Eko Vehicles is a small Bangalore-based e-bike company. They have two models in their stable and also offer charging stations across the city. Their e-bikes come with an affordable price tag of INR21,000 and INR23,000 with a speed limit of 55-60 kmph. The bike uses 800W BLDC motor. It can cover a range of 55-60kms on a single charge and comes with a range of colors. However, the brand and its service are only available for the city residents. The battery is of 20AH capacity and gets charged in 60V. The pay load capacity is 130 kg.
Indus Yo Bikes are another established e-bike brand. It is the first Indian vehicle to be approved by ARAI. It has four models which weigh around 75 kg. Two models are of high speed and the other two are low speed. The bike is powered by permanent BLDC motors and their cost is around INR36,500. It gives a mileage of 45km and comes with one-year warranty for both the vehicle and its battery. The battery is of sealed maintenance-free VRLA type. It boasts of powerful permanent BLDC motor with an easy accelerator grip.
Enigma Intense e-scooter
Enigma Intense offers three models in the market and the price starts from INR28,500. They come with many features including anti-theft alarm, cruise control, motor lock system and lightening system (48V) along with multiple charger socket. They are powered with BLDC motors. They have a range of 50 km per charge and have a speed of 25kmph. The bike’s battery is of 25AH capacity and can be charged from 6-8 hours. The battery is maintenance free, VRLA, gel type and requires 12V. It also features a front telescopic suspension.
This North American company has so far launched three e-bikes: Uno models – BPG UNO I, II, and III, with a price tag of INR40,000 and above. This bike will turn into a unicycle during low speed and turns to be the Numero Uno at high speed. This makes the bike more unique and compact to drive. It has all the advantages of a motorcycle during high speed. The e-bike has the configurations of a normal motorcycle and can balance in both high and low speed easily especially during heavy traffic. It boasts a speed limit of 48.3 kmph.
Also read Electric Cars on Indian Roads