Electric cycles or E-bikes, being a new concept for Indian roads, have given birth to many myths and misconceptions instead of gaining praise for being most affordable and eco friendly commute. Since we are asked these question too often, here is a list of most common misconceptions / myths around ebikes.
Myths around e-bikes & Electric Cycles-Part 1
1) COST - Electric Bicycles are too expensive to afford.
As compared to other vehicles such as cars, motorcycle and scooters, which run on expensive fuel, create pollution and need expensive timely maintenance (burning hole in your pockets each time), electric bicycles are not expensive at all.
An eco friendly Vehicle which consumes 2 Rupees electricity for 50km run and produces more oxygen than carbon through our planting tree initiative will not be costly for you as well as to our environment.
You can travel fast and reach your destination on time with the speed of electric bicycle (25kmph) more than average speed of Indian traffic in any city. You don't need driving license and anyone in family, right from 10 years old kids to senior citizens, can ride OMO electric cycle without much effort.
The idea of electric cycles being expensive pops up because of the word 'bicycle' attached to this product. But in reality, an electric cycle actually provides 400% return on your investment.
Also, in the recently held NITI AYOG summit for electric vehicles, a subsidy was announced with special focus on electric bikes under FAME II scheme. This will only bring down the prices of ebikes in coming future.
2) Electric cycle is not for people who want to exercise and loose weight.
Couldn't be further away from truth. In fact, exact opposite happens when you are riding an electric bicycle. People go more often for electric cycling trip than they go with simple cycle. Exercise is not just meant to help you stay fit but also meant to recover your strength and make you fit. People with knee problems, hip problem and back problem try to do exercise on simple cycle but end up giving up on cycling because of excuses whereas people having electric cycle do less effort cycling activity using throttle and pedalling simultaneously.
With power needed for an electric cycle to be 50-60% of the simple cycle and usage at least 5 times more then simple cycle, people tend to have gain better health.
3) Will these cycle survive on Indian roads
Omo Electric cycles are designed considering the rough and broken roads of India. It can be taken to any terrain and any type of road including kaccha roads in villages and pakka roads in town and cities. They are made of high tensile carbon steel so they are very durable on Indian roads even if you take them on potholes or ride through kaccha roads.
4) Repair / Maintenance - If any issue there my money would be waste
First of all, no matter what happens to your electric bike, you can always pedal it like a normal bicycle or geared bicycle, and take it to the closest mechanic. Then, more importantly, the electric parts used in an electric bicycle make it a zero maintenance vehicle. Even then, in case of any failure with electrical parts, we provide replacement under warranty which is 1 year for all electric parts , 6 months for battery and 2 years for frame.
Most of these parts can be easily repaired at home with our guide book provided with the bike when you purchase bicycle.
Having said the above, there is no doubt that there is scope of improvement in the bike. For example, the bike is not best suited for 2 passengers. Then, even though, you can carry multiple batteries to extend the range to 200km, and pedal to extend it further, range is still an issue for some people. And we are working on these issues as well.
But we believe, as was also seen in the recently held NITI ayog MOVE summit, that electric cycle holds the key to future of mobility. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji himself asserted how cycles & electric cycles have the power to connect rural & urban parts of country at a fast pace, without causing congestion on roads & pollution in air.
Because of this heavy subsidies are in pipeline for electric cycles, with possibilities of reduction on GST in future as well. Recently, the GST on lithium batteries was reduced from 28% to18% keeping in mind their application in EVs, specially light weight electric cycles.
We at OMO cycles sincerely hope that with such support from Govt, the day is not far when we will see ebikes plying people every where in India.