E-bikes are emerging as a highly efficient solution for individual as well as fleet use. They are budget-friendly and help save on fuel costs too. And then of course, they are eco-friendly vehicles which emit zero harmful gases. In India, where the demand for two-wheelers is high right now and analysts predict two-wheeler sales to grow by 6-8% over the next 5 years, the availability of e-bike solutions can definitely contribute to a cleaner and greener tomorrow.
High demand for two-wheelers
In 2019, two-wheeler sales reached an all-time high of around 21 million units, which was almost double from that of 2011. These numbers put them significantly ahead of passenger cars, which are yet to breach the 4 million-a-year mark. Why this preference for two-wheelers? Well, they are an economical mode of transport and provide better manoeuvring opportunities on oft-choked roads of Indian cities.
The collateral damage
This preference for two-wheelers also means they are one of the largest contributors to air pollution in the country. According to a 2018 study by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), they emitted nearly 32% of air pollutants generated by the transport sector in Delhi. The Indian government’s Bharat Stage Emission Standards (BSES) continue to issue strict mandates for manufacturers and their impact has been remarkable. However, they still cannot promise zero emissions.
The e-bike solution
E-bikes, on the other hand, do guarantee zero emissions and that’s reason enough to recommend them. Internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles burn petrol or diesel for generating energy and release harmful carbon emissions as by-products. Since e-bikes, or electric vehicles (EVs) in general, release energy electrochemically through their batteries, there are absolutely no emissions to deal with.
One of the biggest arguments against e-bikes is that while the vehicles are eco-friendly, their manufacturing and transportation processes are not. However, companies have long been exploring solutions to this issue. At Kabira Mobility, all three of our manufacturing plants are powered completely by solar energy. We want to ensure that our commitment towards creating eco-friendly solutions is evident not just through our products, but also through our daily practices.
Batteries are another factor that require attention. Lithium-ion batteries, which power all of Kabira Mobility’s products, retain around 80% of their charge by the end of their life cycles. This offers ample potential for a second life through various applications such as use in consumer devices and telecom towers. These second-life batteries could be used for at least 10 years before they die out. And since lithium-ion cells contain fewer toxic metals than other types of batteries, they are generally categorized as non-hazardous waste when they end up in landfills.
It’s evident that one of the solutions to restrict environmental degradation in India is large-scale adoption of e-bikes. If e-bike manufacturers can leverage the increasing demand for two-wheelers, they will be able to make a considerable impact on the country’s environmental landscape.