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EBikes: A better way towards a smooth and pollution-free ride

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The eBike concept is very strong and thoughtful and shall easily reach out to people across ages, cultures and regions.

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Founded by Irfan Khan in 2017, eBike is said to be India’s first ever electric bike/taxi rental/delivery platform that provides an economical and environmental friendly travelling option. It is a fresh concept that addresses the major concern of air pollution in India due to the increasing number of vehicles.

Revenue is generated through rental services for tourists and customers, taxi rides through mobile apps and also through tie-ups with logistic delivery providers. Already present in Delhi, Amritsar, Jalandhar and Jaipur, eBike will soon launch its operations in Agra and Dehradun. The company aims to bring on road a fleet of 200,000 bikes in about 100 cities across the country.

Typically, an eBike runs for around 200 km after an electronic charge for about 2 hours and makes the daily commute zippy with a speed of 75 km/hr. Interestingly, this startup is also promoting eco-friendly tourism in India. “Our aim is to expand our operations pan-India,” says Irfan Khan, founder, eBike. “The endeavour is to enable people to adopt an eco-friendly means of transportation and also make travel cheaper and efficient for them. Our eBikes use lithium ion (Li-on) batteries which is completely biodegradable and helps in decreasing the accumulation of hazardous electronic waste. By introducing these scooters, our primary motive is to reduce pollution by atleast 2% this year which is emitted by petrol-based two-wheelers.”

eBike has tied up wth online food delvery chain Swiggy and is in talks with Uber Eats and Zomato to give its vehicles on rental. The cost of running an eBike is as low as 20 paise/km for an average speed of 55km/hr and thus eBike will be offering rentals starting at Rs 20 for 30 minutes.

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Khan says, “The idea of eBike came when we started an NGO named Swachh Dalhousie in 2014 to clean the city as there is so much of trash all over the place; it is a tourist place and it is really crowded in summers. Seeing the success of this project, we decided to do something similar pan-India. We finetuned the eBike prototype last year and started our operations.”

eBike has a strong customer base in Amritsar due to the presence of a large number of tourists. The initial round of funding for the startup came from friends and family. It is in talks with a couple of investors for further funding.

“For electric vehicles, the major issue faced by the public is the scarcity of charging stations and Delhi government has taken a step to rectify this. This has helped us also to expand our fleet and offer better mobility. We would like the central government to take a similar step,” he adds.

The scooters are powered with a 60V/26AH Li-on battery which is detachable and can be charged anywhere. A customer can either book an eBike by the company’s mobile app or by contacting the customer care number: 7300073730.

Article Credit: Financial Express

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Can’t eradicate poverty if 85% oil is imported

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The interim budget for FY2020 is big on vision and big on delivery. In one stroke, it aims to address the stress in the farming sector, provide social security cover to the unorganised sector, and put more money in the hands of our tax-compliant middle class. The government must be applauded for presenting a holistic budget with an aim to boost India’s consumption story while keeping a firm check on inflation .

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The budget unveiled a series of measures to address various facets of India’s economy and was not limited by the fact that this was the last budget of a government before 2019 general elections. To my mind, reforms are a continuous process and governments can continue with such ideas and thoughts to take India’s growth story forward. 

The farm package under ‘Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi’ was the need of the hour to provide relief to small and marginal farmers in the country. The farmers have been battling several challenges, including drought in some pockets, rising input costs, erratic climate and lack of adequate remuneration for their output. The announcement to provide direct income support of ?6,000 per year for cultivable land of up to 2 hectares will provide assured supplemental income to the most vulnerable farmer families. 

Another significant takeaway is the social security net for the unorganised sector. Finance minister Piyush Goyal was spot on when he said half of India’s GDP comes from the sweat and toil of 42 crore workers in the unorganised sector, working as street vendors, rickshaw pullers, construction workers, rag pickers, and domestic helpers. These critical cogs in India’s economic wheel get no support from the formal economy. I wish to compliment Prime Minister Narendra Modi for arriving at a comprehe nsive social security cover for this segment of the society, where they will receive a pension of Rs 3,000 per month from the age of 60 and they need to contribute only Rs 100 per month till the age of 60 years. 

Beyond these immediate relief measures, the budget also drew a comprehensive outline and identified 10 core areas to build a New India by 2030. This vision perfectly complements the government’s mission to make India a $5-trillion economy in five years and a $10-trillion economy in eight years. The 10 dimensions range from building robust physical and social infrastructure for ease of living to expanding rural industrialisation, taking digital economy to all sectors, and lead the world in transport revolution through electric vehicles, renewable energy and energy storage devices. If future governments start to implement this vision with right policy measures, India will be firmly on track to be a developed nation in the coming years. 

However, it is critical that igniting the engines of growth on multiple fronts does not suffer from paucity of finances. Further, the government must ensure that the poor, the marginalised, and the rural economy are not left out even as the rest of the nation moves to the new orbit of development. Thus, social sector schemes must continue to help these sections of the society raise their standard of living. 

All this will require copious amounts of funds. It is here that the government must add an 11th dimension to its multi-pronged approach — monetise what is below the ground. 

While our natural resources sector across metals and minerals hold tremendous potential, we cannot think of eradicating poverty if we import 85% of oil. We have to produce 50% of oil in this country. Same applies to anything below the ground, whether it is gold, coal, uranium or iron ore. An all-round development of India’s natural resource sector will not only generate sufficient funds to boost various social sector programmes, but also generate a large number of jobs, create a vibrant and supporting ecosystem of processing units and SMEs, and usher in prosperity and quality life across the length and breadth of the country. 

It is high time the government focused more on under-theground exploration, not only to drive self-sufficiency and cutting dependence on imports but also to propel Indian economy towards the $10-trillion mark. 

Article Credit: ET

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