By: Tushaar Bajaj, CEO, Virtus Motors
In recent years, e-mobility has received increased attention on a global scale due to the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions. E-mobility is positioned to play a significant role in achieving this goal as India strives to follow the model of intelligent and sustainable cities. However, as EVs are considered expensive owing to their high upfront cost, a new segment of e-bicycles has emerged to deliver effective results.
E-bicycles are a key component of e-mobility because they add electric support to make conventional bicycles battery-powered. E-bikes provide numerous benefits to riders, including improved health and an unrivaled level of fun while riding, as well as environmental and urban sustainability benefits. Furthermore, they are affordable at a time when fuel prices are skyrocketing.
Several startups have jumped into the e-bike space due to its market potential and ability to support the reduction of carbon emissions. They are bringing in the most cutting-edge, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly e-bikes on the market. Let us see how these startups are giving a boost to the emerging bicycle industry.
The role of startups in advancing the bicycle industry
Prior to the development of EVs, the design and innovation of the mobility sector were largely stagnant. However, with several developments today, EVs have been able to tap into different domains, innovatively catering to the needs of customers. Today’s EVs have many benefits, including better public health, less urban traffic congestion, and a reduction in reliance on expensive imported fossil fuels. In addition, EV startups are opening up the market to many target segments that would not have previously considered bicycles, including senior citizens, people who commute short distances, delivery services, and many others.
Creating the market demand
The electric bicycle market is constantly innovating to lead the way toward a modern, environmentally friendly society. The increased demand for e-bikes is one way that EV startups are assisting the bicycle sector. In this area, these startups have developed solutions that are tailored to the needs of the riders. Bicycle performance can be modified to meet the needs of the rider, who may require long-distance travel or lightweight frames, among other things, as needs vary. As these needs are being met with these innovative products, the demand for these e-bikes is also increasing. According to a study by BlueWeave Consulting, the size of the electric bicycle market in India is projected to increase at a CAGR of 15.7%.
Improving supply chain networks
Since there are few distribution channels despite EV manufacturing companies having a ready-made product, startups that concentrate on marketing and distribution are emerging as segment disruptors. Startups that address the issues with the EV supply chain will automatically gain the trust of investors. Over the past few years, EV use and adoption have increased significantly; allied startups, or startups that have merged or agreed to cooperate to provide comprehensive A-to-Z services and products, are an example of this.
Startups are also enhancing the e-cycles’ supply chains and distribution networks, particularly through the investigation of digital sales channels. A few of them are also utilising the manufacturing and distribution know-how of reputable manufacturers and suppliers in addition to leveraging digital sales channels.
Development of fleets
Fleet managers and everyone else in the logistics industry are feeling the scrutiny placed on the choice of how to get from point A to point B even more keenly. Customers and regulators are putting pressure on businesses with a fleet of gasoline-powered vehicles to do their part to protect the environment, and those who fail to do so are anticipated to face criticism. A former research report by Wunderman Thomson states that 83% of customers will choose a brand with a good history of sustainability.
However, as demand has grown, a brand-new category of electric fleet, represented by electric bikes and scooters, has emerged in recent years. In addition, the most underestimated e-bike fleet management system is now required because many brands actively use EVs fleets for last-mile delivery operations. Therefore, EV startups are making a contribution to the bicycle industry by creating fleets or developing e-bike sharing services. In general, startups assist businesses and communities in offering a better and more sustainable experience.
All things considered
India, a young and developing economy, is a quickly expanding market for e-bikes. People have become more interested in e-bikes as an alternative to public transportation owing to several advantages they offer. They have the potential to overtake motorised two-wheelers as a desirable alternative in the upcoming years. One of the main drivers of growth for the Indian e-bike market is the rapidly increasing demand for e-bikes in Tier 1 cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, and Bangalore. However, EV startups are working tirelessly to expand their reach across Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities as well in order to support the mission of decarbonisation and provide a seamless e-mobility experience. Based on the growth prospects of e-bikes, they will soon become the norm on Indian roads.
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