Even during the low sale period of the COVID-19 pandemic, India saw over one crore two wheelers being sold to the common man.
Despite holding the highest share of sales in the domestic automobile industry, these vehicles have till now remained limited to fuel-run models.
To provide an alternative, technology-based company GoGoA1 of Thane has come up with the country’s first Regional Transport Office (RTO)-approved Electric Vehicle (EV) conversion kit.
Available on two different rental models to choose from, this kit can be booked individually for your own vehicle, or as a part of a two wheeler provided by the company.
Building the Ideal Product
Shrikant Shinde, the founder of the company, says, “When we started in 2011, our focus was on retail of EVs and their components. Our main target group was students of IITs and other engineering colleges, who would often require such parts while innovating with new projects. So we also branched into the education and R&D sector to facilitate them.”
In 2019, pooling all the experience thus gained in the industry, the company launched the first of its own product — a retrofit conversion kit that could transform a fuel-run motorcycle into an electric one.
Shrikant shares that extensive market research went into coming up with the product. According to him, a fuel motorcycle running for 15 years requires around Rs 7 lakh worth of maintenance, while an EV brings this down to Rs 1 lakh.
“On an average, a bike used for personal commuting uses up to Rs 300 worth of fuel daily. An EV brings this cost down to Rs 60, thereby eliminating a major expense on the customer’s pocket,” he reveals.
With the cost of repairs, insurance and other investments, the founder says that a person spends a total of about Rs 12,000 a month on his vehicle. For a motorcycle in commercial use, this goes up to Rs 15,000. The Authorised Conversion Centers of GoGoA1 take over all the hassle of these tasks while also reducing their cost due to mass production. “All you have to do is come sit on the bike,” he says.
However, in his experience customers often find it difficult to comprehend this calculation, which is why he says EVs seem like a major investment.
For this reason, the company came up with a rental system instead of targeting retail of the kits.
Foregoing the concern of a major one-time investment, customers can choose from one of two subscription models. The first model is rated at Rs 3/km, while the second is a monthly model with a rental charge between Rs 6,000 and Rs 9,000 per month.
“Upon booking, we offer an end-to-end solution from installation to maintenance. Each customer is also allocated a technician who remains on-call for any on-ground assistance,” Shrikant says.
Specifications of the Conversion Kit
The conversion has been approved for the Hero Splendor motorcycle, while approval is on the way for other models.
The kit comes with a hub motor, regenerative controller, wrist throttle, drum brake, battery SoC, wiring harness, key switch, controller box and swing arm.
Shrikant claims that with a 72 V 40 Ah battery, the kit provides a range of 151 km with a speed that picks up to 80 km in five seconds. The motor capacity offers a peak power output of 4 kW with 67 Nm of torque.
He adds that in a country where vehicles are treated with almost a certain reverence for their utility, this kind of efficiency can improve people’s experience with driving them. Additionally, it will decrease the carbon footprint generated during daily commuting.
The kit is currently available for booking in Mumbai, but will soon open to customers in Pune and Bengaluru as well.
To book your own EV conversion, visit their website here.
Edited by Yoshita Rao