With the government giving a major push to promote green mobility options in the country, it’s an opportune time for Electric Vehicles (EVs) startups to take the big leap forward. Niti Aayog has proposed to push for full conversion to electric vehicles (EVs) for internal combustion engine three-wheeler by 2023, and two-wheeler (engines with or below 150 cc capacity) by 2025. This indicates that the government will definitely go the extra mile to boost Electric Vehicles (EVs) with adequate policy measures and incentives.
For first-time entrepreneur, Irfan Khan, co-founder and CEO of electric bike rental and e-mobility startup eBikeGo, it’s the perfect time to spread their wings. “During the last two years, eBikeGo has grown from 640 users in 2017 to 18,000 users in 2019 and we are eyeing to have a million users by 2020, and also reduce 5 to 6% of the carbon monoxide in some cities by 2022,” Irfan Khan told News Intervention.
The startup recently raised $300,000 as part of a major funding round led by Startup Buddy. The round also saw participation from other investors like singer Sukhbir Singh, Rajesh Sawhney (co-Founder of Innerchef), Rohit Chanana (Founder, Sarcha Advisory), Siddartha Ahluwalia (Founder of 100x Entrepreneur), Boudhik Ventures, Milind Garud, Arun Gholap, Shantanu Vinekar and other senior corporate executives.
At the time when eBikeGo had started its initial operations, there were no big competitors in the EV segment. However, the scenario has changed now. Nonetheless, they still feel that they have a first mover advantage and want to capture 0.1% of the 3 crore two wheeler market in the delivery ecosystem. “Making the change from fossil fuel to electric vehicles require a lot of adapting in terms of registration, insurance etc. We at eBikeGo thought we will help to bridge the gap by providing e-bikes on rent therefore making adaptation to electric vehicles easier and we have had a tremendous response. Since we are first in the market and have a lucrative rental model and innovative mobility solution, we don’t have a competitor as such,” Irfan shared. The startup which was initially launched in Amritsar in 2017, has now expanded to Delhi, Amritsar, Jaipur, Jalandhar, and Agra in 2019 and is planning to expand to 8 cities by the end of 2020.
Since we are first in the market and have a lucrative rental model and innovative mobility solution, we don’t have a competitor as such,” Dr. Irfan Khan, co-founder and CEO, eBikeGo
eBikeGo is providing their bike services to prominent delivery companies including Zomato, Delhivery, Big Basket and several others. By 2020 they hope to increase tie-ups with 69 companies deploying 30,000 EVs in the market. Irfan feels it’s a win-win situation for delivery companies as well as those looking for employment in this sector. “eBikeGo is creating numerous job opportunities for people wanting to work in the delivery business but couldn’t due to lack of a bike or not being able to afford bikes due to high fuel prices. eBikeGo provides delivery boys an eco-friendly and low-cost solution to speed up deliveries in the area. Our bikes provide ‘smiles for miles’ that are extremely economical at 20p/ km. They have the best in class loading capacity of 150 kg and best in class speed of 55 km/hr, so one can explore more with eBikeGo’s bikes which can run upto 100 km per charge,” Irfan added. As part of its rental services eBikeGo is providing end-to-end solutions like service, maintenance and roadside assistance along with inbuilt technology which makes the delivery person’s ride hassle free.
For companies, it could mean a significant improvement in the quality of the candidates hired. “During the selection procedure companies give preference to boys who own a two-wheeler. Other criteria like educational qualifications, soft-skills are not taken care of. As now, we are entering into direct deals with the companies for bike rentals, they can hire better candidates even if they don’t own two-wheelers,” Irfan shared, while elaborating on the plans to expand its network in different cities to provide a sustainable solution for the customers and business partners using electric two-wheeler.