The company’s founder says the Meraki is an “made in India” electric bike
E-bikes were popular in New York, London, Paris and Berlin, and interest tripled during the pandemic.These are like regular bicycles, but have battery-powered electric motors.With many cities around the world still locked down, e-bikes have become the preferred alternative to public transport and even taxis.In fact, many are calling e-bikes the future of transportation because they take up less road space and are environmentally friendly.
"Some of our competitors are essentially looking at converting existing bike racks and batteries and motors and controllers to conventional bikes and calling them electric bikes," he said.Meraji, Chopra says, is "a well-designed product at a reasonable price, at a reasonable price" and lists what sets it apart."Instead of trying to modify the bike with batteries and controller modules, we designed the frame from the ground up, where we integrated the entire battery into the frame."
"The electronic parts of the bike have been built on the most advanced platform where we use Panasonic batteries with a 100 per cent safety record and can travel about 35km on a single charge, which is about 750 to 800 charging cycles."
The bikes are equipped with a 250W, IP65 waterproof motor with a top speed of 25 KMPH.Its lithium-ion battery can be charged for 2.5 hours and can travel up to 35 kilometers on a full charge.The electronic brake serves as a safety mechanism for the rider and a keylock switch for locking the battery pack.
The ultimate goal, Chopra says, is to make Meraki not only attractive, but good looking and high-performance."We rigorously tested every component."
For example, the battery has been tested for 5,000 hours at various temperatures."We tested the electric bike [Meraki] at multiple locations around the country," he said, adding that the company had to go through some component iterations in choosing the right supplier and the right frame geometry.
Meraki was designed and manufactured in India, Mr. Chopra said."It's a multi-team effort.Designing an e-bike from the ground up takes about 18 to 24 months, which includes time spent designing and prototyping, choosing the right components, and checking the geometry.
Mumbai-based AlphaVector, founded in 2015 by Sachin Chopra and Vishal Chopra, now operates in 350 cities and adopts the omni-channel business model, which enables the company to reach consumers online as well as over the offline network of 700 retailers.The startup was backed by Avaana Capital, Titan Capital and Fireside Ventures.
"People are willing to pay a lot of money for a beautiful e-bike with a well-designed look and world-class components," he says.The company sees demand for e-bikes in metropolises such as Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, as well as secondary cities.
According to a report by Markets and Markets, the global e-bike market is estimated to reach $38.6 billion by 2025.Mr. Chopra said there are also business opportunities in India's e-bike sector and expects growth not to be linear but exponential.
The problem, according to Chopra, is that India still lacks the infrastructure to develop an ecosystem around e-bikes."As a public infrastructure service, you need to provide charging ports and docking stations for e-bikes, which do not exist in India.So full access to infrastructure is the primary challenge, "he said.Chopra suggested that the government must establish public-private partnerships before setting up infrastructure, which would boost India's e-bike market if it happened.