Today everyone is worried about the rising prices of petrol. It is not known when the petrol worth thousand rupees was filled and when it got over. People are now looking towards electric vehicles as an alternative. But their prices are also no less. One has to look at the pocket twice before buying it. In such a situation, if we say that only your old petrol powered scooter can be converted into an electric scooter and that too at a very low cost….. then?
Now you don’t have to spend lakhs of rupees or wait for long for an e-bike, thanks to Bengaluru-based company Zuink Retrofit. This startup will convert your scooter into a fully electric vehicle in just 4 hours. For this you will have to spend only Rs 26,999.
Zuink Retrofit is a part of dockless scooter sharing company ‘Bounce’.
Sachin Shenoy, Vice President, Zuink Retrofit The Better India He said, “If you want to have your own EV scooter, but don’t feel like spending a lot of money or your pocket doesn’t allow it, then this is the best option for you.” He further adds, “Suppose you have a seven year old Honda Activa and you want to replace it with a new EV, then for this you will have to spend between 70 thousand to one lakh rupees. But we will convert it to electric scooter in just 26,999.”
At present, this kit can be booked in Bangalore by paying Rs 499. Zuink Retrofit will start the installation work from December. The company expects to reach out to cities like Delhi, Ahmedabad, Pune, Mumbai and Hyderabad by June 2022.
Why convert a scooter to an electric one?
Sachin said, “After converting a petrol-powered scooter to an electric one, the fuel cost will be almost halved in a month. According to us, a customer spends 3 or 3.5 rupees per kilometer on a petrol scooter. If you convert it to electric, then this cost will come down to around Rs 1.5 per kilometer.”
The older the scooter, the more smoke its engine will emit. So, if you have a five to six year old Honda Activa or TVS Scooty Zest, it makes sense to convert it to an EV. It simply means that along with saving fuel, you are also saving the environment from getting polluted. Sachin claims that the chassis of this IC-engine variant is much stronger than the EVs available in the market and the chassis has been kept strong during the conversion process.
As of now, Zuink Retrofit has started converting around four models of IC-engined scooters which include TVS Scooty Zest, Honda Activa 3G, 4G and 5G. These have been the best selling models in the last decade. Going forward, the company will start working on Suzuki Access, Hero Pleasure and other scooter models as well.
How to convert scooter into EV?
Sachin said, “If we see from the point of view of the customers, it is like dropping your scooter at an authorized service center for servicing. You leave it in the morning and in the afternoon you will be ready. We also have some offers and discounts for the first coming customers. If you want, you can also opt for EMI of Rs 899 per month. If you travel 25 to 30 kms a day, then even after paying the EMI, your expenditure will be less than the cost of petrol every month.
When converting a petrol scooter to an electric one, the fuel tank and silencer are first removed and then an electric powertrain is installed along with a rear wheel mounted hub motor. Along with this, a 2kwh lithium-ion battery is installed in it. The startup has converted around 200+ IC-engine scooters to electric in the last one and a half years. All of them are standing ready in the dockless of the bounce.
All components are designed in India
He explains, “These retrofit scooters are really sturdy and it is only after thorough testing that this kit has been brought in the market. After installing the kit, you will not feel at all that it is separate from the IC-engine. In a factory out-of-the-box e-scooter, sometimes there is a gap of one second between braking and accelerator while taking sharp turns. They do not take the cut as well as an IC-engine does. But this is not the case with our converted scooter. We can not call it better than IC-engine, but it does something similar.
These converted scooters run at a speed of 60 kmph and can cover a distance of around 55 kms on a single charge. However, during the test, this range was also reached up to 80 km. Whereas the EVs present in the market give less speed than this and are also quite expensive in comparison.
According to Sachin, all the components of Retro Fit are designed and made in India and they are also assembled here. All these are prepared under the strict supervision of the startup.
battery swapping technology
All the converted scooters will be powered by battery swapping technology developed by Zuink Retrofit. There are more than 150 battery swapping stations in Bangalore. The company aims to have one battery swapping station every 1 kilometer by December. He says, “In Bengaluru, we have done 3 lakh battery swaps in the last one and a half years. With this system you don’t need to keep the battery, take it home, worry about maintenance and spend money on electricity. You rent it from us at Rs 80 per swap, ride about 55 kms and when it starts discharging, swap again at the nearest station. It takes less than three minutes to swap the batteries.
Sachin further explains, “The battery has to be changed after charging 1200 to 1300 times. Because after that they become useless. If you have your own battery, it will need to be replaced once every three years. This is information that most EV manufacturers don’t talk about. But with our battery swapping model, the customer will not have to incur any such expenditure.”
From new RC to number plate, the company will renew everything
Registration will also be taken care of once this kit is taken among the customers. When your vehicle is converted to electric, it will require a new RC. Apart from this, special green and white number plates are also required for electric vehicles. The entire responsibility for this will be with the company. However, the registration fee will have to be paid by the customer.
Finally Sachin says, “The whole process will take 15 to 20 days. Our aim is to reduce the hassle of the customers so that they can convert their petrol two wheeler to electric vehicle without any hesitation.”
Original article: Rinchen Norbu Wangchuck
Editing: Archana Dubey
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