It is a vehicle that runs on battery, does not pollute the environment, does not require the driver to register it or carry a licence while riding. But the best part about the electronic bikes (or e-bikes) is that it is endorsed by the Maharashtra Regional Transport Department (RTO).
And considering the e-bikes record a maximum of 25 kmph on the speedometer, the chic vehicles could well be a solution to the city's traffic and pollution woes. Based on the model, the bike costs between Rs 25,000-30,000.
The Maharashtra RTO recently issued an order exempting the bike from any kind of registration and documentation after it received an approval from the Pune-based Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). The ARAI is a research organisation affiliated to the central government's ministry of heavy industries and public enterprises.
"In view of the ARAI's conclusion, these vehicles are not deemed to be motor vehicles and all registering authorities in the state have been informed that all such bikes would not require registration," Maharashtra Transport Commissioner Shyamsunder Shinde said in a written order.
"The e-bikes have been classified like bicycles. They will not require permits nor have registration numbers unlike other two-wheelers," said AV Giri, Tardeo's regional transport officer said.
Branded YO bikes (YO for youth and the young-at-heart), these vehicles are manufactured in Gujarat by Electrotherm India Limited (EIL). The bike has an electrical motor in the rear wheel hub. The motor runs on a battery that has to be charged. As the bike does not have an engine, it does not make noise and needs no registration. Moreover, as per ARAI norms, any vehicle with less than 250-watt power and less than 25-kmph speed does not require a licence or registration.
"These (e-bikes) will be a perfect solution for Mumbai. In any case, in areas like Mumbai, the (vehicle's) speed never exceeds 25 kmph," said Shailesh Shah, the city's only authorised dealer of YO Bikes in Malad. "These can be used as feeder vehicles from station to residential complexes and offices. They are very cheap to run and do not require any fuel and hence are entirely non-polluting," said Shah.
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