There is an interesting change in the way people in Bengaluru are commuting over short distances, like from the metro station to their offices.
Earlier, commuters used to take a bus or an auto. That changed when some start-ups started offering cycles on hire. This was followed by scooters on rent - conventional scooters and electric ones. And now, we have electric bikes.
The electric bikes are something in between a motorbike and a cycle. Their speed is below 20 kmph and they can cover up to 50 km on a single charge, which is good enough for last-mile connectivity for daily commuters.
After the initial hesitancy, use of electric bikes has shot up. Nowadays, it appears that the biggest users of electric bikes are delivery partners.
In the initial days of the home delivery business, start-ups invited people who own bikes to work with them as delivery partners. Seeing their success, people who did not own a bike also started working as delivery partners by taking a bike on rent. All they needed was a driving licence. Now, you don’t need a bike or a driving licence to work as a delivery partner.
With an increase in use of electric vehicles, Bengaluru is showing India how to commute over short distances in an eco-friendly way. But, in their current avatar, an electric bike is not the perfect solution because the electric vehicle is charged using conventional sources of power.
But, we can take comfort in the fact that the city is making space for an environment-friendly mode of transport.
Bengaluru attracts people with a progressive mindset who come up with eco-friendly and innovative solutions to everyday problems. In India, Bengaluru is the pioneer in electric vehicles. And now, Bengaluru is at the forefront of the large-scale adoption of electric bikes in India.