Chennai

Customised bicycle helps trader beat fuel price rise

Lingaperumal, who sells Idiyappam on a battery operated bicycle at Velachery on Friday.

Lingaperumal, who sells Idiyappam on a battery operated bicycle at Velachery on Friday. | Photo Credit: B. VELANKANNI RAJ

It could be said D. Lingaperumal, who sells idiyappam and puttu, was prescient nearly six months ago, when he decided to replace his fuel guzzling old two-wheeler with a bicycle for his trade.

The rise in fuel price in the subsequent months left him vindicated. But then, he did not just stop with buying a bicycle. He learnt some basic engineering skills from YouTube videos and converted his bicycle into one powered by battery. This helped him drastically cut operational cost.

Hailing from Dindigul district, the small trader used to spend ₹200 every day on petrol roaming the streets of Adambakkam, Ullagaram-Puzhithiakkam and Velachery on his two-wheeler morning and evening. He said: “Even before the petrol price hit ₹100, I used to spend more than ₹6,000 a month on fuel for my two-wheeler. So, I sold my two-wheeler and purchased a bicycle last year.”

A father of two children, covering 50-60 km on the bicycle every day in hot weather sapped him of all the energy at the end of the day. It was then that he heeded the advice of his friends and started watching videos of e-wheeler channel on YouTube. With an investment of ₹15,000, he converted his bicycle into an e-vehicle by fitting it with a China-made DC motor, rechargeable lithium battery and a few electrical spare parts.

One charge allows to him to ride 30 km. Today, Mr. Lingaperumal goes around the streets happily on his battery-powered bicycle selling Idiyappam. Although there are numerous e-bikes in the market, they were beyond his reach.

Mr. Lingaperumal shows his e-cycle to anyone who cares to look at it. “After converting it into into an e-cycle, I have become immune to fuel price hikes and don’t bother much about the cost of petrol any more,” he says.


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Printable version | Jun 3, 2022 1:15:23 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/customised-bicycle-helps-trader-beat-fuel-price-rise/article65439662.ece