Sheen from our EV group has also joined hands with EV world – and will be offering his kits under their name from now on. Interesting tidbit from Sheen – he will be offering a 750 W motor option in his kit soon. Top speed will be an amazing 50 kmph. Am not too sure if I would like to be doing those speeds on a cycle. 40 kmph sounds safe enough to me – and that can be achieved by 250 W motor, by just changing the settings. Another issue with 50 kmph is gearing. A typical 60 cm wheel will be spinning at around 300 rpm then. With a cadence of even 60 rpm on the pedal, you will need a gear ratio of 5 : 1 to be able to catch up with the motor. That means around 60 teeth. Most cycle models have the largest front sprocket at 44 and the rear at 11. This would mean a 55 teeth sprocket – which would be a trifle unmanageable.
The Aurora hospitality was on full display. There was a cocktails corner which was of not too much utility to me. But what I did appreciate was the snacks that got served with the cocktails. And I did full justice to most of the veg stuff on offer – with a specialisation in sushi. This of course required a lot of time, as I made a dinner of it – one sushi at a time. Met with Amarjit Sidhu ji, who had exactly the same plans as I did of converting snacks to dinner. Had a rambling conversation with him as we gulped down our drinks and snacks.
Sidhu saab started his career in the TV manufacturing industry – which was the EV of his days. A lot of imports would happen – and there were quite a few assemblers. He then went on to spend a long time with the Sahara group. When PSU banks started rural banking schemes – there were a lot of fraud cases. Agents would fill in the deposit slips – which kind of assured our gullible villagers that the money is in the bank. And then these agents would do a disappearing act. Sahara learnt from these malpractices – and insisted on two things: agents had to be local; agents would not be paid salaries, only commissions. That worked out well for the group.
We chatted about Sahara EVols. Sidhu saab believes that fund collection is full time work. Diverting this army into selling e bikes or retail products like soaps – was a mistake on part of the group. The volunteer army just did not have the bandwidth or talents to switch mindset to this type of sales. Sidhu saab is now director with Detel, (https://detel-india.com) the folks who had launched the 20 K electric moped. The vehicles were CKDs from China – and had to be discontinued soon after launch, as there were major build quality issues.
Detel now makes its own e mopeds – but now sensibly priced at 50 K, the same bike that Pure EV sold as E-Trance. The group also got a tie-up to manufacture the German E-rockit. (https://www.erockit.de/en/home-2/) A cute electric motorbike with a foot operated rotary throttle – a kind of pedal assist without the chain if you please. They plan to retail it in India – and also export it to Europe. Another plan is to launch scooters – under the LML brand. This brand was purchased a few years ago – and work is on for an all metal scooter. May get launched in 2023 – with FAME subsidy. The group is working on launching 6 models, 2 each under the Detel, LML and E Rockit brands. Sidhu saab has offered to lend the Detel moped for a week. It is a relatively light 80 kg. Has a 48 V, 40 Ah (Almost 2 kWH) NMC battery with a claimed range of 120 km. Should be interesting to review.
Sanjeev Bajaj did the ribbon cutting. Sanjeev and Munish were together at Vincent’s. I believe that their kids go to school together – so the Aurora and Bajaj families are close to each other. I was also a Vincentian around the time Sanjeev was – passed out a year earlier than him. He then went on to do mechanical engineering at COEP – where again he was a junior. Chatted up with him for a few minutes – and explored EV financing with our friend. Hope to meet Sanjeev again to see how companies like Bajaj FinServ can help develop the Indian EV eco system.