Amid rising petrol prices burning a hole in pockets of consumers, urban commuters in India will soon have a chance to ride an electric two-wheeler without owning it. As part of its new initiative, Ahmedabad-based electric two-wheeler maker, Electrotherm India Limited, is all set to introduce a two-wheeler rental service in India called 'Switch'.
The service has already been approved for operations in Pune by Maharashtra's state transport authority under the 'rent-a-motorcycle’ scheme of the Motor Vehicle Act.
To be provided by ET Electrans Limited, a subsidiary of Electrotherm India, the new service will initially be available for Pune-based corporate users and users with long term commitment. "Over a period of time this service will be extended to all Puneites for short and long duration. The transition of service, from long to short duration, will depend on the acceptance of this new concept by the users,"The city-based company today said in a statement. The first master franchise of Switch was formally inaugurated today by DG Jadhav, Maharashtra Transport Commissioner.
In the first phase the company will rent electric two wheelers to corporate, government bodies and educational as well as other institutions. The revenue model would be based on monthly hiring charge and membership revenues generated from members. The second phase will offer this rental service to retail consumer, wherein the retail customers would be invited to join as members and would be charged based on the minutes the vehicle is utilised. The revenue model would be based on utilisation of the vehicle and membership fee generated.
“This rental service has been designed to empower urban citizens tackle their commuting issues. This is a branded membership-based service to ensure that those who choose to associate with us are professionally and properly attended. Starting with Pune, we plan to start such services in cities across the country,” said Mukesh Bhandari, chairman, Electrotherm India.
The project will use RTO approved electric scooter-YoBykes, which is manufactured by Electrotherm. The company has set up a central workshop for high-end maintenance and already has three master franchisee at Kothrud, Wanowarie and Chinchwad. It plans to have 7 more such franchises spread across the city.
"They would essentially be looking after maintenance and logistics. This will be supported by 400 franchisee all across Pune to facilitate access to our members. We also have corporate plan and plans for longer duration users,” added Avinash Bhandari, chairman, ET Electrans.
The company has obtained all requisite permission and approvals from the state and regional transport authorities. Claimed as the first-of-its-kind, this service is ready to be rolled out.