Umesh Shripat Alone, a 58-year-old resident of Khanda Colony, has managed to successfully transform his regular bicycle into an electric cycle.
On his regular bicycle, he used to take around 40 minutes to travel 10km to reach his office in CBD Belapur. Now, on his electric cycle, he covers the same distance in only 24 minutes.
A senior technician with the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL), Alone had initially started cycling to his workplace as a form of physical exercise. However, he used to struggle to manage his time with the regular bicycle. So, he started exploring different options of cutting down the travel time without ditching his cycling habit.
“As a technician by profession, I had the basic ideas of running a light vehicle by using a chargeable battery. I also watched a few videos of such vehicles and those really shaped up my ideas,” Alone said.
“In the first half of 2020, I spent around ₹35,000 to purchase a DC battery, an electric motor, an accelerator and the other necessary materials. By using them, I kept on trying to transform my regular bicycle into an electric one, and succeeded after nearly two months,” Alone added.
Alone’s success story was, however, not known to many people until his electric cycle was exhibited in a road show of such vehicles conducted by the MSEDCL last month. His efforts received accolades throughout the event, and his senior also felicitated him at the end of it.
“With a fully-charged battery, I can travel around 50km on this cycle. Its speed is around 25km per hour and anyone, with basic training, can ride it. The best part is that I can still use it as a regular bicycle. I often pedal when I am not in a hurry and that has helped me keep myself in good shape. Charging the battery takes only two units of electricity and that costs around ₹8. So, just by spending ₹8, I can travel up to 50km on this cycle,” he added.
When asked about his future plans, Alone said, “I am retiring in December this year. With more free time in hand, I will try to modify this cycle. I will try to use a small generator and thereby recharge the battery while it is still on the move.”