Published: 15th July 2018
Zip, zap, zoom: Navigate through traffic with Versatile's latest e-bike, the VE-45
Versatile's new e-bike VE-45 took five years of research, says CEO Chandu Kumar Potti
Metros in the big cities have certainly made life easier, but it's the last mile connection (home to station, station to college) that still remains a hassle. And rural areas have it much harder as getting to the bus stop and/or station is a much bigger problem. Aimed at bridging this gap, Versatile Auto Components, after five years of research and experimentation, has come up with their new e-bike, the VE-45.
Though his grandfather, Potti Sreeramulu, is an iconic figure in Indian politics, Kumar has no intentions of entering politics
"The purpose of any business is to come up with solutions to mankind's problems and we want to make short commutes easy," says Chandu Kumar Potti, the CEO of the company that was started in 2003. Growing up in Nellore, he recalls the hassles of waiting for an RTC bus with no clue as to when it would actually arrive. "As a nation, we need to empower villages with facilities," says Kumar. He also feels that instead of blindly adopting something that is not designed for our socio-economic conditions, we must be indigenous. So what better way than an e-bike which is not only environment-friendly, but also, in many ways, the need of the hour.
Bookworm: Whenever Kumar finds some free time between his various responsibilities, he likes to read books
Hence, the lightweight VE-45, which is about 35 kg, is as practical as it gets. With a sleek design that is available in different colours, the e-bike's maximum speed is 25 km. A full charge (0.5 unit) enables one to travel up to 45 km. The one-seater e-bike comes equipped with dual disc breaks, a small LED light and dual lock facility, both electronic and manual. The e-bike also is also low maintenance and requires servicing only once in six months.
Versatile Auto Components is a manufacturer and supplier of automobile accessories and was started in the year 2003
But these are not the features that set this two-wheeler apart. "Its compact size ensures that the e-bike can easily be taken inside the house for charging and can smoothly climb flyovers as well," says 38-year-old Kumar, who is the grandson of the famous Indian revolutionary, Potti Sreeramulu, who went a hunger strike for the formation of a separate Telugu-speaking state and passed away in 1952.
On a ride: The Cabinet Minister of Telangana, KT Rama Rao unveiled Kumar's dream to the market at Pashamylaram Industrial Park on July 9, 2018
While there have been several e-vehicles in the market, people have not opted for them. The 38-year-old feels that, "it is the manufacturers who need to convince the people to opt for e-vehicles through their products." And with the government currently importing 70% of its petroleum products, it could do well by taking a leaf out of the books of European countries that have adopted the new technology to avoid the use of petrol and help their own economy. Kumar, who is also the chairman of Pashamylaram Industrial Estate, Telangana, feels that though we are lagging behind, as a country, in the manufacturing sector, the environment in Telangana, and India in general, is conducive for it.
The VE-45 will be launched in the market in a month's time. Surprisingly, in a world where almost anything can be bought online, Kumar doesn't want to go down the e-commerce route because, "I really want people to drive and experience it first before they can purchase it," he says earnestly.
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