Published: 23rd June 2021
Here's a two-wheeler EV that is made to carry loads, courtesy two innovators from Hyderabad
Tiliti is the all-powerful e-bike that you can unburden all your load on and trust that it will deliver for sure. We found out from the founders what went into the making of this wonder bike...
People hauling heavy loads on a two-wheeler is a common sight on Indian roads — uncomfortable looking men straddling larger-than-usual deliveries or precariously balancing stacks of heavy crates fastened tightly to the backseat. Now, imagine them zipping around on EVs made to transport them and their loads with more ease. If nothing else, the rising petrol prices alone should be enough to convince anyone to make the switch. Set up in May 2019, Persist Energy certainly couldn't have preempted the fuel price hike, but their aim has been a smart electric mobility option for all.
Harshin's first venture was called IZA Mobility where he helped build an electric micro bike. Previously, he has worked with the Mahindra Group and is a Rider Manager and Fitness Coach at the Hyderabad Cyclists Group
Brooding over this idea since early 2019, the research of Harshin Lalpet (29) and Bharavi Butta (28) led them to China (the hub for EVs) for 14 days where they visited various manufacturers and attended EV expos, apart from getting acquainted with start-ups like Bounce and Rapido back home. "After a lot of research, we realised that there is no good option for those who carry heavy loads on two-wheelers. The idea firmed up further when we spoke to people at Ghode Ki Khabar, Old City, Jeedimetla and Uppal — we started looking at them as potential customers," says Harshin who is based out of Hyderabad. That's how Tiliti, the 62-kilo EV from the house of Persist Energy, came to be.
"Yes, the cost of EVs is still high, but we are exploring new business models, like providing batteries as a service. We lease the battery and with this, 60% of the vehicle's cost is offloaded. This also enables users to upgrade their battery models frequently, which ensures that compared to gas-guzzlers, where the vehicle's efficiency keeps failing, Tiliti's performance will always be top-notch," explains Harshin who pursued his Bachelor's in Automotive Engineering from SRMIST, Chennai, (where the founders met). With a sizeable grant in 2019 from IDEA, the venture accelerator of Northeastern University, Boston, (Bharavi's alma mater) in the form of credit, software and more, they were able to source what they needed from their suppliers in Keesara Industrial Area and make their EV a reality. Their current version, which has already clocked 1,000 km on the road, was built in March this year after taking into account user feedback.
The tentative cost of Tiliti is Rs 35,000 to Rs 45,000 and it can run upto 100-150 km on a full charge, depending on the load
And as far as carrying load is concerned, there are several mounting points that makes it easier to peg goods or use ropes to fasten them. Up to 75 kilos can be carried at the rear of the EV, while the front can bear up to 25 kilos and this is minus the rider. Being IoT-enabled means that the vehicle can be tracked at all times and so can the stats, such as kilometres travelled. What's also cool is that a collaboration with UK's Gravity Sketch is offering potential customers to change to experience the EV before pre-orders are placed. How? Via futuristic VR headsets. "Approximately ten people have already tried the headset to see for themselves how Tiliti's utility space is and get details of other specifics. It gives them a taste of what they could potentially own," says the founder.
Though Tiliti is at the MVP stage, sans any marketing or canvassing of the EV, they have already received close to 50 pre-orders and ten letters of intent. They are waiting on a few certifications and then the EV will be good to go.
For more on them check out persist.energy