Published: 08th October 2021
This 22-year-old spends his time converting petrol bikes into EVs. We unearth how he does it
Hyderabad-based Torq Electric was started by this third-year Engineering student just this month and this is how he plans to convert your bike into an EV
With fuel prices rising day by day, it's not a bad idea to jump onto the bandwagon of electric vehicles. I mean, you get to do something good for the environment. But we understand the trepidation, it's a big move and you might not be ready to say toodles to your beloved bike yet. Maaz Ahmed Khan has the perfect solution that checks all the boxes. How about converting your fuel-powered vehicle to an EV? The 22-year-old can actually do it for you, just like he did for his own Honda Activa that was proudly displayed at the launch of his start-up, Torq Electric. This happened on October 1 at EdVenture Park, Hyderabad, the incubator that focuses on student start-ups.
Maaz's fascination with Elon Musk and Tesla knows no bounds. And naturally, he gravitated towards EVs as well. But as a Mechanical Engineering student, it was tough to wrap his head around electrical engineering. But his resolve did not waver. He signed up for a workshop and lapped up all the knowledge he could about EVs. "I used to go up to people and try to talk to them about fuel-powered bikes and EVs and was often rebuffed. Now, the same people look at my EV and ask me questions," says the student of Methodist College of Engineering and Technology. His research started in January 2021 and concluded with this simple system — go to their website, fill a form that asks you basic questions like the name and manufacturing year of your bike and leave the rest to Maaz. He will connect with you to talk about converting your two-wheeler into a completely electric or hybrid vehicle and then, you can visit his garage to drop off your bike.
Hard at work (Graphics: Prajanma Das)
On the face of it, converting a bike into an EV is not an innovation. But 'one-man army' Maaz offers full customisations. "A few people prefer low speed with high range and others, vice versa. I can make both happen," says the youngster who was born in the Middle East and came to Hyderabad in 2017 to pursue his higher education. Currently, the going rate for a brand new EV starts at a fairly high range, but starting at Rs 70,000, you can keep your own bike and upgrade it. "Most people are very attached to their bikes for various reasons — their first bike with their own salary, their grandfather's bike and so on. The solution I offer helps them walk a middle path that allows them to hold on to their precious bike and yet, get with the electric trend," says the youngster who currently sources all the parts required from Indore and is in talks with local agents too.
Apart from as-you-please customisations, the battery management system (BMS) that Maaz installs also sets Torq’s EVs apart. This BMS helps regulate the battery, intimates the rider if there is any problem and so on. Since the battery is THE most important component of an EV, this development comes as a relief. So, what other prerequisite is there to be able to convert a bike to an EV? Not much really. "Strong structural integrity helps, but within about three weeks, any bike can be converted into an EV," he says confidently.
Maaz, whose favourite hobby is to ride off into the sunset on Sunday mornings, hopes to eventually hire a workforce, get more equipment and hopefully be able to convert other vehicles as well, starting with auto rickshaws.
For more on them check out torqelectric.com