Published: 08th January 2022
E-vrooming away: This Kerala trio are undertaking a journey across India on their electric scooters
The three friends — Akhil P S, Shibin S S and Abhijith Chandran — began the journey from Arthunkal in Alappuzha and have been on the road for a month and seven day
On December 1, three youngsters started on a road trip from Kerala on their electric scooters. The all-India ride was a dream the trio nurtured and hoped to complete in the autorickshaw they bought. But rising fuel prices made them choose electric scooters instead. Traversing at only 25 kmph, the trio is journeying through India, exploring many cultures and people of the land.
The three friends — Akhil P S, Shibin S S and Abhijith Chandran — began the journey from Arthunkal in Alappuzha and have been on the road for a month and seven days. On average, the trio travels a distance of 160 km. The total expenditure has been set at Rs 2 lakh and they hope to journey the length and breadth of the country.
It all happened when the first lockdown was imposed. "My friend and I were planning to join a new enterprise. With the outbreak of the pandemic, the plan had to be shelved. Then the three of us started a YouTube channel. We could monetise the channel soon and we thought of travelling using the revenue from the channel," says Akhil. Earlier, the plan was to travel in an autorickshaw. Although they bought and repainted it, the rising petrol prices made them think otherwise. "So we bought two electric scooters. Hence, the travel is eco-friendly and we don't have to bear any expense," said Abhijith.
The ride begins at 6.30 am and they travel for six hours. The daily expense target was kept at Rs 3,000. But they have been easily able to keep the expenses under Rs 1,500 per day. "The only expense incurred is for the accommodation and food and we can easily limit it," says Akhil. The trio stays at hotels or pitches their tent near temples. The main challenge they are facing is the absence of enough charging stations. "Often, we charge the batteries at the hotel where we stay. It takes around three hours to charge one battery and with charging each time, we can travel a distance of 110 km," says Akhil.
On average, the trio travels a distance of 160 km. They hope to finish the travel in another month, although the challenge of COVID is a growing concern.
The journey has been eventful, says Abhijith, who recalls how his bag was stolen right in front of his eyes in Ahmedabad. "We were having food and my bag was in the scooter. A man stole the bag and made away with it on a bike. We couldn't do anything except watch what was happening," recalls Abhijith, who lost his phone and money. "We had taken the money to pay for the accommodation. We reported the event to a police station and left. We experienced how linguistically biased those in government services were. They wouldn't listen to you if you aren't fluent in Hindi," says Abhijith.
Abhijith adds that one of the high points of the ride has been how people are in awe watching them traversing India on electric scooters. "Electric vehicles are our future. It is highly eco-friendly as well as economical. If we shift towards this mode of transportation, it's best for the environment. A single effort can make a difference," he shares.