Thursday, July 31, 2008

UK-based Ultra Motors launches a high-range electric scooter, Marathon, priced at Rs 31,047 in India, which travels 100 km on a single charge

"Marathon is primarily targeted at 24-plus year olds, riding a petrol scooter or a moped and who are looking at economy and utility," Ultra Motor India Director (Marketing) Deba Ghoshal told reporters.

The price of running an electric two wheeler works out to only 10 paise per km, the cost of charging the battery, he claimed.

The company had set sale target of 60,000 units during this fiscal. Last year, Ultra Motors, in partnership with Hero Exports, sold 22,000 ultra powered electric two-wheelers across the country, he said.

In fiscal 2007-08, the company had a technical collaboration cum-joint marketing agreement with Hero Exports to produce and jointly market electric two-wheelers in India.

He said it was proposed to increase the dealerships across India from 150 to 275, thereby ensuring a pan-India presence.

Ultra Motors has plans to invest Rs 140 crore in three years in product development, marketing and distribution.

Pointing out that Kerala offers a huge potential for electric two-wheelers, he said Ultra Motors has received good response for 'Velociti' electric two-wheelers launched four months ago. About 300 units were sold in just four months.

With rising petrol prices, customers have a good option in electric two-wheelers, he said, adding that there was good response in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan, where electric two-wheelers were launched.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A ban on covering faces by women while driving motorbikes irks woman's organizations in Pune

Satyapal Singh, who took charge of the City Police Commissioner last week has disapproved women covering their faces while driving.

The contention of Singh is that terrorists can take advantage of the practice to disguise themselves.

Many college girls and office-going women here cover their faces from head to chin to protect themselves from heat and dust while riding bikes.

A large number of women, including mayor Rajlaxmi Bhosale and several Woman's organizations have opposed the police ban.

The controversy also hit the blogosphere with girls protesting the ban on blogs and social networking sites such as Orkut and Facebook.
Pune bans scarves while driving to check terrorism - The Times of India

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Ratan Tata to make an electric car, invests with a French company for work on a vehicle using compressed air as fuel

Mr. Tata said that besides launching new products, this year the company was looking at making an electric car and was competing for an Eco car in Thailand.

Tata Motors Chairman Ratan Tata said, the company had made an investment with a French company for work on a vehicle using compressed air as fuel.

Mr. Tata said contrary to claims that the Tata Nano would result in traffic congestion and increased pollution, “the Nano will be 12 per cent less polluting than a two-wheeler.

As regards congestion, one has to put the issue in perspective. Even at one million cars per year, over five years, we will not add more than 4-5 per cent of cars on the road. It would not be fair to blame congestion on the Nano.”
The Hindu : Nano will not increase congestion: Tata

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3 bicycle shop owners - who are believed to have rented 5 to 6 bicycles to the terrorists who have planned the blasts in Ahmedabad - nabbed by police

Ahmedabad police officials have detained more than 30 residents of the blast-affected areas and adjoining residential areas to get more information about the blasts.

"We suspect that the way the blasts were carried out need a detailed recce. It is possible that the suspects live close to the blast sites to know details like when the crowd would be the largest, when they would be headed home and also that evening would be the right time, the peak traffic hour to strike," said police investigators.

-Ahmedabad-The Times of India

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Be kind to your e-bike!

As petrol prices are hitting the roof, battery-operated bikes or e-bikes are becoming popular. Particularly, in the middle aged office going population and housewives. Mostly this group has to travel short distance. Because of the age and temperament speed of the e-bike is also not an issue for them.

Electric and Petrol Scooter:

Plus, most of the e-bikes do not look much different from the petrol scooters. If you come across anybody who has recently purchased an e-bike and ask him about the performance of his vehicle, he will tell you "It's "electric" scooter. Not much different from the petrol scooter. Actually, after i started using it, in the first week, you know, two three times i went to the petrol pump and stood in the line. It is just like a scooter! A scooter without petrol!"

Maintenance free maximum performance:

Not finding any difference in the performance and forgetting that it is not a petrol scooter is a good way of telling how happy you are about your e-bike. But if you really want to enjoy 'maintenance free maximum performance' of your e-bike you should always remember that it is not a petrol scooter. It's battery operated bike. No, i am not talking about the battery fuse. I am talking about the load carrying capacity of your e-bike.

Excess weight:

You have to keep in mind that these bikes can only take limited loads. You can not carry as much load as you can, like you used to on your petrol scooter. Excess weight may affect the wiring of your e-bike which may have to be replaced.

Over weight:

Excess weight is a typical middle age issue, we all face. Of course, now scientists have found a simple but effective way of keeping "a diet diary" to lose the weight. However, you have to be kind to your e-bike and carry a limited load. If weight is a big issue at your home you can follow Mr. Singh, who says, "“I avoid taking my wife along as the battery cannot bear the load of well-built grown up people for a very long time and the vehicle packs up.”


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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

First anniversary of the hugely popular vélib scheme, the cycle experiment, in Paris

As Paris marks this week the first anniversary of the appearance of public bicycles on its streets, other cities are watching ever more closely a hugely successful experiment in self-service public transport.

Since Bertrand Delanoe, the city’s Mayor, took the gamble of putting 16,000 vélibs, short for vélo liberté, or bike freedom, at the disposal of Parisians, the stately grey machines have been taken out for a spin a total of 27 million times. To the pleasure of the left-wing council and the frustration of drivers, cycle traffic has jumped by 70 per cent as Parisians take advantage of the almost-free service.

Vélo city

- Paris’s vélib scheme is by far the biggest in the world. The total number of bikes will reach 20,000 by the end of the year.

- 1,500 bikes are repaired every day, most at the docking stations.

- The fee system is designed to encourage short hires. A day ticket costs €1 (80p), a weekly one €5, an annual one €29. The first half-hour is free, with an additional cost of €1 per half hour.

- The city of Paris has made about €30 million profit in the first year but JCDecaux, the firm that supplies the bikes, is reported to have spent millions over budget because of greater than expected wear and tear, theft and vandalism
A year on, the cycle experiment has hit some bumps - Times Online

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