Electric bikes can be a great way to explore India’s urban landscape, but they come with a hefty price tag, which can be prohibitively expensive.
With that in mind, the country’s government has launched a program to offer affordable electric bikes to rural and small town residents.
As part of the program, the government has issued grants to individuals and groups to build two-wheeled electric motorbikes.
The first grant is worth Rs 30,000 for a two-wheeler with a maximum speed of 15kmph.
This means the grants will be available for Rs 20,000, up from the current Rs 10,000.
The second grant will be worth Rs 35,000 to individuals, up to a maximum of 10.
The first grant will come out of the Rs 2,000-crore National Highway Authority of India (NHIA) scheme, which aims to improve the rural economy.
“The grant will enable the development of small, self-sufficient electric motor vehicles that can be used by households, farmers, and small businesses in rural areas,” the NHIA website states.
“It will also help to encourage the growth of the electric vehicle sector in India and provide a source of employment for the rural youth,” it adds.
The second grant comes from the government’s National Rural Electrification Scheme (NREGS) programme, which is a $3.5-billion scheme.
“To help the rural population, the grant will also enable the government to develop the electric motor bike sector in rural and semi-urban areas,” it states.
The NHIA scheme is expected to help more than 10 million people get electric motor bikes by 2020.
However, it is expected that the program will only be able to support a small number of electric motorcyclists.
The NHIA has already announced that it will only grant grants to people with an income of less than Rs 5 lakh.
The government has also issued a call for proposals for electric motorcycle manufacturers.
“A large number of companies are actively seeking bids for the development and production of electric motorcycles, with the aim of becoming a global leader in electric motorcycling,” the government says.