Called PiMo, the utility e-bike is targeted towards personal and commercial mobility. It does not require a licence or registration.
“With the PiMo launch, we’re making a statement to the world that a startup can build electric vehicles and bring them to the market with limited resources…,” Visakh Sasikumar, IIT-Madras alum and CEO of Pi Beam Electric, said. “These bikes will find their way via B2B applications like food delivery, e-commerce delivery, shared mobility and much more.”
As much as 90% of PiMo’s components, including batteries and controllers, are manufactured in India, the company said in a statement. Pi Beam aims to sell 10,000 vehicles by the end of the next financial year (2021-22). It has gained over 100 initial customers within weeks of opening pre-orders from customers, it said.
PiMo is positioned between an electric bicycle and entry-level electric scooter, offering a top speed of 25 km per hour.
Compared to electric bicycles, it provides higher travel range, and has dual suspension at the rear and larger and ergonomically designed seats. It also offers a ‘battery swapping’ technology, through which a drained battery can be exchanged for a fully charged one at designated locations.
“Pi Beam — incubated at IIT Madras — has been prolific in coming out with affordable EV products for different utility applications,” Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said. “Now they have brought out an exciting e-bike which addresses a much larger user base, with a focus on emerging markets such as e-commerce delivery, shared mobility and so on.”
Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Professor In-Charge, IIT Madras Research Park said: “With PiMo, they’ve tried to make a very low-cost extremely affordable electric bike. They worked very hard on it, they figured out how to reduce the cost, make it a reliable utility bike.”