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The e-bicycle Hornback looks like a regular battery-fitted cycle but can be folded and carried in a car’s boot or pushed around like a trolley.

Hyderabad-based E-mobility startup Kachbo Design has come up with a first-of-its-kind electric bicycle that its developers call ‘an adaptive urban commuter’.

The e-bicycle Hornback looks like a regular battery-fitted cycle but can be folded and carried in a car’s boot or pushed around like a trolley.

It allows for easy battery swapping for a longer commute or removing it altogether for the sake of a workout. And unlike folding cycles that come with smaller wheel sizes, Hornback’s full-sized wheels allow for comfort and efficiency in pedalling while not compromising on portability and its compact design.

Launching the e-bicycle on Sunday, Jayesh Ranjan, the principal secretary for IT, Industries and Commerce, had words of encouragement for the young entrepreneurs Nishith Parikh and Rajkumar Kewat, co-founders of Kachbo Design. He said e-bicycles will be added to the Telangana e-vehicle policy and asked them to start a full-fledged manufacturing unit in the state.

The Hornback can travel at a speed of upto 25 kmph and cover a distance range of 30 km. During road tests, riders commuted from Hyderabad to Chennai in about four days. The company has not yet announced the price of the bike and will soon do so after working out battery chemistry.

While the design allows for the cycle to be pushed around like a trolley, thus making its weight a non-factor, the innovators feel the e-cycle would become further lighter after working on the battery. Kachbo Design has started taking pre-booking orders for the e-bicycle via their website for Rs 500 and plans to start delivery by September 2022.

Parikh, who specialises in industrial design, and Kewat, who graduated in transportation and mobility design, had conceived the idea while pursuing their education at IITBombay. As they often had to cycle around the campus, it was an urge as designers to identify problems and offer disruptive solutions that led to the idea.

After graduating in 2017, it took them four years to develop a market-ready product. According to Parikh, the Hornback is going to disrupt the way people travel by solving the problem of last-mile connectivity in using public transport.

“You can ride the Hornback like an electric scooter to your office and return riding it like a regular cycle to avoid the traffic and work on your fitness. You don’t have to worry about the parking space and take it to your desk. All this while promoting a green mode of transport,” said Parikh, adding that a day would come soon where one could charge their e-bike while travelling in an electric bus that provides charging points.

For Kewat, maintaining the structural integrity and strength of the cycle frame while working on the portability aspect and not compromising on the quality or performance were some of the challenges in the development of Hornback. They took into consideration the boot space of smallest cars like the Maruti Suzuki Alto.

As prices of petrol and gas keep rising, Kewat sees a boom in the e-mobility segment. “We are sure our product will help a lot. We will add more smart features that enhance the ergonomics, easy portability of the bicycle etc while targeting an affordable price range. Not like we have this product and that’s it. We have a few more products lined up,” he adds.

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