India begins drafting standards for electric bicycles.

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is in the process of drafting standards for electric-assist bicycles. Industry insiders involved in drafting the standards suggest that the final version of the electric bicycle standards may be formed within the next six months and implemented in mid-2024.

The All India Cycle Manufacturers Association (AICMA) organized a one-day “Indian Electric Bicycle Sustainable Ecosystem” workshop in Ludhiana on November 3. The workshop invited participants such as suppliers, policymakers, and academics. During the event, AICMA announced that the BIS Transport Engineering Department (TED) Bicycle Division Committee TED 16 is working on formulating electric bicycle standards.

U Rajagopal, the Chairman of AICMA, stated in his opening address, “Speed is the key to adopting technology, so India should learn from countries that have already adopted this technology to shorten the learning curve. India should proactively formulate electric bicycle standards to take a leading position and calls for a robust framework for the development of the high-quality electric bicycle market in India.”

Electric shifting poses challenges for the components industry

Approximately 25 key mechanical and electrical components need robust and sustainable electric bicycle standards, and 90% of bicycle component manufacturers in India belong to the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) industry. Therefore, establishing a strong supply chain requires substantial investment and innovation in the MSME sector.

“Harnessing small and medium enterprises for electric bicycles is not yet fully prepared, as some necessary technologies and parts, such as hydraulic brakes, electric hubs, and electric throttle valves, may not have widespread adoption. But with the growth in demand for electric bicycles, small and medium enterprises will surely catch up and adapt to the evolving trends,” said Harsimerjit Singh, Chairman of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association (UCPMA).

India initiates the formulation of electric bicycle standards

Hannes Neupert, President of ExtraEnergy and Board Member of EnergyBus, along with Dr. Yang Mohua, President of EnergyBus and OPI2020 organization in Switzerland, attended the AICMA event as European experts. They suggested that India could adopt safer and more sustainable electric bicycle standards.

EnergyBus stated, “The global electric bicycle market is expected to surpass 100 million units between 2028 and 2032, depending on innovation, legislation, and policies. The success of the market requires globally unified and coordinated standards, and India should take a leadership role in this area. It is a huge market opportunity, and everything depends on India setting the required standards and the speed of adopting technology.”

Eduard Stolz from the Swiss OPI2020 organization, when discussing electric vehicle standardization, said, “India is committed to developing higher quality electric bicycles that comply with the European market.” National standards in India should align with global standards and emphasize safety standardization for the sustainable development of the global electric vehicle market.

Investment in electric bicycle testing infrastructure

The R&D center in Ludhiana is also investing in infrastructure for the bicycle market. Mechanical testing of electric bicycles can be carried out on existing production lines, and another production line specifically for mechanical testing of plastic components for electric bicycles according to REACH standards may be operational in the first quarter of next year. “Once there is demand for critical electronic components such as motors, batteries, controllers, etc., we will evaluate whether to create testing infrastructure for these components. We have invested over 100 million Indian rupees in building the second testing line and upgrading facilities,” said Rakesh Pathak, General Manager of the Bicycle R&D Center.

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