E-bike: Catalyzing Sustainable Tourism

Abstract

Electric Bikes could help India leap-frog and transform the tourism sector by using mobility which is shared, connected and electric. This would help address the first/last mile connectivity challenge and reduce air pollution.

Key words: Electric bike, Mobility, Sustainable Tourism

Introduction

Jaipur as a Smart City has been seeing deployment of new infrastructure, whether it has been the Bhamashah Data Centre or the Daryavati River Rejuvenation Project. There are two other parameters that are important from a smart city perspective. One is sustainability, which refers to being environmentally conscious and second is People perspectives – people being aware of the new services being provided as a result of the smart infrastructure, their widespread availability and affordability.

Close to 3/4th of Jaipur’s population is associated with Tourism. And for a tourist, time and experience of the city – both are important. Electric bikes can help in saving time by beating the traffic congestion, and being electric are environmentally friendly. Conducted a study in Amritsar in July 2018 whose results have relevance for Jaipur. As shown in Figure 1 below, sustainability, mobility and tourism have a natural synergy. This is what needs to be explored and leveraged.

Figure 1: Synergy between Sustainability, Mobility and Tourism needs to be leveraged

Background

Increasing levels of air pollution in Indian cities has been a cause of concern for policy makers. More than 25 Indian cities are within the 100most polluted cities in the World [1]. The cause of growing air pollution in cities is related to a variety of sources, however the transport sector makes significant contribution to this [2]. It is important that emissions from transport sector are minimized. The adverse effects of air pollution on human health and to the economy are well known and therefore to minimize the impact on the environment, policy makers are considering several options. Electric vehicles (EV) have been seen as a promising technology option and several national governments have successfully implemented policies to promote the technology. Indian government is keen to promote electric vehicles as a green mobility option, and is also considering it as a viable solution to reduce air pollution in cities.

In India, not much diffusion has happened within 2-wheelers, 4 –wheelers and city bus fleets.Techno-economic assessments however show that electric two-wheelers can become commercially viable by 2020 itself and electric four wheelers can be a major technology option by 2030 [3], if the government provides incentives, and infrastructures for charging are available. A strong climate policy also advances the cause of electric vehicles. The government is keen on promoting electric vehicles and the Minister of Power [4] has even put an ambitious goal of becoming 100% electric by 2030. The other ministries, particularly Minister of Road Transport and Highways, made a strong statement at Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) annual convention in 2017. Mr. Nitin Gadkari said “We should move towards alternative fuel. I am going to do this, whether you like it or not. I will bulldoze it. The government has a crystal clear policy to reduce imports and curb pollution”.

However formulation of policies would need inputs in terms of level of support required, implications for budgets of government, policy instruments needed and leveraging the private sector. The study attempts to address some of these questions. In order to understand customer perceptions about electric bikes (e-bikes), and also market readiness, Inspire Infotech- part of the Apple Ecosystem has conducted a study in the city of Amritsar in July-August 2018. The main objective of the exercise was to assess consumer awareness, especially with tourists.

Methodology – Questionnaire Design/Implementation

A survey was conducted to achieve the objective, in two stages.The first stage involved designing the survey and conducting a preliminary study with 25 participants.  Evaluated responses from trial participants in order to fine tune and finalise the final survey.

For the second stage, detailed consumer survey at tourist

                                                                                                              Dr. Ishan Ranjan
Vice President, Inspire – Apple Ecosystem