MULTAN: Pakistan’s first company manufactured energy efficient hybrid motorcycle is going to hit the domestic market shortly after Eidul Fitr.
And guess what? It gives a taste of quality bike ride with an edge of high-energy efficiency and environment-friendliness.
Hybrid bike was another novel but consumer-friendly idea of an entrepreneur born in Multan, Chaudhry Mohammad Yousaf Ibrahim, after launching country’s first battery-run bike in May 2008 in the city of saints.
He is an architect engineer and doing business in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for the last many years. However, being a patriot Pakistani and the Chairman of Pakistan Investment Forum (PIF), he never tires of contemplating how to attract foreign investment to Pakistan that is consumer-friendly too and takes lead in implementing such ideas.
He established a battery-powered bike plant at Multan Industrial Estate in 2006 with the help of pure foreign investment, and, come 2010, he was again there to double this investment to launch another product, this time a hybrid bike having a petrol engine as well as batteries and both serve as alternate to each other. There is no emission when switched over to battery and the hybrid bike or the likes of it possess the potential to curtail country’s oil import bill considerably provided consumers’ mood is switched over to hybrid versions of two-wheelers, cars or the battery-run bikes.
The production i.e the process of assembling the hybrid bike began a week ago at CCo company’s assembling plant in Multan and it would be decorating the showrooms once the trial is over shortly after Eid, CCo electric bike company’s country manager Syed Qalandar Ali Gardezi said. The company has left it to the wit of the people what they should call it, whether a petrol-run bike having alternate facility of batteries or a battery-powered bike having a petrol-run engine as an alternate source, Gardezi told APP. CCo electric bike was a blessing for many who used to put aside Rs 3000 a month because that was what their motorcycles were consuming in the form of petrol. It turned this expenditure into their per month saving overnight. However, electric bike was only meant to travel within city at a maximum speed of 50-55 kilometre per hour.
After recording sale of 2000 electric bikes in Pakistan since May 2008 till now, the company introduced hybrid bike claiming it to be the right answer to confused low income urbanites who wish to save money but did not like to lose liberty to travel long distances when they need to move outside the city. “I plug in to charge the battery for five hours at night and my horse is ready to gallop on city roads the next morning without any cost except less than two electricity units,” said Zeeshan who works for a Lahore-based newspaper in Multan. The electric bike, dubbed by the federal environment Minister Hamidullah Jan Afridi as people’s bike for its cost-saving traits, consumes just six Paisas a kilometre, Gardezi told APP.
“Hybrid bike initiative was purely market-driven and we believe it can serve the riders best.” With one litre petrol in the tank and the battery fully charged, the rider would easily cover over 130 kilometres at a cost of just Rs 73 with Rs 68 as cost of petrol to cover 50-60 kilometres and Rs 5 for charged battery to cover 80 kilometres. It has a manual system to switch over to any of the two energy sources.
“While we are still in the process of assessing its cost and retail price, I think the hybrid version would be carrying a price tag of around Rs 65000,” Gardezi told APP. The electric bike was conceived by Chinese engineers for the people of Yiwu, a town near Shanghai at a time when no gas or petrol stations used to operate there. Noted industrialist Shehzad Ali Malik, the head of Guard Agriculture Services, says, it is high time industrialists should introduce hybrid products not only to produce exportable surplus but also to provide ease and comfort to the consumers in every sector from agriculture to transport at low cost and contribute to the national economy. Shehzad, whose company itself took the lead in introducing hybrid rice variety in 1998 and was busy in developing CLCV resistant Bt hybrid cotton seeds at research farms, added that the government should provide incentives to manufacturers and research organisations to promote manufacturing hybrid versions of products. Malik Israr Ahmad Awan said, that battery powered bikes or hybrid motorcycles will not only reduce unwanted emissions to the environment but, in case of good market response, can help curtail the oil import bill of a country already gripped in energy crisis.
Manufacturing hybrid cars at home would be a tough nut to crack because it was an expensive technology all over the world, he said. However, he added that the government should allow zero rated duty on import of CKD kit of hybrid cars to encourage manufacturers to introduce it in the domestic market. app