BENGALURU: A platform for renting of electric scooters was launched in three areas of the city on Saturday. Called Fae Bikes, the service is the handiwork of a city-based startup which received funding of Rs 10 lakh in April from the state’s IT, BT Department as part of the Grand Challenges Karnataka programme that helps innovators with funding, market access and pilot support.
The service will operate with a fleet of 100 bikes in Electronics City, HSR Layout and BTM Layout.
Sameer Ranjan Jaiswal, one of the three co-founders of the startup, said, “There are designated parking spots in the three areas where users can park the scooters once done. We have an app through which people can locate the scooters. They can book the scooters 15 minute before using it. They will then receive an OTP code after which they can use the scooter.” The startup worked on a technology that enables a scooter to be started without a key but by using IoT tech, adds Sameer.
The scooters can run up to speeds of 100 to 110 km/hour. And it will cost Rs 3 for every kilometre. “We have tried to keep the pricing at a minimal so that more people use the bikes. Using these scooters is three to four times cheaper than autos or Ola or Uber services. It also provides a more personalised commuting experience. We are not only looking at addressing last-mile connectivity issues but also main mile connectivity issues,” said Sameer.
The startup had conducted a pilot run before launching the services with a small fleet of 20 scooters. “The usage of the services was around 80 per cent and it was very popular,” says Sameer. Along with the scooter service, the startup also has a fast charging station network for electric vehicles called the Fae Spark. Four charging stations -- two in BTM Layout and one each in Electronics City and HSR Layout -- have been installed for the scooter service. “As many as four scooters can be charged at one time and it takes only two to three hours for it to be completely charged. One can, however, charge the scooters at home as well,” says Sameer.
The startup wants to develop Fae Spark as a separate product. “We have electric vehicles but the main problem is the lack of charging stations. What we have done is merge two services. It will also go a long way to benefit electronic vehicle adoption in the city and the country,” says Sameer.
Gaurav Gupta, principal secretary, IT, BT Department, who inaugurated the launch, said, “Fae Bikes has been working on shared mobility using tech and electric mobility. Both of them are very desirable solutions in a city like Bengaluru and in reducing pollution.”