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Old 26th December 2016, 15:29   #1
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Default Lohia Auto showcases India's 1st solar powered e-rickshaw

Lohia Auto recently displayed the country's first solar powered e- rickshaw named Humrahi at the EV Expo 2016 in New Delhi. The company also revealed a hydraulic tipper e-rickshaw called Narain and a electric three-wheeler auto.

A regular e-rickshaw uses conventional electricity to charge the batteries. As a result, once the battery drains out, the driver needs to bring the vehicle to a charging point and wait for it to get charged before beginning his trips again. On the other hand, the Humrahi solar e-rickshaw comes with a solar panel fitted on the roof that charges the vehicle during trips. Lohia Auto claims that this solar powered e-rickshaw has an operation range that is around 15% better than conventional e-rickshaws.

Lohia Auto showcases India's 1st solar powered e-rickshaw-unnamed-1.jpg

Another product unveiled at the EV Expo 2016 is the Narain hydraulic tipper e-rickshaw. The Narain is an electric dumper with a payload capacity of 350 kg. It comes equipped with a hydraulic system that lifts the bay to unload the materials. This utility electric vehicle has been designed and developed to be used as delivery vans & garbage collection etc.

The company also showcased India’s first electric three-wheeler Auto. It is equipped with a 5.7 KW motor and has a capacity to seat 3 passengers.

Lohia Auto showcases India's 1st solar powered e-rickshaw-unnamed.jpg
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Old 26th December 2016, 22:35   #2
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Default Re: Lohia Auto showcases India's 1st solar powered e-rickshaw

Is Lohia Auto same as OR a part of Lohia Machines Ltd (LML)?
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Old 27th December 2016, 10:07   #3
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Default Re: Lohia Auto showcases India's 1st solar powered e-rickshaw

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarCynic View Post
Is Lohia Auto same as OR a part of Lohia Machines Ltd (LML)?
You might be interested in this excellent post by Sadsack:

Quote:
Originally Posted by sadsack View Post
Small correction. Lohia Auto has never had any connection with Piaggio. You are confusing it with LML because initially the name of the company was Lohia Machines Limited and this company had a collaboration with Piaggio. That Lohia Machines company was an industrial equipment manufacturer who took advantage of the relaxing of norms of collaboration and managed to snare Piaggio and launched the 100 cc Vespa XE. Unlike now when nobody buys a vehicle without test riding one or at least closely inspecting one, purely on the basis of a photo and the Vespa name, Lohia Machines Limited garnered bookings in lakhs.

At that time Mrs. Indira Gandhi who was the Prime Minister of the country, made a policy that if there were private sector company collaborations then there had to be an equal number of Public Sector companies with foreign collaborations. After losing elections from Rai Bareilly which was her original constituency she also contested from Medak in the erstwhile undivided state of Andhra Pradesh and showered some goodies on the district of Medak.

The goodies that were accrued were that Andhra Pradesh Scooters Limited which was actually a part of the State owned Hyderabad Allwyn also got a collaboration opportunity with Piaggio. They christened their 100 cc Vespa as Vespa PL 170, where the PL stood for the pay load capacity of the scooter. The company claimed that it did so to break a connection that most Indians made between cubic capacity and horse power. 100 cc was 1 hp, and the company to disabuse people of this notion named the scooter after its pay load and since it could carry 170 kilograms it was named PL 170. Though it started with the intention of breaking the connection between cc and hp as 100=1, they never ever told the consumers about this properly. And what made things worse for them was that unlike the LML Vespa XE this scooter was small and narrow, a bit like the present Vepas. People therefore thought that they were being cheated and though a few lakhs of bookings were made, again by seeing the picture, decided to cancel their bookings in lakhs when the saw the scooter in metal.

Thus what was a sound product got killed by incorrect perceptions among consumers and by the company that started with the idea to change things but only ended reinforcing what was inaccurate. At that time some senior bureaucrats who were given the responsibility of running the company reached out the Prime Minister and asked her to give a one time exemption and let them launch a new and unrelated to the old scooter with a 125 cc engine. In this time the LML company unable to maintain quality and having become a target of Bajaj Auto sold out to the Singhania family. The Bajaj Cub started trouncing the Vespa XE in the market since the engine in the XE made less that 5.5 bhp of power and was ponderous vehicle to sit on and drive, especially two up.

When the green signal was given to AP scooters to go ahead with the new 125 cc the Singhania's also approached the Prime Minister for a similar concession. But due to administrative issues the AP Scooters company went into the red and relaunched the PL 170 as the PVX Vespa (which ironically was a designation used by Piaggio in Italy on scooters that looked like the LML Vespas). This further spurred LML to pressure the Prime Minister for permission to make a 150 cc scooter and the the LML Vespa 150 was born. By then the Singhanias changed the registered the name of the company from Lohia Machines Limited to LML Limited. (Swaraj Mazda Limited is SML).
The Singhanias created an advertising blitz with claims about their scooters which fell in the gray zone. Their tag line was "India's highest selling scooter with indicators", since at that time indicators were not yet compulsory and so Bajaj being Bajaj did not put them on their scooters.

What neither company anticipated was that there was going to be paradigm shift in the Indian market with the 100 cc Indo-Jap motorcycles. Neither of the two companies has marketing teams in place and LML did not have the built up capital of Bajaj to stay afloat in the market. To make things worse LML did not have the myopic vision that Bajaj had. After losing out on opportunities of tying up with Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha, Bajaj tied up with Kawasaki for making motorcycles. It was a late entrant into the motorcycle market but not too late and it helped that the product was the best looking in comparison to the other Indo-Jap bikes and also because they were a monopoly in the days of the licence Raj they had mountain loads of money to keep them afloat. The KB100 came into the market with hiccups and that is when Bajaj swiftly set up a marketing division and made changes to the KB100 like making the front sprocket of the chain to 13 from 14, lengthened the seat by making the rear cowl smaller and nearly invisible and added the suffix RTZ (which stood for nothing; it just sounded nice) and managed to convince the people to buy the KB100 RTZ.

Meanwhile LML was experimenting with various names for the same scooter and even brought out a 200cc Supremo under which sat scooters of 150 cc capacity with various names like Star etc. Bajaj while learning to build motorcycles and also selling them by adding another suffix Delta Super tuned, also were experimenting with various names for their scooters like Bravo (it was supposed to have reed valve induction), and their Chetaks, Supers, Cubs and they finally created the Legend which with all the above named scooters slowly sank. LML saw the necessity for motorcycles too late and tied up with Daelim of Korea like Kinetic which tied up with Hyosung. Both companies did not know how to sell Korean products (while the Kinetics were horribly assembled, the LML motorcycles were reasonably well made) and it was too late for them to recover. LML had bought rights to one of Piaggio's automatic scooters which they have now brought out into the market in a limited sort of way as the LML Star. LML NV was 2 stroke but could be exported back to Italy were there is no ban on 2 strokes and where people still love the PV series. Funnily enough LML sells most of its scooters in the front yard of Piaggio. LML has now introduced the 4 stroked automatic Star and the 4 stroke geared LML NV and also the 110cc Freedom motorcycle. They have not gone to the higher capacity engines from the Adreno (which had a fairing) and the Energy (with chrome bling) and a 150cc called Graptor which came into the market too late. But that company meaning LML is still in existence and selling Vespa scooters made in India in Italy, which is their market. They had at one time contemplated (in their heydays to make the Piaggio Ape) to take on Bajaj Auto' auto but never brought it out into production.

So the point of this rather looooooooooooooong post is to simply say Lohia Auto which is making electric vehicles mainly and has now tied up with UM Motorcycles to get into the market with cruisers is a completely different entity with no connection either to LML (Check their website, lmlworld.in) or to Piaggio. I hope that this Quod Erat Demonstrandum. And if you have actually read the whole of this post first thank you and second congratulations for your patience which I think amazing.
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Old 27th December 2016, 11:39   #4
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Question Re: Lohia Auto showcases India's 1st solar powered e-rickshaw

Quote:
Originally Posted by dZired View Post
Lohia Auto recently displayed the country's first solar powered e- rickshaw named Humrahi at the EV Expo 2016 in New Delhi. The company also revealed a hydraulic tipper e-rickshaw called Narain and a electric three-wheeler auto.

... On the other hand, the Humrahi solar e-rickshaw comes with a solar panel fitted on the roof that charges the vehicle during trips. Lohia Auto claims that this solar powered e-rickshaw has an operation range that is around 15% better than conventional e-rickshaws.
That solar panel may be able to charge a smartphone reliably, but otherwise is unlikely to help with propulsion.

Rough calculation: The panel on top seems to be 1 meter square, so approximately 100 watts output for maybe 10 hours. 1 KWh (1 unit) per day optimistically.

Any comments?
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Old 31st December 2016, 17:32   #5
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Default Re: Lohia Auto showcases India's 1st solar powered e-rickshaw

Quote:
Originally Posted by dZired View Post
Lohia Auto recently displayed the country's first solar powered e- rickshaw named Humrahi at the EV Expo 2016 in New Delhi.
A regular e-rickshaw uses conventional electricity to charge the batteries. As a result, once the battery drains out, the driver needs to bring the vehicle to a charging point and wait for it to get charged before beginning his trips again. On the other hand, the Humrahi solar e-rickshaw comes with a solar panel fitted on the roof that charges the vehicle during trips. Lohia Auto claims that this solar powered e-rickshaw has an operation range that is around 15% better than conventional e-rickshaws.
Kudos to Lohia Auto for both their entrepreneurial zest and for coming out with a revolutionary product with (I assume) a significant Indian design & interface content. I do not know if this product will be a success - too early to say and technology may not be all where it needs to be. But in the future this product category (light vehicles using solar energy to top up) will abound. This may not happen in droves 10 years from now but it will within the next quarter century. I wish them success. dZired thanks for putting out this news.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvadg View Post
That solar panel may be able to charge a smartphone reliably, but otherwise is unlikely to help with propulsion.
Rough calculation: The panel on top seems to be 1 meter square, so approximately 100 watts output for maybe 10 hours. 1 KWh (1 unit) per day optimistically.
Any comments?
Cant argue with your calculation. However solar energy is the ultimate energy source this planet. Eventually in the next 100 years mankind (if we have the wisdom) will have to move lock stock and barrel towards solar energy and other renewable, non-carbon sources. Technology may not be all there today either in terms of panel charge per sq metre or in terms of battery storage capacity. But that can change as could electric motor efficiency along with low cost light weight materials.

If we could go from the Wright Flyer in 1903 to the first jets in the mid-1940s to the moon shot in 1969 then surely we can go to solar panels with 10X the capacity. Kamuthi Solar Plant in Tamil Nadu has a installed capacity for 648 megawatts. Times and technology are changing. It is the world's second largest photovoltaic plant. My grandchildren (when they come) could live to beyond the turn of the century. And for their sake I sure hope solar power wins hands down.

PS: In 1979, when I took to the wheel, a solar panel could not even charge a cell phone. In fact in 1979 our home landline was the only one in our apartment block of 20 flats. Today India has 600 million plus cell phones. Times can change in less than half a life time! 1979 was not so long ago - I am not yet using a walkng stick!!

Last edited by V.Narayan : 31st December 2016 at 17:38.
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