Love cycling? Heard of electric bicycles? Well, Rahil Rupawala from India, the founder of Lightspeed Bikes has revolutionised this mode of transport. Lightspeed Bikes, a startup based in Ahmedabad, creates an e-bike that is the perfect solution for rush hour traffic, fitness and recreation. The bikes come with rechargeable batteries, a noiseless motor, a unique pedal boost assist and numerous other features that make riding the e-bike not only a commute, but an experience. From cycling through the park in place of a morning walk, to zipping past larger vehicles on busy streets, and working off that dessert you shouldn’t have had, Lightspeed e-bikes can do it all. And TEN could get an opportunity to connect with its founder himself. To know more about these e-bikes and how the idea actually developed, catch the below interview excerpts:

  • What exactly does Lightspeed Bikes provide to its riders?

As you know, Lightspeed Bikes makes electric bicycles. We have two models, the DRYFT and the GLYD. Made for the adventurers, DRYFT is the perfect e-bike for the rocky terrain and the sharp twists and turns on uphill and downhill roads, finding a home with urban thrill seekers just as much as it is for the mountain bikers. While on the other hand, created to be perfect for the city, GLYD helps you zip past the traffic on a busy street with its optimal bicycle-like sleek structure, and the ideal boost required to help you beat the rush hour. Built for endurance, convenience, elegance and durability, DRYFT and GLYD adopt the technology of the 21st century in one beautifully designed eco-friendly package.

Parts of an e-bicycle

  • How is Lightspeed Bikes different from other competitors in the market?

Our bikes are almost 30% lighter than the existing bikes in the market. They are designed and developed for specific use case; the bicycle frame geometry, the range and the feature set are in accordance with the specific use case. The batteries on Glyd and Dryft are not substitutes or replacements for human effort. Instead they are facilitators, lest you get tired or want to create your own exercise programme with varying workout intensities using different pedal assist levels. Then there is the added advantage of being immune to wear and tear, brought in by the sturdy frame we provide. You can take your Dryft on hikes to tough terrains without worrying about damaging it.

  • Tell me something more about yourself and your entire team.

I have an M.Sc in Design and Transport from Coventry University, UK. My passion with objects of speed started at a very early age. The fascination with mobility and the desire to create an everlasting impact with sustainable mode of transport made me come up with Lightspeed. Currently, we are a team of 15 all under 30 years old working passionately towards our goal of achieving sustainable transport. We are a bunch of designers, engineers, management graduates who bring wide range of skills on the table.

  • When and how did you start your journey?

While I was studying abroad, in the UK, the idea of an e-bike struck me. The e-bike provided so much utility, I made up my mind to bring it to the Indian market. I saw enough scope for expansion in the e-mobility space. So, along with my younger brother Rushad, founded LightSpeed Mobility to give a genuine value offering to the Indians who are tired of drudging through traffic and shelling out big money for fuel. After a lot of research, we came up with a customised prototype e-bike for the Indian demographic. Apart from being eco-friendly, we also wanted the e-bike to contribute to the Prime Minister’s vision of Make in India. We have recently completed a successful crowdfunding campaign of 15lac raised from 50 funders.

  • Any major difficulty you faced in your journey? How did you overcome it?

It has been a long journey since the initial idea of developing an electric bicycle first came to mind. After developing 10 prototypes and numerous iterations, after almost 12 months we now have two models on sales. There certainly have been a lot of difficult situations but all of them had to be dealt with patience, perseverance and determination, as the scale of every obstacle is different but not trivial enough to be pushed under the carpet. Having a good team all along the way helps a lot in a startup’s journey and the team plays a very important role in marching ahead in spite of all the difficulties.

  • What do you ultimately aim to achieve through your startup? Any new goals you are aiming to accomplish?

We aim at manufacturing the best vehicles for all Indian scenarios. LightSpeed Mobility emphasizes on establishing health consciousness and a sense of responsibility towards environment in everyone. With an aspiration to improve the quality of life and trim down the carbon emission level, performance of our products matters the most. We will keep on refining our practices, technologies to produce the most amazing e-bikes continually so that every rider can proudly own and enjoy Lightspeed e-bikes!

Team Ten

TEN is an organisation that aims to bring new innovations, startups and innovators in front of the world. We are starting with a new series 'In conversation with' where we will interview young people already creating an impact.

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