Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)
SL’s first electric bicycle ‘Rhoda’ unveiled
While the government is taking steps to build the infrastructure for cycling tracks within the Colombo city to reduce the ongoing vehicle congestion, it is timely for a home-grown product, an electric bicycle to make commuting much easier and faster within the city.
‘Rhoda AT’ (All Terrain), an electric bicycle was launched last Thursday at the Hatch Works in Colombo Fort. Its founder and CEO, Eyas Fazul who is a Mechatronics Graduate demonstrated the bicycle with comprehensive in-depth information. Mr. Fazul and two other co-founders Fazul Mowjood (master fabricator) and Lee Bazalgette (product designer) were working on the model for three years and they wanted to build something that is convenient, sustainable and economical.
In his presentation Mr. Fazul stated, “Around one million people travel to Colombo every day and the average speed of any given vehicle within Colombo is only 10 km per hour due to the traffic congestion. We want to redefine cycling and make it a combination of hardware and software engineering.” Rhoda has the pure cycling option where you can burn some serious calories and also it has the cruiser mode as a safer motorcycle, he added.
Speaking about the software aspect of the bicycle Mr. Fazul mentioned that it is a smart bicycle with biometric authentication, distributed computing, enhanced security and most importantly the key to the bicycle is the mobile phone. Without the mobile phone the bicycle cannot be stolen. Everything is right there in the smartphone.
He also noted that no bicycle registrations or licence is required to ride the bicycle since the power of the motor is less than 750 watts.
Once the bicycle is fully charged for four hours, it can ride up to 60 km, powerful enough to ride on steep, sandy or bumpy roads. The average speed of the bicycle is 19 km per hour and the maximum speed is 25 km per hour.
Rhoda is a very economical bicycle with minimum servicing required, significant drop in travel cost and significant drop in commute time. The starting price of the bicycle is Rs. 129,000 and pre-orders are taken in for manufacturing at a plant in Kelaniya. The first 50 customers to order the bicycle have a few complimentary packages. The first set of bicycles will be manufactured and delivered in the first quarter of 2021. “Our target is to reach 1000 Rhodies by the end of 2021,” noted Mr. Fazul. For orders and product details visit http://rhoda.life