Vellore: Reports of mishaps, alleged lack of safety and poor performance surrounding e-bikes have been pouring in from different parts of the country on a daily basis. While most incidents have been of battery explosions, in a unique incident in TN, the pain and anger of a customer came into focus. G Prithviraj, a physiotherapist from Ambur, set his e-bike on fire, frustrated over the continuous technical problems he faced in the three months he bought the vehicle.
Sources said that G Prithviraj, purchased an e-bike of a popular brand three months ago. Though the company promised a mileage of 134 km, the vehicle did not even cross the half-way mark and managed to run only around 44 km with a fully-charged battery. Adding to his woes, Prithviraj also faced difficulties in registering the new vehicle. Though he is a resident of Ambur in Tirupattur district, Prithviraj was asked to take the vehicle to Gudiyattam in the neighbouring Vellore district for registration by the company staff, but his efforts were in vain.
Talking to DT Next, he said, “While my e-mails and tweets about the problems with the e-bike failed to draw attention of the company, surprisingly my post on Twitter went viral and received 6,500 views. Sadly, not a single person from the company was among the 6,500.” The tipping point came on Tuesday, when Prithivraj was returning from the Gudiyattam RTO office. “The odometre reading showed low charge in the battery and the vehicle stopped when I was at Ulli on Guidyattam-Madanur road around 10.30 am. I took a picture of the metre reading and shared it with the company, which then asked for my location and I told them that I was 35 km from my residence. The company then informed me that the vehicle would be picked up by its staff at 5 pm though it broke down around 10.30 am,” he said.
After this, an aggravated Prithiviraj asked his assistant to get 2 litres of petrol, which he poured on the e-bike and set it ablaze.