Disclousre: I got a discount on the product discussed in this post. Read on, you can too.
Couple of weeks back, I bought a electric 2-wheeler YoBykes‘s YO Speed. It was an impulse purchase spanning 2-years. I bought it from the only YoBykes dealer in Chennai, Bue Smart Associates. They are at Chinna Malai( Little Mount), Sidapet on the small traffic-free road that connects the Chinna Malai Junction and the Velacheri Road.
There were two models available viz., YO Smart and YO Speed at the showroom. The Yo Smart is a 250Watt 25Kmph max speed suitable only for single person ride. Whereas Yo Speed is 750W, 45Kmph max speed with a max payload of 130Kg, suitable of 2 person rides. Choosing between them was easy: You cannot just explain at length, the electirc technology, wattage, and payload limitations when someone needing a urgent ride asks ‘Can you drop me at XYZ’. So my decision to go for the higher watt Yo Speed was straight forward.
There is not much rational to why I did not purchase 2 years back but ended up purchasing the electric bike this week. Here are some of the objections and rationalizations see-saw in the background of the purchase:
Objection: The unsealed lead acid-battery powering the electric bike is not sophisticated or hi-tech. The manufacturer need to put in more innovation/effort in making it light and pack more power.
Rationalization: The lead-acid battery is ubiquitous. I can find a service shop/dealer who knows the in-and-out of the battery very easily. In fact I can find 3 shops within 2-km of my house. Key components, skills being commodity is good thing! It takes a few generations of electric vehicle adopters to make sophisticated battery technologies ubiquitous. Let me do my bit to advance that evolution!
Objection: What if the dealer folds the business close the shop? What if the manufacturer stops production?
Rationalization: I’ve seen the dealer in operation for couple of years. I’ve even seen a few YOs at my neighborhood. If the dealer/manufacturer is in business for couple of years, they might as well be in business for couple of more year! The manufacturer is part of Electrotherm – a stable company with long cycle time business expereince.
Objection: Speed of 45Kmph max is too low.
Rationalization: I think I became older! I cant believe I’m accepting such speed limits.
Well, my usage is limited. And a just a few years back me riding a scooter rather than a Motorcyle was unthinkable. Times change, attitudes change.
Rationalization: I purchase laptop, electronic gadget of equal spend without much consideration, deliberation. Why not extend it for a bike too. After all it is also electirc? [ This was I think the prime reason for my impulse purchase this time around!, LOL ]
Objection: Electronic products pack more featurs by the year and slash prices dramatically. The YoByke product has not changed over the past couple of years.
When it came for price negotiation, I asked for a blogger discount. I was anyway planning to log the ownership experience for the benefit of the undecided. I was just checking if asking for blogger discount works!. It was promptly met with a ‘Ah, What?’ and a quizzical stare. Yet, the fine young lady(it was the same person – Ms Mebela over the 2-year period – Good to have a stable sales team!) at the showroom connected me up to the area manager, who in turn linked me up to the YoBykes/Electrotherm’s Marketing team.
After some back and forth, I explained(to Electrotherm Marketing team) the importance of social-engagement for products like Electric Bike especially when the incumbent product is deeply entrenched. The marketing team was open to the suggestion, but were very wary of the discount idea. I clarified that offering concrete financial reward is one way to signal seriousness and commitment( towards social media engagement). During the course of the discussion we settled for a small discount( 3% – the Electrotherm team insisted that auto industry margins are low – discounts are big no no!). What is interesting about the discount is it is applicable for all bloggers – social media sharing about your Yo Experience is not compulsory – but encouraged. After all, it is social engagement proposed by me – and I want the initiative to succeed!
Chennai buyers can get a Rs 3% off on their purchase by mentioning LABSJI Blog when they purchase a Yo at
Bue Smart Assoicates( Attn Mr A Robert),
#65 Velachery Road, Little Mount,
Ph: 6450 5355
Please, share your electric vehicle ownership experience as comments.