India is responsible for approximately 10% of the world’s annual bicycle production, which is estimated at 125 Million units (2015). The annual domestic demand of bicycles in India is approximately 10 million units, and in most parts of India, both rural and urban, the use of bicycles is observed as a daily mode of transport for people, specifically the urban poor.
In India, bicycles can be a socioeconomic indicator as well as a tool for development. India currently has over 100 million people living in poverty, and with expensive petrol and diesel prices, as well as the depleting resources, it is evident that cars – electric or not – cannot be India’s primary transportation solution. Moreover, the increasing air pollution across New Delhi is drastically affecting the environment and our citizens’ health. It is plain that the future has two wheels: not four.
Additionally, India is home to a large informal economy consisting of several thousands of workers who engage in manual labour. Due to the unskilled nature of their labour, they often earn very little and live paycheck to paycheck -- which is paid on the basis of that day’s work. To them, the most proper vehicle to and from work is not the poonjeepati’s (wealthy man’s) automobile but the modest bicycle.