In a first of its kind in Manipur, 18-year-old MIT student Albert Sarangthem from Thambalkhong, Imphal East has successfully assembled an electric motor bike, Samadon EV-I, using scraps except for the battery and few parts of the vehicle.
Albert has tagged the Samadon EV-I with a polo emblem and it took him about 11 months and a sum of Rs. 81,000 for the whole process of assembling the vehicle to make it come on road, which eventually happened on May 14.
As per Manipuri mythology, Samadon is a divine winged horse.
Interestingly, Albert is pursuing his second semester in computer engineering and not in mechanical or electrical engineering.
Born to a head constable S Ibocha and S ongbi Terakeshori, Albert is the second of the two siblings, an above average student and started dreaming of assembling an electric vehicle when he was in Class X.
“After observing that my father spends a lot of money on fuel in picking and dropping me to different tuition centres, I started thinking of making an electric vehicle which can save fuel money as well as be eco-friendly,” Albert said while speaking to the Imphal Free Press.
When asked about the reason for all the efforts when electric mopeds are easily available in the market, he replied, “I never considered buying one (electric vehicle) as its average cost is all above Rs 1 lakh which is beyond the expenses of my family... since my childhood, I have had the passion to assemble small toys after learning the uses of electric motors. So, I thought why not an electric vehicle”.
Albert said he did not consult any experts to assemble the vehicle but carried out some research on it.
“As I have the basic knowledge about uses of electric motors, I did not consult any experts to assemble the vehicle,” he said, adding that he, however, did some research on the internet.
He informed that he had constructed a mini-hovercraft in Class VI and also a model of Terraforming Mars when in Class X. They were showcased in his school (St Joseph School) exhibitions, but that he did not win any prize, Albert said.
Highlighting his 11 months’ journey of assembling the vehicle, he expressed the dissatisfaction to learn that most of the resources (small parts of the vehicle) are not available in the state market and as a result he has to order online and wait for long days for delivery.
According to Albert, the bike can go for around 40 kilometres in full charge. The capacity of the battery is 27 amperes and 1700 watts. It takes almost three hours to fully charge the battery, Albert informed.
Since Monday he has been using his self-made electric bike as a means of transportation to travel to his college (MIT) in Lamphelpat, Imphal West.
Stating that people often confused his work as a project of the MIT, he clarified that his work is purely private and is not related with any college projects.
“As I have successfully made my dream bike, I am planning to apply for the Start Up Scheme of the state government to start making more eco-friendly bikes with the ideology of Make in Manipur,” Albert said.
As Manipur has no vehicle manufacturer, his aim is to start an eco-friendly vehicle manufacturing unit in the state which will indeed open a new chapter in the industrialisation of the state, he said.
“I believe that the state government will be happy with my work,” he said, adding, “I am hoping for the best from the state government to support my work.”
When asked about choosing the Polo emblem as the tag for the vehicle, he replied that though modern polo originated in Manipur, its audience in the state is very less compared to other games like football. So, he considered choosing the Polo symbol as a tag for his vehicle to promote Polo, Albert said.
“In the beginning my parents were not pleased nor convinced with my work. However, after the final result they started praising me,” he said, appealing to all the youths to stick to their dream under whatever circumstance. “If you think you can, you will be successful one day,” he asserted.