Manipur lads’ DIY triumph from EV bike assembling to transforming vintage scooter to eco-friendly marvel

MIT student Albert Sarangthem from Thambalkhong, Imphal East has converted a vintage scooter into an eco-friendly marvel recently after successfully assembling an electric bike from scrap in 2022.

ByB Rakesh Sharma

Updated 3 Jan 2024, 4:13 am


Exacerbation from conventional transportation emissions using fossil fuel to run it has become the great source of the escalating environmental degradation which the globe is facing.

Looking into an alternative source of power as one of the mediums to combat global warming, electric vehicles (EVs) have emerged as a crucial and immediate solution, effectively curbing air pollution and mitigating climate change.

The slow shift towards electric mobility marks a pivotal moment in fostering sustainable transportation practices, promoting cleaner air, and contributing to a healthier planet for a more sustainable and resilient future.

Taking the matter of global warming seriously, a budding computer engineering student, with the help of information disseminated from the internet, has converted a vintage scooter into an eco-friendly marvel recently after successfully assembling an electric bike from scrap in 2022.

Drawing inspiration from online resources, 20-year-old MIT student Albert Sarangthem from Thambalkhong, Imphal East showcased the power of self-learning and application of science and technology for a sustainable future.

Armed with determination and a basic set of tools including a drill, angle grinder, and welding machine, this student’s journey from traditional to electric transportation is captivating attention.

In an exclusive interview with the Imphal Free Press, the engineering prodigy shared insights into his transformative journey. He attributed his success to online resources, underscoring the pivotal role of the internet in disseminating knowledge and fostering innovation.

The project not only showcases his technical prowess but also exemplifies the power of accessible information in the digital age.

The vintage scooter, once reliant on fossil fuels, now hums silently with an electric heartbeat, embodying the fusion of heritage and cutting-edge technology.


Albert named the scooter “Samadon EV-II” and tagged it with a polo emblem while he named the bike assembled in 2022 as “Samadon EV-I”. As per Manipuri mythology Samadon is a divine winged horse.

It took Albert almost nine months, costing him around Rs. 37,000 to finish the project of Samadon EV-II while it took his one complete year’s efforts and a sum of Rs 81,000 for the whole process of assembling the EV-I to make it come on the road.

Going into the details of his remarkable project and the motive behind, Albert said, “I have always been passionate about the environment, and with the rise of electric vehicles, I saw an opportunity to contribute to sustainability in my own way.”

The conversion aligns with global efforts to reduce carbon footprints, showcasing the potential of sustainable practices at a grassroots level.

Albert emphasised, “Every small step counts, and converting a classic scooter into an electric one not only preserves vintage looks but also contributes to a cleaner, greener environment.”

Beyond personal achievement, Albert aspires to inspire others in the community to embrace eco-friendly alternatives.

“I want to show people that with a bit of curiosity and determination, we can all be part of the solution to environmental challenges,” he said, highlighting the ripple effect such projects can have on fostering a sustainability mindset.

Stating that the fitting of the battery was one of the biggest challenges to successful transformations of the electric scooter, he said that he has started making a prototype of the battery.

“Once it is successful I can convert the shape of the battery as per to fit into the bodies of any vehicle. It will be a great help in running my dream project (retrofitting),” he said.

The aspiring innovator expressed his desire to establish a retrofitting business as a pioneer project in Manipur, catering to individuals eager to convert their vehicles into eco-friendly alternatives.

However, a significant roadblock stands in his way, which is the lack of clearances and licenses from the government, making his electric vehicle not street legal.


Despite numerous enthusiasts approaching him for electric vehicle conversions, navigating the regulatory maze has left his entrepreneurial aspirations hanging in the balance.

While the journey has been a testament to the intersection of science, technology, and environmental consciousness, the legal hurdles underscore the need for streamlined processes to encourage such ventures.

The student urged authorities to recognise and support grassroots innovation, advocating for a framework that fosters sustainable solutions.

“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.”

Alber not only faced legal hurdles, he had to face a lot of financial struggles to procure parts from the vehicle as he had no sponsors. After all he is just a student in MIT Manipur without any income.

Despite this unavailability of various parts in the state has made him fetch them from outside states through courier. “There was a time where I halted my work for around two months due to unavailability of parts,” he said.

Admitting that he has been suggested for the use of incubation centres set up by the state government for innovators like him, he said that he declined it as it would be much better and comfortable for him to do the job at his home’s courtyard.

He further admitted to getting a sponsor from an institute but was rejected as the institute was ready to work only on four-wheelers. “I prefer working on two-wheelers as of now,” said Albert.

As this enterprising student’s story unfolds, it serves as a reminder of the untapped potential within local communities.

The convergence of technological curiosity and environmental responsibility has the power to reshape the future of transportation, and it’s imperative for regulatory bodies to align with this wave of innovation.


First published:


global warmingelectric vehiclesEV bike

B Rakesh Sharma

B Rakesh Sharma

Staff Reporter, Imphal


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