Tran Van Thao, 26, a university graduate in Hai Phong province, has successfully built a versatile electric bike and is working out ways to produce it on a larger scale.
Thao’s dream of building such a bike came true when his three-wheeled electric bike won first prize at the local 2013 Inventor Competition.
His passion for science began when he was in elementary school. The boy’s first invention was a miniature battery-operated boat, made from the engine of a kitchen fan with wings constructed from a pen.
In 2009, while studying at Hanoi Technology University, Thao and his team entered the Robocon contest.
Regarding his electric bike, Thao said that although its working principles aren’t too complicated, searching for its components was quite a daunting task. It took him several months just to look for parts and assemble them.
He discarded his first product and started afresh to make sure that the bike was small, light, and durable.
“Although my bike doesn’t look as nice as others on the market, most users find it convenient and easy to use. The bike is collapsible and can be pulled like a suitcase, which can cater to different users, including the physically-challenged and travelers.
After an enthusiastic reception from the Inventor Competition jury and audience, the young man began working out plans for production.
Thao’s bikes fetch some VND6-7 million (up to US$330), which is considerably lower than that of bikes currently available on the local market.
His clientele not only includes people in Hai Phong province but also those from other provinces and cities, including Ho Chi Minh City.
Thao added that he’ll try to boost production this year. However, he admitted that mounting difficulties remain ahead, as large-scale production requires regular supplies of quality materials and parts.