KIM and Beyond

At Kinisi, we are very grateful to see our e-cycles everywhere we go, and we feel encouraged to help guests and residents free themselves from petrol dependency. We are constantly trying to increase our fleet of rental e-vehicles, so that more guests will choose sustainable mobility instead of polluting mopeds during their stay.

Our main goal is to increase the number of e-cycles in the KIM (Kinisi In-kind Mobility) scheme. This programme was created to help Aurovilians move away from motorcycles as their transport choice. For a small monthly contribution, KIM members receive an e-cycle for their personal use. The e-cycle remains an asset of Auroville, and they cannot sell, rent or lend it to other people. We service each e-cycle every month, and after 3 years or more we change the battery for free. This scheme has all the advantages of private ownership without its hassles. We will reach 100 KIM e-cycles before Auroville’s birthday, and we are planning to have 140 to 150 by the end of April 2020. We have 75 people on our waiting list.


We noticed that KIM members are very happy with their e-cycle, but they still keep their motorcycle for longer trips outside of Auroville, or for carrying larger loads. This is not our goal. How can we convince Aurovilians to move entirely away from private fossil fuel transport?

We came up with the idea to have a fleet of electric scooters on a shared basis. Ideally, KIM members (or any Kinisi customer) could borrow an electric scooter on an hourly, half-day or full-day basis when they need a vehicle with more range or more carrying capacity. This would encourage guests and Aurovilians to choose e-cycling, because they would know that they can get an e-scooter when they need one. They could just drop their e-cycle at Kinisi and pick up an e-scooter for the time of their trip.

Do you think that this idea would encourage people to go entirely petrol-free?

We would appreciate your feedback at


New research has found that cyclists between the ages of 50 to 83 experienced cognitive and mental health benefits from riding a cycle, whether it was electrically assisted or pedal powered.

Cycle Boom tried to understand cycling among the older population and how this affected independence, health and wellbeing, with the purpose of designing an environment to help people continue to cycle in old age or to reconnect with cycling.
The study lasted 8 weeks and tested elderly riders at least 3 times a week on executive functions as well as processing speed, before and after a 30-minute ride.

Surprisingly, researchers found that the e-cycle riders had an even greater improvement in brain function and mental well being than pedal cycle riders.

It was reported that e-cycle riders spent 28% of the time in eco mode and 15% with the motor off.
The wider implication is that e-cycles have a hugely important role to play in keeping elderly populations healthy, not just physically but mentally. It comes at a time when the elderly are increasing as a percentage of the overall population in many societies.

Lead researcher Dr Louise-Ann Leyland commented: “It is really encouraging that this research suggests older adults’ cognitive function could be improved by cycling in the natural/urban environment, even when that was on an electrically assisted cycle.”

In Auroville, we are blessed with an extensive network of well-maintained cycle paths, separate from the main roadways. Could we increase the elderly’s confidence and security by creating a cycle path all the way to Kuylapalayam? Or even to Pondicherry? Would it help reduce motorized traffic?



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In 2007, in Switzerland, our employer offered us an e-cycle at a reduced price. The company was trying to reduce its carbon footprint by getting us to cycle to work rather than drive. I seized the opportunity!  Suddenly, I was able to go down to Lake Geneva for swimming without being discouraged in advance by the steep incline back home, and I started to exercise much more…