Electric rickshaw revolution hits India just in time. Transportation on a global scale adds up to 15% of the global greenhouse gas emissions. And, many believe that EVs are the permanent solution to this problem. Authorities across the world are trying to push citizens into switching their conventional private modes of transport. On the other hand, India’s public transport facilities and autorickshaws are the main source of communication for hundreds and thousands of people. This is the prime reason that encouraged the Indian government to bring their attention to autorickshaws. The government is now encouraging to go electric more than earlier days.
Govt’s Efforts to Support Electric Rickshaw Revolution in India
Several efforts are taking place from the Govt. of India to make the e-rickshaw revolution a success throughout the country. The statistics report reveals that the e-rickshaw segment in India will grow to one million units by the end of 2025 from the current count of 0.4million. 2018’s sales records also confirm the same as India had already overtaken China on the grounds of e-rickshaw sales.
Out of all the EV market in India e-rickshaws currently covers around 80% among which 72% provide e-mobility solutions to tire-2 and tire-3 cities. It’s not only the government that shows interest in this segment. But even the private electric automakers want the share of the pie. This is generally because the Indian e-rickshaw market is 1.5 billion dollars big.
The interesting fact is that a sizable chunk of the market share is with the local players. However, only a few notable giants such as Mahindra, Hero, Bajaj, and TVS are interested to jump into this bandwagon.
Studies in terms of a consumer’s perspective
If we consider a consumer (autorickshaw drivers) perspective, studies show that switching to an electric vehicle has the potential to increase income by around 60-150% as compared to autorickshaws running on fossil-fuels. Coupled with flexible financing policies such as 10% initial cost deposit and repayment over 24-to-30 months, the electric autorickshaw revolution can create a stable and high-income stream for individuals at the lower strata of the Indian economy.
However, Indian autorickshaws have a few hurdles before them that may threaten their growth. Some of which are:
- Extensive usage of rudimentary lead-acid battery technology that needs a replacement every 6-8 months
- Limited electric vehicle charging stations
- Lack of infrastructure for extensive research, production, and maintenance
- Range anxiety among the customers
- Limited awareness related to the cost advantages in the long run
But with governmental support, public awareness programs and continuous technology breakthroughs such as long-lasting lithium-ion battery and swappable battery packs, the future of Indian e-rickshaws appears to be bright.
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