Why Switching to E-Rickshaws is the Need of the Hour?
Each day, as India gears up for work, fuel-run cars, buses and bikes resume belching smoke and honking aloud. However, on looking more closely, you would see the fleet of battery-driven e-rickshaws plying noiselessly; emitting no smoke to bother you.
As the preferred last-mile commute for office goers, e-rickshaws are steadily gaining their position of importance in recent times. They are now not only a part of the mobility ecosystem in Tier II and III cities like Lucknow, Ranchi etc. but also tier I cities like Noida and Gurugram. India’s growing fleet of electric rickshaws is now second only to China’s massive fleet of electric two-wheeled vehicles. Survey has claimed that the monthly rate of electric vehicle sold is steadily increasing and their sales are also being effectively monitored by regulatory policies.
About EV technology:
EV’s are not a brand new advent in transport technology. The number of EV’s plying on road is matching pace with fuel fed vehicles and are on the way to outnumber the latter shortly. They don’t burn oil as they ply, which significantly reduce air pollution levels in the atmosphere.
However, the two limiting factors which significantly hinder their future operations and need to be looked into are the lack of battery technology for longer life and building a mass market for widespread distribution.
It is important that the product-technology must be introduced in the market during its nascent stage itself.
Getting access to low-cost capital would offer manufacturers an incentive to invest in mass EV production.
Also, there is a need for severs low-cost local market policies that would encourage large scale adoption of EVs.
Why are e-rickshaws a viable option for future transportation?
- Lower advance payment during the purchase of e-rickshaw as compared to auto-rickshaw
- Much Higher speed as compared to cycle rickshaws
- Purchase incentives from the government
Interviews with e-rickshaw drivers have revealed that they are much more comfortable with e-rickshaws than cycle driven ones. They like the fact that the battery gets charged within minutes and they can continue with longer rides thereafter.
Battery operated e-rickshaws are beginning to create a transformation not only on the Indian mobility front but also in industries like power, automotive and battery manufacturing. All summed up, e-rickshaws are the present and future of Indian automation.
The pandemic scenario affecting the EV business
Looking at the current scenario, a lot has changed on the EV manufacturing and sales front, globally as well as in India. On the global front, multiple mines producing metals for EV batteries have gone for a shutdown, leading to large-scale unemployment and financial losses. Few examples include the nickel and cobalt project in Ambatovy, Madagascar, which has shut down for this year during to a rise in COVID cases. Few nickel and cobalt mines in Philippines and lithium projects in Chile has however resumed business after a short break to tackle large slides in business.
In India, the Covid-19 pandemic has struck a huge blow to the EV industry at a time when the automation industry has been inching towards Bharat Stage 6 technology.
India’s leading automotive brands have acknowledged the fact that adaptability is the key to survive during and in the post-pandemic stage. Proper business leadership coupled with remote communication will enhance the prospect of smart business sales in these times of difficulty.
Another worrying factor is the government’s increased focus on socio-economic recovery as compared to the EV sector, post-COVID-19 in India.
We hope that with time, the EV industry like many others will be able to overcome hurdles like shutdowns and delivery disruption, post-pandemic, to resume business steadily.