E-Rickshaws: Benefits & How To Increase Their Utilization

E-Rickshaws: Benefits & How To Increase Their Utilization

The use of E-rickshaw has been expanding quickly. Currently, e-rickshaws account for 83% of India’s market for electric vehicles. India already has over 15 lakh e-rickshaws, which rises as an additional 11,000 are purchased monthly. 

The Benefits Of Using E-Rickshaw

  • Zero-Pollution

E-rickshaws are a great last-mile transportation option for Indian roadways because they produce zero pollution. Even if we switched all of the current CNG autos over to e-rickshaws, it would result in a daily CO2 reduction of 1,036.6 tonnes (or 378,357 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually). Additionally, unlike autos, they don’t contribute to noise pollution.

  • Better And Less Expensive

E-rickshaws are much less expensive than traditional last-mile transportation options like autos, which are currently the second most affordable mass transportation alternative.

  • Smoother Ride

E-rickshaws like Mahindra Treo have a lower centre of gravity than traditional pedal rickshaws, which makes for a smoother turning and riding experience. Therefore, they are perfect for bumpy and narrow country roads and congested, heavily used metropolitan routes.

  • Socio-economic Advantages

Compared to the ICE-based auto-rickshaw that it substitutes, the upfront cost of an e-rickshaw is relatively low. Compared to ICE-based auto-rickshaws, the startup cost of an e-rickshaw is between Rs. 0.6 and Rs. 1.1 lakh. E-rickshaws have very few maintenance problems, which reduces the cost of maintenance. E-rickshaws give cycle-rickshaw drivers, whose industry is quickly dying, more employment prospects.

  • Supportive Mission, Policy, Or Plan

National Electric Mobility Mission, National Urban Livelihood Mission, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna, Smart City Mission, and Faster Adaptation of Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME I and II), state-level policies on electric vehicles, have all provided ongoing support in the form of loans, regulatory frameworks, and direct subsidies.

How to Increase Electric Vehicle Utilization

A combination of legislative and regulatory actions are required, as will be outlined below, for the electric rickshaw market to grow sustainably:

  • Need to enhance product quality and design

Considering the rapid expansion of e-rickshaws in the lack of a regulatory framework, it is crucial to formalise the supply chain. As a result, they drive recklessly on the roads.

Only a small portion of Delhi’s 340 e-rickshaw manufacturing facilities comply with the ARAI/ICAT criteria. As a result, these electric rickshaws have a lifespan of only one to five years.

Manufacturers must take a second look and develop a better design. According to a media report, the government is willing to provide funding if the makers of e-rickshaws collaborate with any Indian Institute of Technology to improve quality, testing, standards, and design.

  • Monitor e-rickshaw safety standards compliance

The Regional Transport Authorities would require e-rickshaw owners to present a roadworthiness certificate from their manufacturer or registered e-rickshaw association in addition to a current driver’s licence (RTA).

The traffic police can then randomly examine an approval certificate that the RTAs can provide, as they do with a pollution under control (PUC) certificate.

  • localising lithium-ion battery production

Due to India’s dependency on China for battery imports, the price of batteries makes up a significant amount of the price of EVs. The specialisation of battery manufacturing will create jobs, lower the cost of EVs overall, and prevent the widespread use of inexpensive lead-acid batteries in e-rickshaws.

There will be various stages to the localisation process overall. Research and development (R&D), as well as the establishment of a market ecosystem, must be prioritised during the early years.

Ultimately, the market may gradually change to offer complete services with all products in India. Small manufacturers can work together with major manufacturers to ensure their viability initially, and as the market develops, they can progressively become independent.

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Additionally, the government needs to decide shortly whether or not to standardise battery technology. It is crucial because corporations looking to invest in it would become confused if the decision is uncertain. Investors will suffer a significant loss if the government delays making this choice and use non-standard battery technology instead.

  • Encourage the scientific disposal of E-rickshaws lead-acid batteries.

Localisation of lithium-ion batteries would aid in promoting the purchase of e-rickshaws powered by lithium-ion batteries. But it’s necessary to pay attention to the lead-acid e-rickshaws that are currently in use.


E-rickshaws used to be imported in the beginning, but they are now produced domestically.

In the beginning, lack of adequate charging infrastructure and range anxiety were the biggest problems for e-rickshaws. However, it is becoming easier for e-rickshaw drivers to pull into the closest switching station, replace the discharged battery with a fully charged one, and get back on the road within minutes, thanks to the rapid spread of battery-swapping networks.

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