Auto rickshaws have been the face of Indian urban mobility for decades and still, they are the most preferred mobility solution in many of the Indian cities. The majority of the first and last-mile operations in India is completed by autorickshaws. At the same time being the solution for the urban mobility solutions, autorickshaws contributes significantly to polluting our cities.
Now the autorickshaw industry is having a face shift. Through electrification, our tuk-tuks are getting smarter, comfortable, economical, and as a bonus more nature friendly.
In this article, we are going to discuss the impact of E-Rickshaws in the electric vehicle industry in India and how E-rickshaws are bringing the electric revolution to India. Tapping into the existing market and exploring certain unique characteristics of it would be the most effective method of bringing in the electric revolution to India and meet the environmental goals the country has set forth.
A Few unique characteristics of the Indian autorickshaw sector are,
- They significantly contribute to the total number of vehicles in India.
- They have a really large supporting infrastructure.
- There is a very big talent pool in the country working in the sector.
- Autorickshaws are the cheapest mode of transportation and they can be also used for personnel use.
Now let us look into each of these characteristics and how they could be successful used to bring forth the electric revolution in India.
Increase Public Awareness
When there is a huge influx of E-Rickshaws on the road, there will be a lot of changes that can happen. The first and foremost thing would be increased public awareness on the subject. The opportunity to ride in an E-rickshaw and having a personnel experience with an EV can greatly improve the way the public looks at electric vehicles in the big picture. People will start to realize the benefits of an EV when they ride in an E-Rickshaw and that would be a more effective way to educate people about the benefits of electric vehicles.
Public awareness plays a pivotal role in deciding the future of any new technology. Mass adaption of E rickshaws could enhance the perception about Evs among Indians because,
- People get an opportunity to experience what it is like to travel in an EV at a cheap rate.
- They can understand that the claims about EVs regarding ride comfort and other environmental impacts are true.
- Since E-Rickshaws are cheaper to own and maintain, it will encourage people to look for better EV options for personnel purpose.
Enhancing EV Infrastructure In The Country
An increase in the number of EVs(now in the form of E-rickshaws) on the road will crank up the development of EV related infrastructure to a quicker pace. It will lead to healthy competition among the EV manufacturers and suppliers which in turn, bring down the cost of owning any type of EV in India over the years.
The shift from diesel-powered rickshaws into electric rickshaw will demand more charging stations in the country, especially in the urban areas. Since there is a rewarding opportunity, companies and startups will come up with better and affordable charging solutions and that will help in bringing the electric revolution to India.
Tapping Into The Talent Pool
Currently, there are millions of people, directly and indirectly, involved in the rickshaw sector in India. Once the E-rickshaws are popular, a fair share of people would shift their focus to E-Rickshaws, especially insightful youngsters. This phenomenon would fill the gap for skilled laborers required for the great electric revolution which would soon affect the entire Indian automobile sector.
Think of it this way, E-rickshaws will act as a cheap but effective platform to create the potential workforce required for the great electric revolution in India.
Strengthens EV Supply Chain
This is closely related to the development of better infrastructure for EVs mentioned earlier. As the number of electric vehicles increases currently in the form of E-Rickshaws, the EV supply chain gets strengthened as a whole. This will effectively address the scarcity of maintenance parts for EVs while making them affordable as well.
Now that we have covered few aspects of how E-Rickshaws will help in the electric revolution in India, let us briefly look into what are the reasons people choose E-Rickshaws primarily.
The Push Towards E-Rickshaws
People in India are choosing E-rickshaws over their diesel counterparts for various reasons and the primary one is the financial aspects of owning an E-Rickshaw.
The union government as well as the state governments of the country has understood the importance of EVs and has come up with various subsidies and law amendments for the smooth transition and quick adaption of EVs in the country.
One notable initiative is, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) directed all states and union territories to allow the sale and registration of electric 2 wheelers and 3-wheelers without batteries to encourage the use of swappable batteries and accelerate the country’s adoption of electric mobility. This would reduce the upfront cost of an E-Rickshaw and make it cheaper than a diesel rickshaw because 30-40% of the price of an EV goes to the battery. The new privilege coupled with battery swapping will power the E-Rickshaw sector.
E-Rickshaws is the perfect strategy to help the electric revolution in India. Widespread adaption of E-Rickshaws backed by financial incentives and the economical sense it makes from an owners perspective will trigger the electric revolution.
E-Rickshaws are the gateway to India’s E-Mobility dreams as it addresses a handful of issues India is facing today such as air and noise pollution in the cities, hike in fuel prices, etc. They can effectively reduce the gap between a bit skeptical but passionate Indians and electric vehicles by giving them the taste and thrill of riding in an electric vehicle.
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