Electric Vehicles Today & Tomorrow; Indian prospective of E-rickshaws

January 18, 2021

E Rickshaw History

In India E-Rickshaw has gained market base post 2015 in an established way. It was the drive to have greener transport industry especially in tier-2 & tier -3 cities the e-rickshaw market is vastly gaining base and is likely to grip on further in coming years with the advent of established players in the segment as well.

Today, e-rickshaws play a vital role in providing livelihood to people in India. Due to their low cost and high efficiency they are accepted on the Indian streets. E-rickshaws are still rising in number and widely used in Delhi and other parts of India.

E-Rickshaw's have now transitioned from being a market entrant in the automobile segment of the country to evolve as a leading short distance transport solution.

Design and construction

These rickshaws have a M.S(Mild Steel) tubular chassis  , consist of 3 wheels with a differential mechanism at rear wheels. The motor is brushless DC motor manufactured mostly in India and China. The electrical system used in Indian version is 48v.Body design is varied from load carriers, passenger vehicles with no roof, to full body with windshield for drivers comfort.

 It consist of a controller unit. They are sold on the basis of voltage supplied and current  output, also the number of MOSFET (metal oxide field effect transistor) used. The battery used is mostly lead acid battery   with life of 6–12 months, deep cycle batteries designed for electric vehicles are rarely used.

Challenges and Quality

Manufacturers offer market their product as an Indian make, even though almost all vehicles are assembled from parts that were imported from China. This is due to the drastically lower cost of Chinese components, especially batteries and electronics. A downside of electric rickshaws in India is the predominant use of cheap batteries with low durability. Rickshaws are not designed considering the comfort of the passengers.

The poor quality of imported cheap material has shaken the confidence of buyers. Low cost unorganized manufacture have offered the rickshaws without considering the basic safety of the driver and passengers, lead acid battery having life less than 12 months, with running average of 60 km per charge and high charging time of 10-12 hrs has questioned the viability for the user. And because of that in various part of the country it has failed.


Future of E-rickshaw

During last two years few organized sector players have entered in the market of E-rickshaw and they have taken care ,all the major quality related issues .These  electric rickshaws are with wind shied and complete close body as that of auto rickshaw, they are designed and manufactured in India with metal bodies and with wider space considering the comfort and safety of the passengers.

They are equipped with lithium ion batteries which can be charged in 3-4 hrs and with one charge you can travel 80 -100 km. with battery life of three years.

Further their Motors and controller are made in India and are having warranty of one years against the Chinese products of without warranty.

Type and Applications

Passenger carrier

These are designed for carrying 4 passengers and a driver. and are available in various designed with soft roof, hard roof, without wind shield  and with windshield etc.


Load Carrier

These are load carrying versions of these rickshaws differ in their upper body, load carrying capacity, motor power, controller and other structural aspects, and can carry load of 300-400 kg .

These load carrier are also customized as per different applications like Fruit Selling ,Vegetable Selling, Currier Service, Grocery Service ,Garbage Collection, Milk Van, Ice Cream Parlor, Street Food

Vender and number of special applications. And same is picking the market very fast specially due to Covid pandemic situation where people don’t want to go to market for buying and sellers are coming to the door step of the buyer.  




Government support

Proper implementation of the e-rickshaws has the potential to address the issues of environmental pollution due to transportation as the specific CO2 emission for the e-rickshaws was found to be 19.129 gm/passenger-km against 113 gm /km CO2 emission for the diesel auto rickshaw. 

In order to promote electric rickshaw in India various state governments has offered various subsidies from 15%-30% on their basic values. Beside this  GST  is only 5% and  RTO charges are 1%.

With lower emissions, cheaper running costs, and less ongoing maintenance, electric three-wheelers are becoming potential platforms of self sustainable revenue model in developing countries. Thus, the adoption rate of electric three-wheelers for goods movement is expected to increase significantly in the years to come.

Government is also drafting dedicated electrification goals for three-wheeler vehicle categories, as well as increasing their support for electric three-wheeler ecosystem.

Further the adoption of electric three-wheeler models increases, the mass manufacturing of electric three-wheelers and associated components  will increase and prices will become more competent for the common man. The technological advancement and the less reliance on the renewable source of energy will decrease and the EV ecosystem will the new era of transportation.

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