Is the India auto rickshaw sector undergoing a quiet change that we are unaware about? We most certainly are at a cusp – the transition from traditional auto rickshaws to e-rickshaws. These are electrical rickshaws which run on batteries. Did you know that there are currently 1.5 million e-rickshaws on the Indian roads today?
E-rickshaws are quieter, faster, cleaner and cheaper to maintain than a traditional auto rickshaw. Some 11,000 new e-rickshaws hit the streets every month, and annual sales are expected to increase about 9% by 2021. This market is currently valued at $1.5 billion and the makers are not Bajaj Auto but Mahindra & Mahindra and the forgotten giant of yesteryears, Kinetic Engineering.
You would be surprised to know that there is already an Uber style app which can be used to hail these e-rickshaws, known as SmartE. Ola also plans to get into this space with some 10,000 e-rickshaws.
This is indeed a revolution happening but sadly, the biggest roadblock is that of lack of charging stations. Presently, there are about 425 publicly available charging points at the end of last year and by 2022, the target is to take it to 2800 charging points.
Maybe the Govt needs to focus more on making all two and three wheelers into electric and get onto the cars….what say?