This e-rickshaw in India can serve as an inspiration for PH tricycles

Should this popular mode of transport go electric?
by Drei Laurel | Jun 17, 2022
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PHOTO: Audi

Like other three-wheel motorized vehicles, the Philippine tricycle is as versatile as it is reliable. In many cases, they serve as our country’s ‘last mile’ transport—connecting smaller arteries to the rest of the transportation system.

That said, some changes need to be made if we have plans of keeping the iconic tricycle viable. Going green is likely going to be one of them.

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If local tricycle operators do eventually plan to clean up their act, perhaps they can draw inspiration from what’s being done with rickshaws in India. Over there, a German-Indian startup called Nunam is recycling used electric vehicle batteries and using them to power local three-wheeled transport.

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Called e-rickshaws, these rides are scheduled to start plying Indian roads in early 2023. The prototypes you see here aren’t running on just any regular EV battery, either—these packs used to propel Audi’s e-tron test fleet.

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“The old batteries are still extremely powerful,” Nunam co-founder Prodip Chatterjee told Audi. “When used appropriately, second-life batteries can have a huge impact, helping people in challenging life situations earn an income and gain economic independence—everything in a sustainable way.”

“For vehicles with lower range and power requirements, as well as lower overall weight, they are extremely promising. In our second-life project, we reuse batteries from electric cars in electric vehicles; you might call it electric mobility ‘lite’. In this way, we’re trying to find out how much power the batteries can still provide in this demanding use case,” he added.

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No specifics regarding range or charging time have been provided, but the whole project looks like grade-A stuff if we’re basing it on the photos released. Besides, we doubt Audi would attach its logo to just anything.

Impressive, yes? How would you like to see local tricycles go electric? That future might still be a long way off, but we can hope, can’t we?

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PHOTO: Audi
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