Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami flagged off 13 types of solar and electric powered rickshaws, driven by women as a part of an initiative to protect the environment and empower women.
According to its press release, K Palaniswami signed an agreement with MAuto Electric Mobility in Dubai during his state visit last year. The chief minister offered the government’s support to the company on several facilities including, manufacturing units and charging infrastructure. The agreement was part of the government’s plan to attract foreign investments to create new job opportunities in the state.
The project will help create over 5,000 new job opportunities with an investment of around ₹1 billion (~$13.62 million), according to the press statement.
Last year, Mercom reported that Tamil Nadu’s Electric Vehicle Policy 2019 aimed to mobilize ₹500 billion ($7 billion) investment in EV manufacturing in the state. The policy aimed to create a complete EV ecosystem and charging infrastructure.
According to MAuto Electric, the company will roll out around 4,000 electric rickshaws in Chennai in several phases by the end of this year. It says it is the first company to receive the license to start its operations from the government.
The solar and electric powered rickshaws are equipped with several facilities such as CCTV cameras, GPS, and panic buttons.
In India, the widely used electric three-wheelers are expected to play a crucial role in last-mile connectivity and reduction in carbon emissions. The government’s plan to transit to 100% electric three-wheelers by 2023 and two-wheelers with an engine capacity of fewer than 150 ccs by 2025 is aimed at reducing oil dependence while fighting back air pollution in the country. The Budget 2020 has also announced demand incentives for 15,000 electric three-wheelers.
Recognizing the demand for e-rickshaws, a slew of manufacturers have come up with plans. One of them is Kerala Automobiles Limited, which has decided to roll out indigenous three-wheeler eco-friendly autorickshaws last year. Shado Group, a Singapore-based company, unveiled a low voltage, instantly chargeable electric three-wheeler called Erick. Also, Uber, the personal mobility company, signed a pact with SUN Mobility to deploy e-rickshaws.
Image credit: Steven Byles from Singapore, Singapore / CC BY-SA
Harsh is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Previously with Indian Express, he has covered general interest stories. He holds a Masters Degree in Journalism from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune.