The climatic conditions in most parts of India have called for a drastic change in the automobile industry. Electric rickshaws have been gaining popularity since the late 2000s. Subsequently, the need and demand for electric rickshaws has been increasing at a rapid rate as well.
Although a tremendous development in the automobile industry, electric rickshaws come with their own set of pros and cons.
Lesser Pollution: Electric rickshaws run on battery. Their batteries reduce the carbon emission and emit no greenhouse gasses. Since these vehicles do not run on petrol/diesel, they create a less polluted environment for the people. Electric rickshaws are the environmental-safe vehicles for the healthy future of our country. The electric rickshaws are also on the quieter side, so they make less noise as compared to other petrol/diesel vehicles and reduce noise pollution.
Recyclable Batteries: The batteries of electric rickshaws are all recyclable and rechargeable. One good-quality battery could last for about 4 years, if taken care of well. This means less maintenance and less expenses overall.
Safety: Electric rickshaws are much safer to travel in. The build of the electric rickshaws keeps them from rolling over and also makes them less likely to be caught on fire or explosions.
Employment Generation: The boom of electric rickshaws has made it easier for people to start an electric rickshaw business of their own. Anyone can start an electric rickshaw business without too much hassle. The registration process of buying and starting an electric rickshaw business is very easy and is not time-consuming at all. The revenue generated from an electric rickshaw business is also profitable. The electric rickshaw business gives women and/or single mothers the opportunity to earn from themselves.
Cheaper Transportation: The electric rickshaws as compared to other means of public transport charge a lower rate while also providing a very safe and comfortable ride. Even the common man can start an electric rickshaw business given how cheap and easy it is to obtain an electric rickshaw. Due to the popularity of the electric rickshaws, the profit gained from the business can be used to repay the loans of the vehicle, if taken.
Customizable: The body of an electric rickshaw is typically a skeleton and can be customized any way desired. From curtains to sheds, to grip handles, everything can be customized.
The electric rickshaws also have quite a few cons:
Battery Life: Don’t get us wrong, most electric rickshaw batteries work great. But it heavily depends on the type of battery used. In India today, all-electric rickshaw vehicles use lead-acid batteries, but they differ on the basis of being deep discharge and standard batteries.
Light-weight body: Due to the light-weight build of the electric rickshaws, there is a certain limit to the number of people it can carry. A heavier weight on the vehicle could result in the vehicle rolling over.
Lower Speed: The electric rickshaws are slower when compared to other petrol/diesel vehicles. They can only go up to 35 kmph, and any faster could result in the vehicle losing balance.
Weather damage: The build of an electric rickshaw is not as sturdy as a bus or an autorickshaw to be able to protect its passengers during heavy rainfall. The curtains and shed only go so far to save the passengers. Unfavorable weather conditions would make it almost difficult and unsafe to travel in electric rickshaws.
Lack of guidelines: Most electric rickshaw drives are untrained and have no guidelines to follow on properly operating an electric rickshaw. This poses a threat because most drivers do not have a license either and could land themselves and the passengers in problems.
Charging Stations: The charging time for all-electric rickshaws, in today’s technology, is about 6-9 hours as opposed to the quick refueling of other petrol/diesel vehicles. Not just that, there are not as many charging stations as there are electric rickshaws/vehicles on the road. India is still in the process of developing charging stations for electric vehicles/rickshaws, and it will be a couple of years before they are widespread.
The electric rickshaw like all vehicles comes as a boon and a bane. Any step towards an eco friendly environment is a step towards a greener future.
Syndicate Motors is a manufacturer of electric vehicles that combat environmental issues and economic issues in India.
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