Audi E-Tron’s used batteries to power electric rickshaws on Indian roads

The batteries in electric vehicles gradually weaken with the passage of time and they need to be replaced at the end of their lifecycle. Though some of the parts of such batteries are reused, there are a few that are hazardous and end up as big pollutants of the environment. Now, a startup in Bengaluru has come up with a plan to put these old batteries to good use. German-Indian startup Nunam is planning to use these batteries to run electric rickshaws. The project is funded by the Audi Environmental Foundation.

Initially, the company would use the batteries Audi’s E-Tron, which is one of the popular cars manufactured by the company, to power the rickshaws. The E-Tron has an on-road price tag of over Rs 1 crore and has a powerful lithium-ion battery that has a range of more than 400 km. Nunam is carrying out the trial runs using the battery.

"Though they are old batteries of the car, they are pretty effective in rickshaws and deliver a strong performance. Such second-hand batteries can make a big difference. It can help several people become financially self-reliant and gain employment, that too in an environmentally friendly way," said Prodip Chatterjee, Nunam co-founder.

Though the 2.5-tonne luxury Audi vehicle won't need the old battery, it is enough for the humble, people-mover rickshaw. What works for the auto is the fact that it is light weight and usually runs for short distances. That is how the batteries of the German luxury cars got a second lease of life in Indian rickshaws. Nunam, which has registered itself as an NGO, is expecting to launch its autos by early next year. It also plans to provide the rickshaws to women entrepreneurs. It also plans to add a solar panel charging system to ensure that charging is emission-free and can store energy from solar energy during daytime.

Going by the photographs released by Nunam, the company is planning to install the battery below the driver's seat. Besides, the auto is much more spacious than the traditional rickshaws on our roads. The e-rickshaws are in matte black and grey. There are orange and black accents near the wheels and below the driver's seat.

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