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Reva and Autorickshaw?

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Public Transport

There is this one thing I was hoping would happen, but it never did. Why did the promoters and makers of Reva (Maini) never try to push electric vehicles as an alternative to present-day auto-rickshaws?

An auto-rickshaw costs around Rs 1.3 lakhs today. 4 stroke ones would be a little more expensive than that. Most metro cities will sooner or later be pushing for a rickshaw overhaul, which as per current trends is an upgrade to cleaner engines running on CNG or four strokes.

What if they could produce a stripped down Reva - even a 3 wheeler would do - and bring the cost to under Rs 2 lakhs? And then, push the government for subsidies etc to further reduce the price for buyers. You get clean 'engine', and no noise, a valuable guard against these complaints of noise pollution that are growing louder by the day. Plus, lower running costs should keep the operators happy.

Talking about upfront costs, consider this. The other day, I heard an EV industry insider say that an EV maker has designed electric auto that could cost slightly less than a regular Bajaj autorickshaw!

Yes, this would require charging stations, but this work is no different from setting up CNG refueling stations. Yes, there would be some R&D work needed to ensure electric autos go 100-150 km per charge. But I am only wondering if Maini group, or any EV maker ever thought seriously about replacing the good old autos.

Makes sense, or not? Or is the EV economics not as simple as that?


tsubba's picture

Auto Transit Org.

150 users have liked.
Non polluting autos, embedded as a part of a unifying bangalore metro authority would be a dream come true. Your post got me thinking, and what was meant to be a comment grew. So I wrote a post.
George E Matthew's picture

Why not a battery

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Why not a battery replacement station?Charging a lead acid batter takes hours/ Ideally, drive into the battery replacement station, give old battery, take fully charged battery in minutes.
shas3n's picture

New Vehcile and new sales model?

163 users have liked.

I like the idea. As you say, there are problems with range and cost of vehicles and those are being addressed.

George, yes the battery replacement should work the same way as cylinder replacement for LPG/CNG autos.

On a related note, for the success of Electric Vehicles, apart from the technological advancements, a breakthrough in marketing is also needed. Making EVs is one thing and selling them to public is another. As we know the costliest component of an EV is the battery that needs to be replaced every couple of years.

So here is this company that is planning to sell cars with 'leased' batteries.  They are going to sell the used batteries to less intensive applications like UPS. Moreover, they are also going to sell the cars directly (like DELL PCs) withouth any dealers adding to the cost midway.



silkboard's picture

marketing could be the thing

156 users have liked.
There are perceptions about EVs: battery replacements cost a lot, you have to do very frequently. charging takes a lot of time. range per charge is a lot lower than what is advertised. But I doubt Maini or anyone tried to sell to auto-rick market at all. Marketing to auto-rick buyers or city/state governments would come next. On a personal note, I wanted to buy a electric two wheeler for use as a local mode of transport (run to local grocery store type thing). No clear directions on available products. Hard to find list of dealers in Bangalore. And usually bad reviews if you search on the web. So gave up the idea. Case of bad marketing, or are consumer EV products not ready for prime time yet? comment guidelines

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