Exide Industries is set to enter India’s e-rickshaw market by launching its first model, branded ‘Exide Neo’, following the launch of its rickshaw specific E-Ride range of lead batteries.
The Indian firm says it has used the experience of working with rickshaw OEMs to develop its tubular and flat-plate battery technologies to build its e-rickshaw vehicle.
The e-vehicle is being launched in select markets in India and will be available through Exide’s network of dealers.
“Having worked with e-rickshaw operators for a long time, we used the experience and knowledge to design the most suitable vehicle for the Indian conditions that would offer an enhanced and completely packaged solution to customers,” said Arun Mittal, director automotive at Exide.
There are around three million rickshaws in India, with the electric rickshaw market projected to reach 935,500 units in the next five years, according to Prescient & Strategic Intelligence (P&SI) report.
The government’s implementation of incentives— in the form of subsidies and tax refunds— has been a key driver for the electric rickshaw market.
Under the country’s Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme, the government is providing subsidies ranging from $364 (INR 25,000) to $887 (INR 61,000) in order to boost e-rickshaw sales.
P&SI’s report on the market stated: “The sales of electric rickshaws have picked up since 2013. In response to the increasing levels of air pollution in the capital, the Delhi government announced a subsidy of INR 30,000 on the purchase of electric rickshaws, which led to the proliferation in their demand in the city, further benefitting the market.
“However, Uttar Pradesh is expected to be the largest electric rickshaw market during the forecast period, primarily due to the growing demand of these rickshaws from Tier-1 cities, Tier-2 cities and rural urban fringe.”