If you think of rickshaws and imagine little carts being pulled by people, you are thinking a long way. Today, these small vehicles run on gasoline and diesel, but future rickshaws will use electric batteries. Currently, Nunam, a German-Indian startup, is preparing three electric rickshaws for use on Indian roads using batteries from Audi e-tron electric vehicles.
Used Audi e-tron batteries see new life
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One of the challenges facing the automotive industry is what to do with EV batteries once the car’s life cycle is over. While some companies explore recycling programs and others consider dismantling batteries for their materials, Audi has another idea. These high-voltage batteries may no longer have enough power to power cars, but they could easily power smaller rickshaws.
By using the batteries of these electric vehicles, the systems are given a second life and the rickshaws have enough power to transport people through narrow streets.
What is a modern rickshaw?
The bamboo and rattan carts of old are no longer in use and have not been used in modernized countries for many years. Today, these vehicles are a cross between a moped and a pickup truck, offering three wheels for the ride. Rickshaws, used in India and Thailand to transport people and goods through narrow streets, use small gasoline engines.
How do Audi e-tron batteries fit into rickshaws?
Current rickshaws are stripped of their two-stroke gasoline engines, which are replaced by an electric motor. These vehicles have a specially designed floor to handle the size, load and complexity of older e-ton batteries. Preventative measures, including battery box splash guards, are necessary to protect the driver and passengers.
How long do these EV batteries last in rickshaws?
Part of releasing and developing these new electrified rickshaws will be learning how long the Audi e-tron batteries will power these vehicles. While typical electric rickshaws (yes, there are already some in use) charge batteries using the public grid, Nunam’s models offer something different. Inside electric vehicles tells us that Nunam rickshaws will use solar-powered charging stations installed at various locations to recharge those batteries.
Incidentally, the current electric rickshaws in India use lead-acid batteries, which have a short lifespan. Often these batteries are not disposed of properly.
Audi e-tron electric vehicle batteries will get a third life
Once the electric rickshaws using e-tron batteries have finished their run, what happens to the batteries? Surprisingly, these batteries should still possess enough power to run stationary devices. This means running LED lighting in a home or some of the small kitchen appliances that we use on a daily basis.
Something similar to this third life process is already happening. Old BMW car batteries powered Coldplay’s latest stadium tour. This proved that these batteries have many uses after powering electric vehicles.
How will Nunam Audi e-tron motor rickshaws be tested?
Nunam rickshaws will transport women in India to market with their goods for sale, once the pilot project is launched in 2023. This is expected to help these women bring more to market faster than before, thus helping to strengthen their income and employment opportunities.
Then, learn more about the recent Chevy Silverado EV test drive, or have fun learning more about Nunam rickshaws in the video below:
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