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Oct 26, 2018

India’s Rickshaw Revolution Leaves China in the Dust

Posted by in categories: finance, transportation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration now is pivoting toward promoting EVs in public transportation and fleet operations – primarily, two- and three-wheelers, taxis and buses. The Ministry of Finance is finalizing a plan to spend about 40 billion rupees ($600 million) in the next five years to improve the nation’s charging infrastructure and subsidize e-buses.


An electric-vehicle revolution is gaining ground in India, and it has nothing to do with cars.

The South Asian nation is home to about 1.5 million battery-powered, three-wheeled rickshaws – a fleet bigger than the total number of electric passenger cars sold in China since 2011. But while the world’s largest auto market dangled significant subsidies to encourage purchases of battery-powered cars, India’s e-movement hardly got a hand from the state.

Rather, drivers of the ubiquitous three-wheelers weaving through crowded, smoggy streets discovered that e-rickshaws are quieter, faster, cleaner and cheaper to maintain than a traditional auto rickshaw. They also are less strenuous than cycle rickshaws, which require all-day peddling. So with more rides possible in a day, the e-rickshaws are proving more lucrative.

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  • MINNIE PANDIT on October 26, 2018 3:44 am

    Good article. Electric-vehicle revolution is necessary for India and as an Indian, I appreciate and welcome it.