E-rickshaws in Dwarka- Jan 3, 2012
Back in Dwarka to pick up cousin and niece for a mall crawl today, I saw up close and front the swank, new electric rikshas that are plying in Dwarka sub-city now. Attractively designed, 25 such rikshas are already operational and 250 more are to be on the roads by March. A riksha owner has to pay Rs 100 per day to own the Rs 72000 vehicle in a three-year period. The rikshas are fitted with a rechargeable battery, that runs 70-80 kilometres on full charge and offer a speed of upto 30 km per hour.
I am a little uncertain though, whether these are the same as the ‘Solekshaws’ that the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CISR) unveiled last year. That model has a motor powered by a solar powered battery, which is intended to to be recharged at solar stations for a nominal fee. The riksha puller can also pedal those, and I saw the Dwarka ones being pedaled as well as driven on battery. Am curious to find out how the Dwarka riksha batteries get recharged. From what media reports I found, the initiative is part of a self-employment programme run by the state BJP. There seems to be a tie-up with battery providers for recharging.
Will have my Dwarka cousins inform me if more of these arrive in March and do some first-hand interviews to answer the above questions!