E-Rickshaw powered by Audi e-tron
The Indo-German start-up Nunam brings an electric three-wheeler rickshaw to the Indian roads. Powered by used batteries acquired from test vehicles in the Audi e-tron test fleet. The objective is to explore the reuse of high-voltage batteries post their car life cycle and yet be viable for a second life. Further, this project shall focus on women empowerment in India. By providing the e-rickshaws to transport their goods.
A non-profit start-up funded by the Audi Environmental Foundation with a base in Berlin and Bangalore. Nunam developed the 3 prototypes in collaboration with the training team at Audi’s Neckarsulm site. That benefits from the intensive intercultural exchange. This is the pioneer collaborative project between AUDI AG and the Audi Environmental Foundation in addition to Nunam.
Powered by second-life batteries, scheduled for the first pilot run in early 2023 in India. These e-Rickshaws shall be available to a non-profit organization. Especially for women to use the all-electric rickshaws for daily transport of goods. Even though these batteries spend their first life in an Audi e-tron they are extremely powerful. “Stated Nunam cofounder Prodip Chatterjee.”
E-rickshaws have an ideal eco-efficiency, says Chatterjee. With a high-energy-density battery and with a low vehicle weight comparatively. The electric motor need not be powerful, since rickshaws in India neither travel fast nor far. While e-rickshaws are not uncommon in the subcontinent today. However, these rickshaws use lead-acid batteries with a relatively shorter service life.
Moreover, these rickshaws use public grid electricity for charging. That utilizes a high proportion of coal-fired power in India. Whereas, the e-rickshaws with second-life batteries charge from solar charging stations. These solar panels will be on the roofs of the local partner’s premises. During the day, sunlight charges an e-tron battery acting as a buffer storage unit. However, in the evening the stored power is utilized by the rickshaws. Resulting in the local driving being largely carbon-free.
Additionally, the e-rickshaws can be used throughout the day and be charged with green power at night. Further, the charging station to is developed internally.
Nunam has been monitoring the e-rickshaws performance and range continuously. Moreover, all the e-rickshaw data collected is available to potential imitators on the open-source platform https://circularbattery.org/. Additionally, Nunam is encouraging imitation to find new use cases for e-waste globally. Hence, sharing the knowledge shall motivate more initiatives to develop products driving the eco-social revolution forward.
Life after Second Life
Moreover, post the first life of the battery in an Audi e-tron and its second in an e-rickshaw there is the third spell too. In a third life, the batteries’ remaining power might be useful for stationary applications like LED lighting. This would result in full utilization of the battery before it is recycled.
The future being of electric mobility and solar energy India’s dependency on fossil fuels like coal. Resulting in reduced exhaust emissions on Indian roads and provide people with a reliable power supply. The E-rickshaw shall be available at the GREENTECH FESTIVAL in Berlin from June 22