E-autos to the rescue of pollution-choked Bengaluru

E-autos to the rescue of pollution-choked Bengaluru

With a steady rise in the air pollution in Bengaluru due to the overwhelming number of vehicles on the streets, the need for eco-friendly transport has only increased.

Public transport (especially autorickshaws, which number close to 1.5 lakh in the city) contributes heavily to the rising levels of pollution.

So, the government is looking at reducing the carbon footprint left behind by the thousands of automobiles on the road. And, electric vehicles may lend a hand to this effort.

The e-rickshaw has been seen in cities such as Delhi and Lucknow as an alternative to their loud, gas-dependent counterparts. Closer home, Bengaluru-based company, RJMS - EV Pvt Ltd, tries to address pollution concerns with their electric-powered autorickshaws.

The company aims at an affordable solution to Bengaluru’s pollution problem as it retrofit the existing vehicles with electric motors and solar panels, rather than manufacture new autos altogether.

The autos, called EleRics, are noiseless, zero-emission vehicles that run on lithium batteries with solar panels overhead that power the indicators and headlights.

The batteries, which last for 6-7 years, charge in 40-45 minutes. It costs 2 lakh to implement these features in an autorickshaw, but a government subsidy of 50%, combined with low-interest loans, make it affordable for auto drivers.

The design for the electric motor has been approved by the Automotive Research Association of India and has received support from Union Minister for Road Transport, Nitin Gadkari, who encourages the use of electric vehicles.

A pilot project consisting of 9 rickshaws launched earlier this year, with drivers testing the autos out around the city. The project has received favourable responses, and RJMS hopes for an all-India launch of the autos by June this year.

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