After CNG and LPG variants, new and improved auto-rickshaw designs are all set to embrace the power of the sun. Solar – E Rickshaws are soon to hit the streets as completely battery-operated vehicles with a solar roof.
The e-rickshaws were displayed at the recent ARAI – I-tech event in the city.
Ranjit More is Chairman at R-Sun Industries whose automobile division SunLectra Auto designed the vehicles. He believes electric mobility is going to be the future.
“We are all used to conventional modes of transport based on fuel, yet climate change is having a telling effect on us. It is just a matter of time until electric mobility will be a necessity.
“We are building a whole ecosystem around solar power right from solar electric automobiles to mega solar industrial products. The solar roof will add about 20-25% range thereby paving way to more energy savings.
“Fewer emissions shall be a dream come true for many of us. It shall make driving easier for us too. After all, we are breathing the polluted air in an open rickshaw day in and day out,” says Vishram Malik who drives a CNG-powered rickshaw. “People in cars can breathe fresh scented air and drive in air-conditioned comfort. For this reason only I would dream of investing in such a vehicle that promises to rid the city of quite a bit of air pollution.
“However, that too is because my vehicle has been driven for over a decade and could use a change. Also, one man making a change is no good. Unless the government mandates a change in the law or passes a new one mandating use of a solar-rickshaw, I see no change happening,” he adds.
However, not everyone shares his opinion. Shankar Naik who drives a six-seater rickshaw along Nagar Road has much to say on the subject. “The eco-friendly nature of the new vehicles is all very good. We have nothing against protecting and safeguarding the environment,” he says speaking for his rickshaw-sangh.
“But on a basic level, your average autowala is not concerned with the features, a nice design or even customer comfort for that matter.
Sudhir Phalke another auto driver from the sangh opines, “We aren’t really concerned with a fine performance. If you notice the state of some of the autos you shall see that merely a vehicle that runs, is good enough for the driver as it is his bread and butter,” his words indicate the reluctance of rickshaw drivers in embracing new technology be it solar or e-rickshaws.
#All views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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