Online retail giant Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in a recent interview with CNBC TV18 stated that his company is building electric rickshaws in India. While we are dark on details about the initiative, the company’s efforts to be a part of the Indian EV revolution is significant. Jeff, in a recent Twitter post, has revealed the rickshaws for the delivery.
The Indian e-rickshaw market is among the handful of markets that showed impressive growth in the past few years. Organised players such as Kinetic, Hero Electric and Mahindra and Mahindra forayed into the electric rickshaw segment more than two years ago, but haven’t got a grip on the market yet. India currently is home to about 1.5 million battery-powered three-wheelers, surpassing the number of electric passenger cars sold in Chine since 2011.
Since 2015, the battery-powered rickshaw segment has been growing about 20 per cent annually on a path to completely replace cycle rickshaws. However, a major chunk of these sales come from the unorganized sector. According to Vaahan portal data, unorganized players in the market sell 10,000 e-rickshaws a month as against the 1,500 to 2,000 units that the organized players sell.
A majority of e-rickshaws are predominantly sold in North India across UP, West Bengal, Delhi and Bihar as one of the most effective means of last-mile connectivity. The cost of an e-rickshaw in the unorganized sector starts from as low as Rs 40,000 as against the offerings from the organized sector that sells such models for more than Rs one lakh.