Why Should You Care About Audi E-Tron Battery E-Tuk-Tuks For India

The whole point of the electric revolution that the automotive sector is currently experiencing is to bring about lasting change. While this is a big and debatable topic, various automakers and component manufacturers are doing their best to make it happen. And for some, it even involves end-to-end recycling and upcycling. Audi is one such automaker, and they plan to recycle and use battery modules in electric rickshaws for India.

And a German-Indian startup called Nunam has collaborated with the German auto giant for this enduring cause. The batteries for these rather cool rickshaws come from Audi e-tron test vehicles that have had their fair share of wear and tear. Audi is also showcasing the potential for second-life use for batteries with this collaborative project. It’s not a large-scale project (yet.)

Nunam, which is funded by Audi Environmental Foundation, will bring three electric rickshaws to Indian roads via the unprofitable route. They aim to mobilize women to be independent and Nunam thinks these Audi-equipped e-rickshaws are a worthy companion. Currently, three prototypes have been built by the trainees from Neckarsulm, Germany.

Don’t expect impressive performance, but using a high-density Li-Ion battery certainly gives us hope for the impressive battery life. It’s nice to see automakers making a future out of end-of-cycle components.

These cool-looking Audi-powered tuk-tuks contain end-of-cycle car batteries from e-trons and plan to be sustainable for the environment and useful for humans.

Nunam makes a point of helping people and the environment

Prodip Chatterjee, the co-founder of Nunam is on a mission to show the world that Li-Ion batteries that have completed their first life cycle in cars, still have plenty of life for a second or even third life cycle. He is currently focusing on reusing these end-of-cycle batteries for use in much lighter and less energy-consuming automobiles.

This initiative will not only help the environment by reducing pollution and the carbon footprint and rare metals needed to manufacture new batteries. But Nunam will also provide these “recycled” e-rickshaws to a non-profit organization in India to help women make and sell goods without relying on a secondary source of transportation.

With this project, Nunam and Audi are not only showing the world the potential of batteries for a second life; but also encourage female independence by providing these e-rickshaws for a great cause.

Related: Everything you need to know about Audi’s electric vehicle lineup

These E-Rickshaws Repurposed Battery Pack from Audi E-Trons

This clever initiative also happens to be the joint pilot project between Audi AG and Audi Environmental Foundation; with Nunam. The batteries used in these tuk-tuks are removed from various Audi e-tron test vehicles that have approached or completed their life cycle.

Although these batteries are not efficient for re-use in cars, they are a very strong use case in lighter, less power-hungry vehicles like electric rickshaws and even electric mopeds. The batteries will be split into smaller packs, most likely into blocks of up to 10kWh packs.

This layout will also provide an Audi EV worthy of escarpment to spawn more than seven e-rickshaws, which is an impressive use of this reuse ideology.

Related: Jeff Bezos Leads Amazon Electric Rickshaw Promotion in India

Rickshaws are a smart choice for this project

Now, Nunam could have easily opted for smaller form factors like mopeds, but electric rickshaws make more sense. Since reused batteries are still large, it would be more difficult to scale them down to fit the footprint of a two-wheeler. Also in India, the best way to motivate electrification is via public transport and rickshaws form a major part of this across the country.

Additionally, rickshaws are wired to be efficient and less performance addicted. Nobody wants to do wheelies in one (but we think these Audi engines might pop one!). Another main reason for choosing rickshaws is their abundance in India. There are many electric rickshaws on the roads, but almost all of them are fitted with lead-acid batteries which are much less efficient than modern Li-Ion batteries.

So even with these recycled batteries, Audi-powered rickshaws would be far superior to those currently prowling the roads. Plus, the low overall curb weight will help these Audi-backed rickshaws be much more efficient.

Another eco-friendly change that Nunam is making with these rickshaws is the deployment of solar charging stations in cities. This will further reduce the carbon footprint as currently rickshaws in India are recharged either at home or through the public power grid which extracts power from coal. So it’s a win-win formula that puts reliability and durability into a pretty cool package.

Related: Audi RS Q E-Tron Takes to the Streets of Hamburg at OMR Festival

Nunam plans to deploy these electric super rickshaws in India by 2023

Nunam will launch its pilot project in India by 2023 with the deployment of three of these Audi-powered e-rickshaws. The choice of city for this experience will most likely start with Bengaluru before expanding to other metropolises like Mumbai and Delhi. Specs and other technical details are still under wraps, but we’re pretty sure these rickshaws will be the sickest on Indian roads.

Before the trio traveled to India, Nunam together with Audi trainees at the Neckarsulm site developed another rickshaw. This is a display vehicle which is on display at the ongoing Greenwich Festival in Berlin which will end on June 24, 2022.

It’s healthy to see automakers commit to and further elevate the value of environmental protection and human empowerment. We look forward to seeing how Nunam’s pilot project goes in India, because if it goes well, these e-rickshaws could eventually go to other Southeast Asian countries as well.

Source: Audi

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