Check Out This Awesome Electric Rickshaw With The Powertrain Of An Audi e-Tron

Electric rickshaws, called electric tuk-tuks, e-rickshaws or e-tricycles, are nothing new. Originally, rickshaws were two- or three-wheeled passenger carts that one person pulled across the road. But they’ve come a long way since 1879 (when the term is said to have first been used). Modern innovations have reached even this small means of transport.

Pulled rickshaws were quickly transformed into auto rickshaws or 3-wheeled vehicles powered by standard (albeit smaller) combustion engines. These were and still are very popular in some parts of the world, but growing concern over carbon emissions prompted companies to switch to electric versions.

Electric rickshaws plan to continue to offer the practicality of small vehicles for everyday tasks while reducing environmental impact. They typically pack 650 to 1400 watt electric motors and have gained popularity in China and India due to the need for low cost transportation for everyday tasks.

E-rickshaws recently caught our attention, as Audi announced that its Environmental Foundation had embarked on a project with Nunam, a non-profit start-up from Germany and India, to electrify rickshaws. with Audi e-Tron battery modules. How interesting is it? It looks like India will get convenient e-rickshaws with the help of the 2022 world performance car.

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Audi E-Tron battery modules will be repurposed to power electric rickshaws in India

It’s a bit strange to see the four rings on the front of an e-rickshaw, but in a good way. Few would assume Audi would get involved in electrifying a wagon-like vehicle, but here we are, and the model sure does look good. Unfortunately, you probably won’t get to drive it anytime soon (if ever).

Audi has partnered with Nunam to bring electric rickshaws to India, and already three models have been produced. The iconic German manufacturer provided Nunam with used batteries from test vehicles, including the e-Tron. Basically, the goal is to see how modules with high-voltage batteries can be reused after a full service life in road cars. But we’ll talk about that in more detail later.

Now, it’s essential to note that the Audi Environmental Foundation has funded Nunam to help the cause of “e-waste reuse.” Truth be told, we love this “recycle and reuse whatever you can” philosophy. We also like that these e-rickshaws are designed to ease the process of daily cargo transportation for people in India. Nunam co-founder Prodip Chatterjee said in Audi’s press release:

“Old batteries are still extremely powerful. When used appropriately, Second Life Batteries can have a huge impact, helping people in difficult life situations earn income and gain economic independence – all in a sustainable way.

E-rickshaws are expected to arrive in India in early 2023. Yes, we are sad that they are not available worldwide. But participants at the Greentech Festival in Berlin will have the chance to discover this unique vehicle from June 22.

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E-Rickshaws are eco-efficient, thanks to their powertrain and design

They’re not the first electric rickshaws, so what makes them so special, you might be wondering? Well, the fact that the batteries are reused from full-size vehicles. Electric rickshaws often use lead acid batteries, which don’t last too long and are usually not disposed of properly.

Rather, Nunam reuses high-energy-density batteries (in this case from the Audi e-Tron), so wastage is minimal. Since rickshaw drivers do not travel fast or far, the power of these batteries proves to be sufficient. Additionally, rickshaws are designed to be lightweight and easy to power up.

But how exactly do these vehicles recharge? Electric vehicles in India are powered by the public power grid, which relies on coal. Nunam solved this environmental problem by having e-rickshaws charged at solar stations. During the day, the vehicles use the sun, and in the evening, electricity is supplied to them by stationary batteries. Clean, right?

We also like that Nunam suggests that batteries in an Audi e-Tron (or any other electric vehicle) don’t necessarily need to be wasted after being used for the second time in e-rickshaws. The start-up proposes to use these batteries a third time for stationary applications such as LED lighting. This way they can be fully utilized before recycling.

This interesting project should help reduce India’s dependence on fossil fuels in the long term, which is good news for the environment. As Audi is involved in the project, the e-rickshaws are also expected to bring some of the brand’s spirit to the road and help Indian drivers through improved range, charging time and design. .


We can’t say more about this project until it has achieved its goal, or we have tested the Audi & Nunam electric rickshaw in question. Although the latter seems more difficult to achieve, we remain hopeful.

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