New Delhi: First Stainless Steel E-rickshaw was commercially launched during 10th Electric Vehicle Expo 2019 (EVEXPO 2019) held in Pragati Maidan, Delhi between 20-22nd December. Nimish Goel, Segment Head, Electric Vehicles, Jindal Stainless, Jitendra Thukral, MD, Thukral Electric Bikes and Anupam Batra, MD, SKS Trade India were present on this occasion. Jindal Stainless had developed a stainless steel E-rickshaw prototype few months back in collaboration with E-rickshaw manufacturers and showcased during EV Expo held in Lucknow. Speaking on this occasion, Nimish Goel, Segment Head, Electric Vehicles, Jindal Stainless said, “Considering the market potential of E-rickshaw in India, we are extending our full support to E-rickshaw manufacturers in designing and developing stainless steel models that are affordable, high on RoI, and user-friendly. Thukral Electric Bikes and SKS Trade India are our first manufacturing partners who have helped in commercial roll-out of Stainless Steel E-rickshaw. Our teams across India are forging partnership with more E-rickshaw dealers and manufacturers for seamless production of this environment-friendly vehicle. Continued government subsidies will enable faster adoption and will speed up market growth.”
According to transport sector sources, it is estimated that nearly 6 lakh E-rickshaws are sold in India annually and this sale is expected to grow to the tune of ~16 % (CAGR) in the next 5 years. As a new business development initiative towards sustainable transportation, after stainless steel bus bodies and railway coaches and wagons, Jindal Stainless is targeting a 25% share of the total E-rickshaw market in India over the next 2 years fetching estimated revenue of Rs.200 crore. The company expects an annual volume demand of 13,000 metric tonnes from this new business development initiative by 2021.
At present, life of a carbon steel E-rickshaw is 2-3 years which needs to be disposed at the end of the life cycle. It is prone to frequent chassis corrosion, which calls for regular maintenance and poses a high risk to the safety of passengers. To fabricate various E-rickshaw components like chassis, boxes, anti-skid chequered floors, and decorative structure, stainless steel pipes and sheets are readily available. These stainless steel components enhance the overall safety of the E-rickshaw due to a high strength-to-weight ratio, improved crash resistance, and better corrosion prevention. Using stainless steel components therefore doubles the life span of an E-rickshaw. This further leads to a reduction in the overall body weight of the E-rickshaw by 14-15%, resulting in higher battery efficiency. Additionally, a stainless steel E-rickshaw owner has the supplementary advantage of high stainless steel scrap rate yielding value-for-money savings at the end of the E-rickshaw’s life cycle. Thus, the total annual cost saving accrued from switching over from a carbon steel to a stainless steel E-rickshaw is to the tune of 32%. Amidst rising environmental pollution, E-rickshaws have emerged as the most economical option for last mile connectivity in both urban and rural areas.