Even as the government authorities are launching schemes/initiatives to encourage e-rickshaws by providing funding/subsidy for its procurement and development of supporting infrastructure, there are few takers for this modest urban mobility facility. Readers share steps that should be taken to gain popularity of e-rickshaws among commuters and operators.
Need proper planning and execution
Electric autos have failed to make an impact even as registrations of other e-vehicles have increased in regional transport offices. Though government officials are claiming that the future of e-rickshaws was bright with a new variant resembling auto-rickshaws, becoming slowly popular, things on ground are far different. There are concerns about charging such vehicles and also the cost. Also, the regular auto-rickshaw drivers and unions are opposed to the new mode of transport. If planned and executed carefully, the electric auto transport would be successful in providing last mile connectivity. There is a huge demand from local citizens, especially senior citizens and women, who often complain about auto-rickshaw drivers for being rude, refuse short- distance travel and charge exorbitant rates per kilometre in violation of the RTO rules.
The e-rickshaws are pollution -free and cost-effective, hence awareness must be created about it,
The main challengers before shifting to the electric autos are high upfront cost for borrowers, prevailing uncertainty about the longevity and future uses of components like batteries in the long run and restricted access to credit. There is a need to create a climate-friendly, sustainable transport ecosystem to address these issues.
The electric rickshaws have disadvantages like slow speed; hence, it is not a preferred mode of transport. Their batteries have deep discharge of lead acid batteries that are presently imported and these can be very harmful. There are no proper rules and guidelines fixed for the functioning of e-rickshaws. The drivers need to be fully trained to drive the e-rickshaws. Hence, policy formulation and involvement of all stakeholders are a must in this process.
Promote with more subsidy
The option of electric autos is a win-win solution for the citizenry at large and hence must be promoted with more subsidies. All the old methods of traditional transport must be phased out. Similarly, efforts must be made to bring down the prices and make the autos affordable. The cost of travel also has to be brought down.