What is surprising is that these clean energy vehicles were introduced by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi in 2010 but now the High Court has over-ruled it and ordered to take these vehicles off the Delhi Roads.
What criteria were used to decide the e-rickshaw is dangerous? To ban that particular vehicle from running on Roads in Delhi? Have we EVER banned any vehicle in the history of the Country? So for the first time in the history of the country a certain type of vehicle gets banned from using the roads. All these questions raises doubts in a person’s mind regarding the integrity of the ban?
How is E-Rickshaws (ER) more dangerous than say a cycle or a handcart or a bullock cart? There is no way an ER is going to ram into a car and dent the car beyond repair. Then what is the danger? The danger is, if at all there is one, it would be of some truck or car crashing into the electric rickshaw. Then who is at fault? Is it the rickshaw or the is it the truck being driven irresponsibly? It is obviously the truck's fault. There will always be such accidents. There are other far slower or faster moving vehicles on the roads than ER. But if the rickshaw is modified to run quicker (over 25kmph) then that too is considered unlawful? Thus slow ER's are banned and faster rickshaw's are unlawful. Well so now the court has decided we all better stick to petrol and CNG!
First of all the automobile laws are ancient and in this case the decision to ban them have been taken just because of a single accident that happened on Delhi street. Due to our self induced blindness we do not let research and development of new technology happen locally. This is a very good case where the boundaries of the unorganized sector has merged with the corporate sector seamlessly. We saw that the unorganized sector is unorganized so we decide to ban it instead of organizing it. We, or rather our government didn't bother to organize it in four years from 2010. The onus should have been on the government to draft new laws and till then the vehicles could have operated. The drivers are always ready to comply with the Govt rules. But the Govt has not formed ANY such rules. Once the rules are set there will be more development in this sector. But all this will happen once some other country has taken the lead. Then we keep complaining of brain drain. How can we use ancient radio laws of 1950 to govern the latest satellite TV channels?
If you look in to the case you will realise the mistake is more of the sweet shop owner than the electric rickshaw. In this incident a 3yr old boy got knocked into a boiling sugar syrup being kept on the footpath which is on the main road. This was an accident waiting to happen. If the child was knocked in by a bus or a car would they have banned all buses and cars? Is this not the height of stupidity? Or was it an easy point used to kill the electric rickshaw?
“Working from 8am to 5pm daily, Ravi revealed he earns around 900 Rs per shift, of which 300 Rs is spent on the hire of the auto rickshaw and 200 Rs on ‘CNG’, taking home 400 Rs daily”. Meaning in 8 hour shift he spends 55% on daily expense which is a major expense this he could actually share between the passenger and himself which could make transportation cheaper by 25% if not by 55%.
Another angle is the cost he pays for CNG is Rs 200 in 1 shift. Most of the rickshaws run in at least 2 shift if not round the clock. Thus cost for fuel per auto rickshaw per day is Rs 400 and Rs 146,000 per year (Rs 400 x 365 days – rickshaw drivers do not like to take holidays).
How can we ban a technology which provides the country huge relief from imported fuel dependence just because a vendor kept the boiling pan in the footpath of a busy street!!??!! Not only do E-Rickshaws benefit the country but it also provides comfort for the passenger as there is lesser vibration and noise and the vehicle owner also is able to save more money rather than purchase expensive fuel and also save on maintenance charges. On top of this electric rickshaw is good for the environment.
What is most funny is that Bajaj Auto-rickshaw company, the sole producer of autos in Indian "Raj" never expected such a design of electric rickshaws to come up and even further the successful acceptances of the drivers and passengers of such a vehicle design. Makes me wonder if they even have a R&D department?
For those who are big supporters of Li-Ion battery and say Li-Ion is the latest in battery technology and that alone can save EV's, I would like to show them the story of Electric Rickshaws which can transport 8 passengers while Tesla Motors or Mahindra Reva are having a tough time transporting just 4 passengers.
Some of the Electric rickshaw makers in India: