By Matthias Samuel
Battling with environmental issues and rapidly growing inflation, the masses will soon be seeing Electric Rickshaws plying on roads in major Cities of Pakistan, enabling them to save money and protect themselves from environmental hazards.
Though an Electric Vehicle Policy is yet to be announced in Pakistan but on expects that it won’t take too long now, and under which the incumbent government plans to have 30 percent of total vehicles running on electricity by 20230, Electric Rickshaws with innovative swappable batteries will soon be launched in three Major Cities including Lahore, Sialkot and Peshawar as a pilot project in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Certainly ‘eco-friendly’ Electric Rickshaws will soon be seen running on roads; therefore, the people must be curious to know especially how much they would cost them and how would they be different to existing Auto Rickshaws.
Manufacturing of Electric Rickshaws
Mian Ali, an Official of the Lahore-based Automotive Manufacturing Company “Sazgar Engineering Works Limited” which recently launched Pakistan’s first three-wheeler Electric Rickshaw, told that the whole Rickshaw has been designed and manufactured in Pakistan except its battery, motor and controller. He said that even they can be manufactured in the Country once the Electric Vehicle Policy is unveiled. Afterwards, he added, the industry will flourish and Electric Rickshaws will 100 percent be local.
Apprising about their operational process, Mian Ali told that an Electric Rickshaw is run by a battery rather than an engine, its motor is powered by a battery while the controller monitors the engine performance system.
Furthermore, he told that an Electric Rickshaw has a 48-volt battery, three kW motor and a controller located under the engine seat, the rickshaw driver’s seat. He said that its battery can easily be fully charged in five hours with a wire underneath its rear seat. He said that once its battery is fully charged, an Electric Rickshaw can run up to 170 kilometers with a maximum speed of 80 km/h.
Will Electric Rickshaw Rides Be Cheap?
At present, most Rickshaws in Pakistan operate on petrol, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or compressed natural gas (CNG). Due to the gradual rise in petrol and gas prices, their rents have also increased, which is why the people often remain worried. Mian Ali said that Electric Rickshaws would prove to be very economical as it will cost the driver less; therefore, its fares would significantly be reduced.
Mian Ali said that if an Auto Rickshaw consumes one litre petrol costing Rs 117 per kilometer, an Electric Rickshaw will cover the same distance consuming one unit of electricity which is about Rs 20 to 21; therefore, it would be a direct savings for the passengers. For the drivers, he told that repairing and maintenance of an Electric Rickshaw will cost much less because it has fewer moving parts. In addition, neither its oil needs to be changed, nor ring pistons, nor clutch plates are required.