Pilot tests with socio-ecological added value

The german-Indian start-up "Nunam" is building three e-rickshaws for use on India's roads. The innovative heart of the e-rickshaws are the used battery modules. These are battery modules from the Audi e-tron test car fleet, which are being given a second life here in the e-rickshaws.

08/23/2022 Reading Time: 1 min

The plan is to hand over the e-rickshaws to selected pilot users in India. In addition to the e-rickshaws, Nunam also builds charging stations with second-life electricity storage systems for them. The used modules in the charging stations temporarily store the green solar power generated during the day until the e-rickshaws return from their use in the evening and need to be recharged.

The solar power for the battery modules is generated from solar panels mounted on the roofs of the local project partner. This creates a sophisticated recycling system that guarantees sustainable mobility: On the one hand, the battery modules are re-used for stationary or mobile power storage. Compared to recycling, this secondary use has the great advantage that the battery cells and modules do not have to be laboriously dismantled into their raw materials in order to subsequently produce new cells in an energy-intensive manner. On the other hand, solar instead of coal-fired electricity flows into the charging station for the e-rickshaw. The use of solar power is particularly suitable in India, where global solar radiation is significantly higher than in Europe.

The e-rickshaws are made available to women in India in order to further strengthen them in their business activities, so that they can use them to transport their goods to the market themselves in the future. So far, these have unfortunately mostly been dependent on middlemen who bring the goods to the city for the market or resale. Since the middlemen can set prices through their monopoly-like position, the producers revenues fall. Women in particular are affected by this problem, as they are responsible for field work in India.

In order to offer new opportunities in this situation, the women will receive the e-rickshaw prototypes as part of a pilot test. The aim is that after passing the driving test and individual driving instruction, you will be able to drive your goods to the market yourself in the future in order to sell them there. In this way, they become independent of intermediaries and their financial return can grow. In the long term, this will also give them the chance of greater economic autonomy.

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Your Audi Environmental Foundation Team