A lot of non-OEM entities are interested in participating in e-mobility and this new electric rickshaw could be such an example
The electric mobility is steadily taking shape in India, starting with urban scooters and auto rickshaws. Mahindra’s Treo electric rickshaw demonstrated the high potential of electric 3-wheelers in the country by becoming the first such product to cross 5,000-unit sales mark in a short period of time. It is only natural that other OEMs scrambling to get their own zero emission passenger three-wheeler ready for the market.
Mysterious new electric rickshaw spotted testing in Chennai
Automotive enthusiast from Chennai, Agastine has spotted this heavily disguised three wheeler prototype testing on Old Mahabalipuram Road. He reports that it was an electric vehicle and it reached speeds of up to 75 kmph. He also added that the vehicle displayed impressive acceleration characteristics.
While our first guess was Mahindra since the automaker has its R&D HQ in the city, a quick look into our archives of spy shots revealed that the OEM’s prototypes usually carry TN-19 temporary license plates. Moreover, Mahindra’s electric prototypes are based out of its Bangalore division which specializes in e-mobility.
So, which brand does this electric auto rickshaw prototype belong to? As of now, our guess is as good as yours. The birth of electric mobility has made it easier for cash rich non-OEM entities to diversify into vehicle manufacturing with early mover’s advantage.
This prototype could very well belong to a new brand which has its roots either in auto component manufacturing or in a sector that has an indirect link to the automotive industry.
Recently, Ola Electric division has been in the news for announcing plans to invest Rs 2,500 crore in Tamil Nadu, for setting up world’s largest electric scooter manufacturing plant. In a related news, patent images of an Ola electric rickshaw was also leaked a few days ago.
Looking at the spyshot, the first thing that catches our attention is the head rests for driver and three passengers. The headrests, the LED taillights and the fact that the vehicle is capable of doing high speeds indicate that this auto rickshaw is aiming to be positioned at the higher end of the price sensitive segment.
For reference, the Mahindra Treo is powered by an 8 kW electric motor which is capable of propelling it to a top-speed of 55 kmph. We estimate the mysterious electric rickshaw prototype to be at least twice as powerful, based on the observer’s report.
The vehicle appears to be taller than an average passenger 3-wheeler and is equipped with a sturdy protection bar at the rear, possibly to prevent any serious damage to the powertrain. If you happen to know any information about this electric auto rickshaw, please get in touch with us.