Leasing Li-ion batteries for e-rickshaws in Kolkata

Date: April 15, 2024.In Kolkata, a shift towards sustainable transportation is underway with the introduction of a leasing model for lithium-ion batteries designed for three-wheelers, commonly known as ‘toto’. This initiative is a collaborative effort between Neuron Energy, a lithium-ion battery manufacturer, and Urja Mobility, which will oversee the leasing operations. The model is intended to empower e-rickshaws with GPS-enabled lithium-ion batteries, improving their efficiency and environmental friendliness.

The CEO & Co-Founder of Neuron Energy, Pratik Kamdar, stated that this venture begins in Bengal and aims to replace outdated lead-acid batteries with lithium-ion alternatives under a lease agreement. Moreover, the leasing model is akin to an EMI system where users pay per use without owning the asset. Lithium-ion batteries, despite their higher initial cost, demonstrate greater cost-effectiveness in the long run owing to their durability.

To address security concerns, we equip the batteries with GPS tracking and enable remote deactivation capabilities. This transition not only represents a technological upgrade but also responds to environmental concerns associated with lead-acid batteries, which the Delhi government has banned for use in e-rickshaws.

However, under this strategic alliance, Urja Mobility will procure batteries directly from Neuron Energy and lease them to fleet companies and individual EV owners through a network of authorized distributors. Pankaj Chopra, CEO of Urja Mobility, highlighted the affordability of the model, with a monthly lease rental of just Rs 4,500 and a three-year contract, making green transportation accessible to a broader audience.

West Bengal recognizes itself as a hub for e-three-wheeler manufacturing. It contributes to approximately 15% of India’s production and accounts for over 12% of all EVs produced in the country. Moreover, the goal is to target a fleet of 50 lakh e-rickshaws nationwide, with a significant number in West Bengal.

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