E Rickshaws - The popular transport in Pacific Asia

gemvehiclesStarred Page By gemvehicles, 30th Aug 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2t1ebiu3/
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E rickshaws are electric vehicles, battery operated tricycles, used as commercial transport in Asia, an upgraded version of rickshaws which run since a long time, they are taking over conventional rickshaws and auto rickshaws.


Rickshaws were invented by Japan, the term rickshaw is derived from Japanese word jinrikisha (人力車, 人 jin = human, 力 riki = power or force, 車 sha = vehicle), meaning "human-powered vehicle". These rickshaws were human powered, were a human pulled the passengers, they still run in some areas such as Kolkata, India.

Since then, new technology has changed rickshaws in many different ways, after the puller rickshaw came cycle rickshaws, then auto rickshaws which were C.N.G or diesel Powered and now E-Rickshaws have been invented, which are powered by a motor and batteries, some of them may also use solar power to increase their range, but mostly e-rickshaws use batteries as their primary source.

E Rickshaws in Bangladesh

The first notable country to adopt e-rickshaws is Bangladesh,electric rickshaws were introduced in Bangladesh in 2008 most of these were imported from China but following government rules and due to the fact that most ran on stolen power which caused huge loss of electricity, they were banned, but due to various advantages they provide and increased number, they were eventually allowed in 2012 , and was even promoted in the capital of Bangladesh.



E rickshaws were introduced in 2011 in India, they became popular very soon after the launch of e rickshaws in the market, though they were against government norms the sellers argued that they are pollution free and due to low speed does not break any rules, since they come under non-motorized vehicle category, by 2012 they grew in number to about 50000 and was banned by the high court, even then no action was taken to stop them and local police allowed them or ignored them, the number grew to 0.2 million in 2014 and is increasing rapidly, they have replaced many other rickshaws, the cost being cheaper than any other transport and various other argued benefits they are plying all over India.

Due to the reasons of low quality from China, some Indian manufacturers have developed better versions which match the cost and are high quality and Indian manufactured and designed, providing service benefits and engineered for Indian roads these are higher quality, some rickshaws have also been developed in full fiberglass body providing very high strength and low weight helping to increase range and increase overall performance of the vehicle.

The advantages of using them in India

These Vehicles are battery operated, run at maximum 25km/h speed and provides with cheap public transportation, they typically use 3-4 Units of electricity per charge which costs around Rs.20 and run for 80 to 100km making around 800-1000 per day, including the overhead costs still a person can make decent amount with them, which is much more than diesel or C.N.G. While other transport would cost twice as much they charge Rs.10 for even larger distance and promote a healthier economy for them as well as public.

Government Policies

They are being promoted by many and also caused some controversy regarding government policies but states like Assam. The policy for center is still in progress and will allow them to ply under new rules made for them which has been said to include, a licence for light commercial transport, an insurance and maximum 4 passengers would be allowed.

The Manufacturing

E rickshaws are mostly soft iron metal chassis, consist of a motor 600-1200W and a solid state controller which is rated at 40A maximum current, the versions in India and other Asian countries are mostly rated at 48V and consist of 4 12V batteries, however in Bangladesh and China 12V 5 batteries and an electrical system of 60V is used.

Most of them were imported from China, but since they were lower quality and could not provide service to the customers, new manufacturers from India, Bangladesh and Japan came up, Indian manufacturers are importing them to Nepal, Bangladesh and Indian local market is now relied mostly on them, as they are almost same in cost and have a better quality and are able to provide service in India, moreover the cost of importing is too high in India, except China, the overall cost of the vehicle will be too high to import and Indian made e rickshaws will be more beneficial. In other countries products are sold by e-rickshaw companies of India, Japan or China. The rickshaws are still imported in a huge quantity by India and Bangladesh along with local manufacturer as the rate of production is high and low cost of Chinese products, however the quality is low and there is low trust level of the customer on these products, the customer prefers local manufacturers for quality and service.

E Rickshaws are built over metal chassis and body is kept light in weight, the products by some manufacturers are made in fiberglass giving an advantage of strength and light weight over metal. It is also more durable and water, heat, fire and corrosion resistant to most chemicals.One of the leading e-rickshaw manufacturer in India is GEM brand, developed e rickshaws in different models, different usage and improved their performance and quality, they last for years, wereas the China models are said to have a life of 8 to 10 months as reported by Indian newspapers.

See GEM E Rickshaw description for more about manufacturing and parts, the detailed manufacturing and parts are available on the link.


The batteries used in e rickshaws are standard lead acid, which are cheaper than others but are not suitable for long use in electric vehicles, deep discharge batteries or lithium ion batteries, but are too expensive, these batteries have evolved in order to fit the requirements and even deep discharge lead acid batteries are being used now, the motor is 650 to 1250 W in power , however in China , and few other Asian countries a heavy motor vehicle is also used with power of 2 kW but are not as popular in India and other major countries where e rickshaws are large in number.

The batteries are not imported for these vehicles as cost of importing batteries due to government regulations are very high. Also it would require licencing in most countries to import batteries or other chemical components.


GEM vehicles, e rickshaw ,electric motor vehicles, frp products
FRP body e rickshaw manufacturers, the leading manufacturers in India, known for their quality and designs.
Electric rickshaw - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Auto, E Rick, E Rickshaw, Electric Rickshaw, Electric Vehicles, Fiberglass, Goenka, Rickshaw

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Manufacturer of electric vehicles in India.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
30th Aug 2014 (#)

I always thought that Rickshaws were invented in India, interesting to know they started in Japan.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
31st Aug 2014 (#)

Interesting post with detailed information. If the range per charge is increased, as it sure will be over time, they will be godsend in rural areas of poorer countries. I do wish solar energy can be tapped to increase the range in conjunction with battery - siva

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author avatar vkg
1st Sep 2014 (#)

FRP is really much better, in my opinion you are right, however many people do not know that

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