India’s e-rickshaws drive market boom

As many as 11,000 new e-rickshaws hit the streets every month, and annual sales are expected to increase by about 9 percent. (Photo: asia.nikkei)
Updated 27 October 2018
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India’s e-rickshaws drive market boom

  • As many as 11,000 new e-rickshaws hit the streets every month, and annual sales are expected to increase by about 9 percent by 2021

NEW DELHI: Rajan Kashyap, 28, is more relaxed than he was three years ago, when he was constantly in debt.
He attributes his more relaxed life to the electric rickshaw, or e-rickshaw as it is popularly known.
He used to be a small-time sculptor, but within a year of buying the three-wheel e-rickshaw, he was able to extricate himself from debt.
“In three years, I managed to buy three e-rickshaws from the money I saved,” Kashyap, who uses his e-rickshaw in New Delhi, told Arab News.
“One I run myself, and the other two are given on rentals and they fetch me good money every month,” he said. “I earn 1,200-1500 rupees ($16-$21) per day, which is almost double the money I earned in my previous job.”
Today, e-rickshaws are the most visible vehicles in New Delhi and many other parts of India. In the national capital, the number of e-rickshaws has risen from 4,000 in 2010 to more than 100,000 by 2017, according to a report by the New Delhi-based Centre for Civil Society.
As many as 11,000 new e-rickshaws hit the streets every month, and annual sales are expected to increase by about 9 percent by 2021, Bloomberg reported.
New Delhi-based economist Prerna Raj said they represent a $2 billion market in India. The Finance Ministry is reportedly planning to spend about 40 billion rupees in the next five years to improve the country’s charging infrastructure and to subsidize e-buses.
Amitabh Kant, CEO of the National Institution for Transforming India, a government think tank, said: “The future lies in electric mobility, and India needs to take a lead in this.”
He added: “If we are able to make technological breakthroughs in the areas of storage and batteries, if we can make a massive breakthrough in electric mobility, India will leapfrog the world.”
E-rickshaw operator Moni Kumar said: “The main challenge remains the charging of batteries. The government needs to provide facilities for charging batteries.”
Another issue affecting the growth of the e-rickshaw market is accessibility to loans. E-rickshaw manufacturer Shishir Agrawal told Arab News: “Poor drivers need subsidies and loans, and the government needs to work on that. If that’s taken care of, India will see a boom in e-rickshaw growth.”


French couple tie knot in yellow-vest themed wedding

Updated 11 December 2018
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French couple tie knot in yellow-vest themed wedding

  • The couple met a few weeks ago at a roadblock protest
  • They held the wedding at another roadblock at a nearby tolling station

DUBAI: Out of the madness of the Yellow Vests protests raging across Paris has sprung hope in the form of newlywed bliss.

After having met less than a month ago during a yellow vest roadblock in the Occitanie commune of Tarbes, two strangers, known only as “Chouchoune” and “Coco bel œil”, decided to tie the knot in a bizarre yellow-vest themed wedding ceremony, local media reported.

On Saturday, as violent protests broke out across the country, the couple held an outdoor wedding ceremony during a roadblock at a tolling station in nearby Séméac. The bride wore a tailor-made neon-yellow dress made from the reflective vests, and donned a crown of yellow flowers, while the groom wore a full suit of the reflective neon material.

Pictures of the wedding were posted to Twitter.

200 yellow-vest-clad guests attended the ceremony as the head of Tarbes’s gilets jaunes group presided over the ceremony. She pronounced the couple married whilst wearing a tricolor wig in the colors of the French flag, French daily La Depeche du Midi reported.

Given the roadblocks they’re currently taking part in, the couple’s honeymoon consisted of a “romantic” motorcycle tour around a nearby roundabout.