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.”


Rami Malek joins cast of upcoming James Bond movie

Updated 25 April 2019
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Rami Malek joins cast of upcoming James Bond movie

  • The recent Oscar-winner said in a videotaped message that he’ll make sure Bond “will not have an easy ride of it” in Bond 25
  • The still untitled film will be partly set in Jamaica

NEW YORK: The 25th James Bond movie and Daniel Craig’s last one as 007 is heading home to Jamaica.
Craig, Bond producers and director Cary Fukunaga on Thursday launched the film from the Caribbean island nation where Ian Fleming wrote all of his Bond novels. The still untitled film will be partly set in Jamaica, also a setting in “Dr. No” and “Live and Let Die.”
Rami Malek is joining the cast as the villain. The recent Oscar-winner said in a videotaped message that he’ll make sure Bond “will not have an easy ride of it” in Bond 25.
Fukunaga took over directing from Danny Boyle, who departed last year over creative differences. Bond 25 is due out in April 2020.