Audi e-tron Test Car Batteries To Be Used To Launch Solar Powered E-Rickshaws In India
- Nunam developed the three prototypes in collaboration with Audi.
- These Nunam e-rickshaws charge using power from solar charging stations.
- The solar panels are located on the roofs of the local partner's premises
A new German-Indian EV start up, Nunam is bringing three electric rickshaws to India. These EVs are powered by used batteries taken from test vehicles in the Audi e-tron test fleet and the aim of the project is to explore how modules made with high-voltage batteries can be reused after their car life cycle and become a viable second-life use case. The Berlin and Bengaluru based non-profit start up is supported the Audi Environmental Foundation. Nunam developed the three prototypes in collaboration with the training team at Audi's Neckarsulm site, and this is the first joint project between AUDI AG and the Audi Environmental Foundation in addition to Nunam.
The e-rickshaws powered by second-life batteries are scheduled to hit the roads in India for the first time in a pilot project in early 2023. Women in particular will be able to use the all-electric rickshaws to transport their goods to market for sale, all without the need for intermediaries. The e-rickshaws are powered by used battery modules that spent their first life in an Audi e-tron.
The basic e-rickshaws we see on Indian roads run on lead acid batteries and the drivers charge their vehicles primarily with public grid electricity, which has a high proportion of coal-fired power in India. These Nunam e-rickshaws charge using power from solar charging stations. The solar panels are located on the roofs of the local partner's premises. During the day, sunlight charges an e-tron battery, which acts a buffer storage unit. And in the evening, the power is passed on to the rickshaws. This approach makes local driving largely carbon-free. So the electric rickshaws can be used throughout the day - and still be charged with green power during the evening and night.