Audi Spins Its Old Electric Vehicle Batteries Into E-Rickshaws
By Alexa Heah, 17 Jun 2022
With more electric vehicles on the road now than ever, what should we do when batteries come to the end of their lifespan?
Well, Audi has an answer. In partnership with German-Indian startup Nunam, the automaker has come up with a way to repurpose these old batteries as e-rickshaws.
According to a press release, in a pilot project, high-voltage batteries from Audi’s e-tron test fleet will be given a second life on the rickshaws, not only eliminating waste, but doubling up as a new way for women in the area to transport their goods to the market for sale more efficiently.
“The old batteries are still extremely powerful,” explained Nunam co-founder Prodip Chatterjee.
While they may not be fit to be used in road cars, they can still “have a huge impact, helping people in challenging life situations earn an income and gain economic independence—everything in a sustainable way.”
As part of the program, the startup took care to ensure drivers of these new e-rickshaws wouldn’t charge their vehicles with public grid electricity, much of which still comes from coal-fired power.
Instead, the mobile vehicles can be juiced up using solar charging stations on the roofs of the local partner’s site. During the day, the sun charges up the e-tron battery, which is then used to power the rickshaws at night.
Going forward, the startup plans to find new ways of repurposing the EV batteries, with one suggestion that the remaining power could be used for stationary applications, such as LED lighting.
“We want to get everything possible out of each battery before recycling,” said Chatterjee.
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