The electric car allows a circular economy. The use of elements for a second use once their conventional life cycle has ended is an increasingly widespread practice. Different uses for different components that reduce the need to manufacture new components. With this strategy in mind, Audi will give its e-tron batteries a second life, electrifying India’s famous Tuk-Tuk.
Also known as mototaxi, the startup Nunam, created in collaboration between Germans in Indians, is going to launch three electric motorcycle taxis on the roads of India. Beneath that new, traditional-looking bodywork, the Tuk-Tuk will be powered by reused batteries from a test fleet of Audi e-trons. With this maneuver, Audi wants to demonstrate the more than possible reuse of components of an electric car, all with a company founded on a non-profit basis.
India is one of the most polluting and polluted countries in the world. With more than 1 billion people living within its borders, the Asian country is experiencing a commercial, economic and demographic explosion that is affecting the quality of some of its cities. Although motorcycles have a great weight in personal mobility, Rickshaws or motorcycle taxis are a very traditional format to get around for a very reasonable price. Most of these motorcycle taxis use single-cylinder engines that are anything but efficient and environmentally responsible.
At the moment, the project of the Nunam company is in the testing and development phase, although in a very advanced state. The first three units are expected to start service in early 2023.. They will be made available to a non-profit company that will support women on their journeys to be able to sell their products without the presence of an intermediary. To recharge, drivers will be able to take advantage of the charging points with energy from solar stations, making the energy and sustainable circulation proposed by the project more effective.
Although electric mobility is gradually becoming apparent in India, most of its public charging stations are supplied with energy generated by burning coal or hydrocarbons, which is not particularly sustainable. The Tuk-Tuks will be able to operate all day without having to recharge thanks to the fact that they have the first batteries used in the test Audi e-tron. Obviously the most effective modules have been chosen for the activity, not offering the entire battery pack.
“Car batteries are designed to last the life of the vehicle. But even after use, they still retain much of their energy. For use in vehicles with lower autonomy and power needs, as well as lower total weight, they are extremely promising.. In this second life project, we reuse electric car batteries in other electric vehicles; we could call it ‘light’ electric mobility. So we are trying to find out how much power the batteries can still provide in this demanding use,” says Nunam co-founder Prodip Chatterjee.