Rajkot’s Atul Auto will soon launch e-rickshaws on the roads of UK. The company is well known for its diesel three-wheeler – Chhakdo - a common mode of conveyance in Rajkot. Having fulfilled all the requisite conditions, the company received green signal from the UK government. These made in India e-rickshaws will be launched in the UK over the next 3 months and after tracking the response, the automobile company will to launch this vehicle in other parts of Europe.
Atul will become the first company to export e-rickshaws in Europe. Regarding the UK project, Chairman & MD of Atul Auto Jayantibhai Chandra said that, “this is first time that electric rickshaw is being exported to the UK from India. We got this chance after fulfilling all the required norms of the UK government. After studying the response in the UK, we will try to establish markets in other European countries. He added that electric vehicles are already accepted in Europe, hence their charging infrastructure is better and stronger than India.
Atul Auto's Rajkot plant has the capacity to produce 60,000 vehicles per year. As a part of the expansion, the company is now establishing a new unit at Changodar, near Ahmedabad. Phase-wise investment of £40 million is proposed by the company in developing this new plant, of which the company has already invested £15 million. The new plant is expected to be functional by December this year. E-rickshaws will be manufactured in this new plant.
The company is also in talks for the joint venture of Lithium batteries (used in electric rickshaw) with two world leading companies - LG and Bosch. At present, no proper vehicle charging network is available in India. Considering this, Atul Auto will establish battery swapping network at petrol pumps for ease of its customers. They are in dialogue with two top players and are soon to come to a conclusion. Chandra said that rickshaw is the only source of earning for many who cannot afford the loss of business due to battery charging time, hence we are establishing battery swapping network instead of charging station.