This isn’t an official Audi because it’s a E-Rickshaw, and Audi isn’t a major player in that market. The four rings, on the other hand, have proven crucial. Aside from the batteries, Audi sponsors Nunam, a non-profit that sends e-rickshaws to India, and the Neckarsulm team helped on the e-ricks’ design. Daycare drop-off would be so much more interesting if Audi could build these, call them “e-ricks,” and put us on the waiting list.
Yes, authentic Audi e-tron batteries power the rickshaw. You probably won’t ever get behind the wheel of one of those, that’s for sure.
Nunam claims that EV batteries have much more to offer than just “useful life” in an electric vehicle. And we really agree. Nunam’s more altruistic types, on the other hand, are thinking about the whole ‘helping others’ thing, providing people with access to renewable energy by reusing batteries… which also happens to limit contamination and waste. While we’re considering home energy storage or living off the grid.
After prototyping is completed, obsolete batteries from Audi’s e-tron test cars will be removed, repackaged, and utilized for stationary batteries as well as in a fleet of Bangalore rickshaws. The rickshaws are powered by large permanent batteries that have been charged by solar panels and can be used at any time of day or night. If you’ve ever lived in a country with that latitude, such as southern India, the Philippines, Vietnam, or the Caribbean, you’ll know that solar electricity isn’t exactly scarce.
The manufacturer also points out that, while the battery’s life cycle in an electric automobile has ended, it has not yet in an e-rickshaw. It can still be used to power stationary devices such as LED lights.
Now for the less obvious, but far more Top Gear-related question: can they perform wheelies while carrying rickshaw weight and powered by e-tron? According to reality, which is generally a general fun-sponge, the e-ricks will have little electric engines because “rickshaw drivers in India go neither quickly nor far.” They’ll go on to say that these electric rickshaws are incapable of jumping over camels, repelling thugs, or destroying deliberately placed wall posters. Are any of the world’s most famous tennis players at the wheel?