Bengaluru-based social enterprise company Three Wheels United (TWU) has rolled out an auto rickshaw buyback scheme to promote adoption of electric auto rickshaws in the country.
As per the scheme, auto rickshaw drivers can sell their existing pollutive vehicles that are older than ten years to the company and purchase a new electric vehicle (EV), a statement said, adding that drivers could use the buyback amount to make the down payment for a loan to purchase the new EV.
With the buyback scheme, TWU aims to accelerate electric vehicle adoption in India and improve income for drivers who switch from conventional vehicles to EVs.
“We aim to help auto rickshaw drivers make the shift from driving old pollutive vehicles to driving their own electric vehicles. This programme is a big step towards replacing old pollutive vehicles on our streets and accelerate the initiative that most state governments are currently working on,” Cedrick Tandong, CEO of TWU, said.
The launch of the programme is in line with TWU’s commitment to finance 10,000 EVs in the next year and 1,00,000 EVs by 2024, the statement said.
Founded in 2010 by social entrepreneur Ramesh Prabhu, TWU provides financing solutions for auto drivers to own light electric vehicles such as an electric auto rickshaws.
The company is also working with large manufacturers such as Mahindra Electric to buy back and scrap vehicles older than ten years to make the switch to EVs more accessible for drivers, the statement said.
The programme is launched in Bengaluru and will soon be expanded to Hyderabad, Kerala and New Delhi.
The company, citing a report by NGO Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said that the economic cost of air pollution is estimated to be $150 billion in India.
“The buyback scheme will definitely make it easier for auto drivers to switch to sustainable and more economically viable products. This will ease financing options and reduce the upfront cost burden for auto drivers,” Mahesh Babu, CEO of Mahindra Electric, said.
Last year in February, car maker Mahindra & Mahindra entered the shared mobility space with an EV-based ride-hailing service called Glyd that started operations in Mumbai.