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Audi Repurposes E-Tron Batteries to Power Electric Rickshaws

Audi wants to give old E-Tron batteries a new lease on life, and it has partnered with Indian non-profit startup Numan to develop three e-rickshaws powered by used battery modules, plus a fourth model as a show vehicle.
Electric rickshaw powered by used E-Tron batteries 7 photos
Experimental e-rickshaws by Audi and NumanExperimental e-rickshaws by Audi and NumanExperimental e-rickshaws by Audi and NumanExperimental e-rickshaws by Audi and NumanExperimental e-rickshaws by Audi and NumanExperimental e-rickshaws by Audi and Numan
As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, EVs account for a larger percentage of the global auto fleet, so industry actors have to come up with solutions regarding the disposal of decommissioned electric vehicle batteries.

Audi and Numan’s training team at Audi's Neckarsulm campus propose a solution in the form of three e-rickshaw prototypes powered by recycled battery modules from Audi's E-Tron test fleet. The purpose of this experiment is to see how old high-voltage batteries can be repurposed after their vehicular life cycle ends.

Decommissioned batteries from electric cars are extremely promising for vehicles with lower weight, range, and power requirements, such as the e-rickshaws.

Besides testing the electric three-wheelers, the project is also aimed at creating more job opportunities for women in India, as these electric contraptions will be supplied to a non-profit organization where women will be able to use them to move items around and transport goods to the market.

“The old batteries are still extremely powerful. When used appropriately, second-life batteries can have a huge impact, helping people in challenging life situations earn an income and gain economic independence – everything in a sustainable way,” Nunam cofounder Prodip Chatterjee said.

Three experimental e-rickshaws powered by recycled batteries are scheduled to hit the roads in India in early 2023. The fourth model Nunam and Audi are building will be showcased at next week's Greentech Festival in Berlin, where attendees will be able to take it for a test drive.

When the pilot program starts, the non-profit Nunam team will collect data on the project and publish it on the open-source platform Circular Battery to serve as inspiration for other similar initiatives. The team will also look into potential third-life uses for the decommissioned batteries, like LED lighting.

 Download attachment: Electric rickshaw powered by used E-Tron batteries (PDF)


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