Audi makes rickshaws with recycled batteries

Written by Daniel Andzhurov - June 28, 2022

Reviewed by Kfir Kedem

Along with Indian start-up Nunam, Audi equips rickshaws with used batteries – giving them a second life. Although electric rickshaws are commonplace in India, most run on short-lived lead-acid batteries which are usually not properly disposed of as waste.

The German-Indian start-up Nunam has equipped three rickshaws with used batteries from the test fleet of the Audi e-tron. High-voltage batteries are still usable; even after being used in cars, they have most of their capacity. Specifically, in light vehicles and when a small amount of power is required, second battery life is entirely possible.

One of Nunam’s plans is to test the performance of once-used car batteries on rikshaws. In addition, the start-up will integrate buffer or storage batteries within solar charging stations. They will save the energy produced from the sun during the day and will charge the rickshaws at night. To this end, students from Audi together with Nunam have created a concept electric rickshaw with a used battery, which will be presented at the Greentech festival (from July 22 in Berlin).

Auto Trendy’s take:

Giving electric batteries a second life might have a vast potential in solving environmental issues and improving air quality worldwide. The key in unlocking this potential is the difference in load and power demand between cars and rikshaws. Taking this one step further, it might even be applicable to trucks/lorries & passenger cars in a similar way. Maybe the bigger truck batteries can find a second life within cars. Obviously, at the current state of development, size will pose an issue, however, we do not know what the future might unfold.