For the first time ever electric three-wheelers have outsold their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts in India. Fortunately, electric mobility is making huge strides in the three-wheeler segment because of pressure on businesses to go green and with helpful government incentives.
Following the obvious issues with the pandemic, overall sales in the three-wheel segment fell to just 5,215 units in May 2021. One year on this has seen a massive jump to 41,508 units in May 2022.
The electric three-wheel segment saw 21,911 units sold in May compared to ICE 19,597 units. This meant its market share increased from 45 percent to 53 percent and is a trend that’s expected to continue.
Interestingly, the electrification of this segment has happened so much quicker than for cars and two mopeds and motorcycles. It’s believed this is because the market was seen as an easy segment to work on based on the cost-competitiveness, ease of charging, emission reduction potential and market readiness.
These three-wheel vehicles, which are used for a wide variety of activities including freight, taxis and rubbish collection, offer ease of battery change. This means fast and easy options for swapping flat batteries with charged ones, helping to reduce downtime. This makes them clean and efficient offer huge appeal to potential customers.
Maybe Western countries could learn here and realise that smaller electric and electric-assisted vehicles are the ideal workhorse, especially in urban locations. Plus, they can be used on a smaller scale across a wide variety of applications that you’d expect from bigger ICE vehicles.
In the UK, Electric Assisted Vehicles Limited (EAV), the Oxfordshire-based sustainable zero-emissions vehicle manufacturer, have been working in a variety of industries. This includes areas such as the TV and film industry, with delivery companies like DPD and Fed-Ex, Ford’s micromobility scooters, ride and hail services, DENSO Corporation for refrigerated deliveries.
In the US, delivery company UPS has been trialling a similar set-up from a company called Fernhay. Besides being zero-emissions, these vehicles are small allowing them to move easily through traffic, especially as they are bike lane legal, and they’re extremely easy to manoeuvre in tight spaces.