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Bangalore recently celebrated its fifth annual 'Auto Day' in the city. The event is held every year on the 9th of November to celebrate the birthday of one of Karnataka's iconic actor, Shankar Nag. The one-day event is conducted by 'Namma Auto-Project' and funded by the European Union's Switch-Asia Programme.
The Event: Auto Day 2018
Auto Day 2018 is an annual event held in the city of Bangalore for the past five years. It witnesses a number of auto-rickshaw drivers and their families. The event itself has various activities such as cultural programmes and award distribution with many celebrities, present as the chief guest.
This year, the event saw an attendance of over 3000 people, mainly consisting of auto-rickshaw drivers and their families. The event also had many auto-rickshaw driver communities present, to support the cause while other transport service providers such as Ola, Uber and Jugnu were also present.
The rickshaw drivers got to interact with one another while also getting a chance to test drive the first electric three-wheeler, the Mahindra Treo.
The Treo is the first electric three-wheeler from Mahindra Electric, who was also present at the event. The company launched its electric three-wheeler in front of all the rickshaw drivers while also showcasing the benefits of moving towards electric mobility.
Mahindra Electric Treo
Mahindra Electric launched their first electric three-wheeler in India, last week. The Mahindra Treo comes with a starting price of Rs 1.36 lakh, ex-showroom (Bangalore) and is available in four variant: SFT, HRT, Yaari SFT and Yaari HRT.
The Yaari series of the Treo is a five-seater variant while the standard variant comes as a four-seater variant (3+1). The SFT and HRT stand for Soft-Top and Hard-Top, respectively.
The Yaari series is more affordable with a price tag of Rs 1.36 lakh, ex-showroom (Bangalore) as mentioned before. It comes powered by a 3.69kWh lithium-ion battery, producing 2Kw and 17.5Nm of torque. The Treo Yaari has a range of 120km and takes roughly two hours for a complete charge.
The standard Mahindra Treo, on the other hand, comes with a more powerful 7.47kWh lithium-ion battery, producing 5.4Kw and 30Nm of torque. The batteries charge up in three hours and 50 mins, providing a total range of 170km.
About ‘Namma Auto-Project'
‘Namma Auto' is a specific project aimed towards promoting the shift to environmental-friendly solutions for last-mile connectivity in large metro cities. For this, the project helps provide efficient transport solutions, through the city's large network of auto-rickshaw drivers while also improving their livelihood.
With auto-rickshaws being a landmark feature in every city in India, the ‘Namma Auto' project intends to scale up its operations to provide auto-rickshaw transport, through greener technologies.
The project is currently running in the cities of Bangalore and Chennai, which combined have over 150,000 auto-rickshaws plying the streets of the city every day.
With the help of these large numbers, Namma Auto project hopes to set an example for efficient urban public transport systems in the two cities.
Apart from this, the project also intends to further make auto-rickshaws the most user-friendly, efficient and cost-effective mode of transport.
The Auto Day event held also gave a chance for rickshaw drivers to register themselves in the Namma Auto Project. The project has already recorded over 13,500 auto-rickshaw drivers from the cities of Bangalore and Chennai.
Once an autorickshaw driver has registered for the project, the Namma Auto team offer them a number of benefits, this includes:
- Financial support, through both capital and support towards saving and investment.
- Training and capacity building to help them offer a better service to their customers.
- Help facilitate loans with less interest, to encourage the shift towards cleaner technology three-wheelers.
- Group and organise drivers for collective strength.
- Provide other additional avenues for extra income.
The Namma Auto Project uses such events to create awareness regarding the importance of shifting from old two-stroke autos to either four-stroke or even electric-powered rickshaws.
They also hope to see the demand for eco-friendly autorickshaws increase while becoming economically, financially and environmentally efficient for both passengers and operators alike.
The rise in demand will in-turn create the need for a regulatory framework, further improving and promoting the need to purchase eco-friendly three-wheelers.
EU-Switch Asia Programme
The Switch-Asia Programme was first launched in 2007, with the funding from the European Union. The programme covers 19 Asian countries (including India) to promote sustainable consumption, encourage climate change mitigation, contribute towards the reduction in poverty and support the country's development towards economic prosperity.
Thoughts On Namma Auto-Project
The Namma Auto project held in Bangalore is a good step forward to help create awareness among autorickshaw drivers about the need to shift towards electric mobility.
With the number of auto-rickshaws plying on the Indian streets today, it will help balance the ever-increasing pollution levels. The shift towards cleaner technologies in three-wheelers will also promote the setting up of a framework, for other vehicles as well.