Now you can hop on an e-rickshaw and enjoy a free ride on the Beach Road here. With an aim to popularise the eco-friendly mode of transport, a city based e-rickshaw dealer is giving tourists and visitors a feel of this smooth and compact clean energy vehicle every evening.
An initiative started by Gaurav Gupta, the Andhra Pradesh dealer of the Goenka Electric Motor Vehicles (GEMV), the rides have already garnered lot of curiosity among visitors. “This is a very good initiative to promote a pollution-free transport facility. We found the ride very smooth and comfortable,” said Shalini and Meenakshi Gupta, tourists from Ludhiana, who took the free e-rickshaw ride from the Kali Temple to the VUDA Park.
Goenka Electric Motor Vehicles Pvt. Ltd. is the manufacturer of e-rickshaws certified by the government-approved International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT). The e-rickshaw free rides were started 10 days ago as part of a promotional strategy following a Government Order dated March 2, 2017, passed by AP Government permitting use of e-rickshaws as a mode of public transport.
Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada have two to three dealers of e-rickshaws. However, the sale of the vehicles is yet to pick up. “While there is a good market for the product, buyers are apprehensive as getting financial assistance from banks is an issue in the absence of RTO registration. We are hoping that this issue will be fixed by the government soon,” said Mr. Gupta.
He is also the dealer of the GEMV e-rickshaw in Jharkhand where the concept has picked up well. Currently, the loader variety of e-rickshaws are being used in the city within the premises of resorts, golf clubs and the zoo park.
The rules define e-rickshaw as a special purpose battery operated vehicle “having three wheels and intended to provide last mile connectivity for transport of passengers for hire or reward”. The maximum speed of the vehicle is not more than 30 kmph.
With the onset of summer holidays and peak tourist season, the free e-rickshaw rides will continue for another two months. “The fares are 70% cheaper compared to fuel auto-rickshaws. The main idea of the promotional free rides is to make people aware of the concept,” Mr. Gupta added.