The sharing economy got another boost as E-Chargeup Solutions, the company that pioneered the franchise model, inaugurated its new battery swapping station for E-Rickshaws in Noida, a business and residential suburb in the National Capital Region.

Marking the occasion, E-Chargeup Solutions Founder and CEO Varun Goenka said his company has been a major advocate of battery swapping as a way of encouraging E-Rickshaws. These vehicles provide last mile urban transportation but have been limited in their adoption by the lack of battery charging.

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“Battery swapping is an idea whose time has come,” Goenka said. “Such stations are a quick and effective way for E-Rickshaws to operate without the loss of time in charging batteries. They don’t lose fares because the batteries in their vehicles can be replaced quickly and their used ones are left behind to charge for others to use. This is the ultimate expression of a sharing economy in which assets are shared to facilitate business operations. Other examples of a sharing economy include, among others, the bed and breakfast segment exemplified by Airbnb and taxi services like Uber and Ola. The Internet is a prime facilitator in this 21st century business model.

According to Goenka, the first BSS has been operational over the past six months with 35 registered e rickshaws covering 6000 kilometers daily on advanced indigenously developed Lithium Ion batteries from Greenfuel Energy Solutions, a company focused on alternative fuels and transport.

Goenka added his company was targeting the 1.7 million E-Rickshaws through this unique franchise model, where it offers battery swapping and related services to rickshaw owners. He added there was an inherent efficiency in the model because there is no waiting interval for charging the batteries, a much better range, a hundred percent increase in driver revenue, and reduction in battery weight from 120 to 28 kilograms. This ensures smooth running of the rickshaws and zero maintenance cost.

Akshay Kashyap, GreenFuel Managing Director and provider of batteries to E-Chargeup Solutions, said that for E rickshaw ecosystem, battery swapping is right for these vehicles. “This basically means that an E rickshaw owner can go in for a battery swapping option in which he goes to a charging station and replaces his discharged battery with a new, fully charged battery in under one minute and can be back on the go, without sacrificing income.”

Inaugurating the facility, dubbed “icentre,” proprietor Baldev Joshi said it was the first battery swapping center and will foster an increase in the use of ecofriendly E-Rickshaws. Vikas Joshi, the co-owner added: “On inauguration day itself we registered eleven customers for our daily battery swapping subscription plan.”

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