Geared at providing mobility solutions in smaller towns and villages, ride-sharing app Ola has enabled the e-rickshaw option in the Delhi-NCR region. The service was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as part of the "Stand Up India" initiative, through which the government is giving away 5,100 e-rickshaws in collaboration with Bhartiya Micro Credit.
The e-rickshaws will be deployed across Faridabad, Delhi, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, and Noida initially, and will be expanded to Tier III cities and towns over the coming months. The government will also provide e-rickshaw operators phones through which they can use the Ola app.
At the launch of the initiative, Modi said:
Earlier, manual rickshaw-pullers had to toil hard and earned much less. Now they can earn more with less labour by running e-rickshaws. Also, they would not have to pay anything as rent of the rickshaw. Instead, by paying out a small amount daily, they would become the owners of their e-rickshaw.
Modi also said that energy banks for the e-rickshaws will be powered by solar energy:
Energy banks have also been established for these e-rickshaw drivers where they can charge batteries with solar energy. The entire initiative is environment friendly.
Ola's COO Pranay Jivrajka chimed in, stating that the initiative will foster economic growth in smaller towns:
It's an honour to support PM Modi's 'Stand-up India' initiative aimed at empowering thousands of e-rickshaw driver-partners, with innovative micro-entrepreneurship solutions and technology platform. Economic growth, rapid urbanization and environmental concerns are driving the need for innovative mobility solutions across the country.
The transportation needs of users in smaller towns and sustainable alternatives for cycle rickshaw pedallers will be solved for with the introduction of e-rickshaws on the Ola app, which are affordable, environment friendly and convenient to hail. We believe this will touch the lives of hundreds of millions of citizens as well as the livelihoods of millions of driver entrepreneurs, taking us closer to our mission of mobility for a billion people.