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This swappable rickshaw battery saves drivers money—and reduces emissions

Power Global’s eZee swappable battery module—a winner of Fast Company’s 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards—helps power auto-rickshaws, and could eliminate 3.7 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere annually.

This swappable rickshaw battery saves drivers money—and reduces emissions
[Photo: Power Global]

In India, some 93% of the country’s three-wheel auto-rickshaws run on fossil fuels, and many of the ones that are electric are powered by lead-acid batteries with life spans of just six to nine months. Power Global’s eZee module, a lithium-ion battery that lasts at least five years, can be swapped with a charged unit at any of the company’s growing network of kiosks. It’s the winner of the developing-world technology category of Fast Company’s 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards.

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“We can offer 25% to 35% cost savings per day for the drivers—which is huge when you’re making somewhere between $5 and $10 a day,” says Power Global founder Porter Harris.

[Illustration: Remi Geoffroi]
Rickshaw manufacturer Rap Eco Motors is negotiating for 50,000 conversion kits, which it says will eliminate 3.7 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere annually—almost the entire yearly emissions of a single coal-fired power plant. While Power Global is starting with three-wheelers—there are 7 million in India—Harris says that the eventual goal is to produce a similar kind of lithium battery for motorcycles, which will have big potential worldwide. “You get into the market with the three-wheelers and then really hit it with the motorcycle, then you can go anywhere,” he says.

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