Here’s your chance to get dropped in an Audi on a budget. Well, sort of. A new German-Indian startup called Nunam is planning to fit an Audi e-Tron engine in electric rickshaws. Yes, you read that right. 

But before you break out your calculator to see how much this thing would cost, the startup has clarified that it’ll be using battery modules taken from Audi e-Tron test vehicles. These high-voltage batteries, which are no longer viable to power a luxury car are still quite capable of handling a distance from Bandra to Andheri. Provided that they accept your fare of course. 

In a statement released by the company, Nunam co-founder Prodip Chatterjee said, “Car batteries are designed to last the life of the car. But even after their initial use in a vehicle, they still have a lot of their power. For vehicles with lower range and power requirements, as well as the lower overall weight, they are extremely promising. In our second-life project, we reuse batteries from electric cars in electric vehicles; you might call it electric mobility ‘lite.’ In this way, we’re trying to find out how much power the batteries can still provide in this demanding use case.”

But why Audi batteries in rickshaws? According to Chatterjee, our rickshaws have an “an ideal eco-efficiency,” meaning that they don’t need a lot of power to run, thanks to their comparatively low weight. And as far as the batteries are concerned, Nunam believes that the Audi ones are far superior to the lead-acid ones found in conventional e-rickshaws here. 

The startup also mentioned that it doesn’t want to rely on public grid electricity, which is powered by coal. Instead, the Nunam e-rickshaws will be powered by a solar-panel-powered grid set up by a local partner. 

So far, Nunam has developed three prototypes with the help of Audi’s team at its Neckarsulm site. They will be on display, and test drive at the Greenwich Festival in Berlin from June 22, with a pilot project supposed to start in India by early 2023. Till then, let’s brush up on our German for “meter se jaoge?

( Image credits: Nunam )