December 17 2022: Making Time magazine’s "Best Inventions of 2022" list is a battery-swapping solution for electric auto rickshaws in India which can also be used by electric bikes and 3-wheeled light carriers.
The eZee swappable Lithium-Ion battery pack weighs 13 kg and delivers 2.5 Kilo-watt-hours (KWh) of power, good to go for a typical shift. Manufactured in a former Honda plant in Greater Noida, the eZee batteries can be swapped in dozens of Indian cities at battery banks that can be located through an app.
This eases one of the principal challenges for e-Rickshaw drivers – the waste of productive time while a spent battery is recharged.
eZee is a development of the Pasadena, California (US)- Power Global, co-founded by former SpaceX engineer Porter Harris and international auto industry veteran Pankaj Dubey who heads the India operation, the company's biggest presence.
Says Dubey: "We are on a mission to improve access to clean energy solutions in India and other emerging markets by sharing our collective years of expertise in bringing affordable battery technology to market. While the eZee will give light mobility vehicles new life, it also represents a path to help build local economies with direct and indirect job creation.”
Time’s entry on eZee battery reads:
“…Power Global created the eZee module, a subscription battery service for drivers who use cleaner electric rickshaws. Drivers receive a battery module, which they can swap when depleted for charged ones at a growing network of kiosks, for roughly $2 to $3 per day (Rs 165- Rs 250)—a savings of at least 30% per day compared with diesel or petrol costs.”
Power Global hopes to be, very soon, the largest leading domestic manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries in India, serving the domestic market as well in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Nigeria and other locations in Southeast Asia and Africa.
Following the launch of the eZee battery module, the company plans to offer Retrofit Kits to convert diesel- and petrol-fueled auto rickshaws into zero-emissions electric vehicles.
Link to India Power Global site