Three Wheels United Partners With Porter to Help Auto Drivers Shift to EV

Three Wheels United (TWU), a Bengaluru based tech-enabled financier of light electric vehicles, announced today that it has ventured into the cargo segment through a partnership with Porter, a leading intra-city logistics company based in Delhi. Through this partnership, the firm will facilitate loans for partner drivers of Porter to easily switch from conventional cargo autos to EV cargo vehicles. According to TWU, the partnership aligns with its commitment to increase the adoption of electric auto rickshaws in India and promote sustainable mobility.

Financing has been a vital need, and opportunity in enabling India‘s green transition in transportation.  However, the market has been muddied in recent months by state level policies, which have left firms in trouble at times. For instance, drivers in NCR have been known to apply for a loan on a vehicle, and then apply for a state government subsidy. This subsidy then serves to cover their down payment. Following which, rogue elements have defaulted on  repayments immediately, and tried to negotiate for a lower ‘discounted’ price on the vehicle now. Similarly, that 30-40 percent of an EV’s cost might be accounted by its batteries has also been an issue at times, though not in the e-rickshaw segment.

According to a report by Greenpeace Southeast Asia, part of the global environmental organisation Greenpeace, India’s air pollution results into an economic cost of $150 billion. The report states that clean transport and renewable energy not only bring significant reductions in toxic pollutants, but also help to keep climate change-causing greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. A switch from conventional engines to electric three wheelers can reduce carbon emissions and substantially contribute towards bringing down air pollution.

The company believes that the lack of available financing for drivers to switch to less polluting vehicles, is one key obstacle that prevents large scale adoption of EV three wheelers in the country. Drivers are unable to avail loans due to the extremely high down payment required for light vehicles, even though electric auto rickshaws’ long term benefits, like lower total cost of ownership and higher profitability, are not offered by their fuel operated counterparts. 

TWU aims to remove these barriers and provides loans covering up to to 100% of the asset cost. It claims to have worked with over 30,000 drivers offering them various products and services, and financed 3000+ auto rickshaws. generating an extra $20M in income for the drivers, till date.

Commenting on the partnership, Pranav Goel, CEO and Co-Founder, Porter, said “As a leading intra city logistics company, we are committed to building an eco-system that will bring down carbon footprint and operations cost for our driver partners. As a first step we have partnered with Three Wheels United, a technology-enabled financier of light electric vehicles, to provide easy financing options and help our driver partners procure EV at lucrative terms. This partnership will provide a great opportunity for our partner drivers to shift to a more economical, highly profitable and less pollutive vehicle.”

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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