Energy & Environment
Safe and affordable e-rickshaws, guaranteeing sustainable livelihoods whilst reducing air pollution and carbon emissions.
There are millions of rickshaws polluting the streets of India everyday. For the drivers, who often live below the poverty line, the rickshaws are expensive to rent - which decreases their amount of take-home income. Lack of easy financing options and complex legal and licensing procedures makes it difficult for drivers to own their rickshaw. So the cycle of pollution and poverty continues.
SMV Green’s vision is to provide affordable, clean and safe mobility for both drivers and commuters, and eliminate the drudgery of cycle rickshaw work by helping drivers switch to electric rickshaws (e-rickshaws). They are providing opportunities for marginalised people with the ability to own an e-rickshaw and create their own sustainable business. SMV Green helps its customers obtain easy financing and also supports them in licensing and registration procedures. It is also ensuring safe transportation for women in these cities by empowering women from low income backgrounds to take up e-rickshaws as a profession (called ‘Vahinis’).
SMV Green is enabling asset ownership among poorer segments of the society – all while increasing their income from $3, at the lowest end, to more than $12 per day. It is also bringing a behavioural change by providing opportunities for women to participate as drivers in a male dominated industry. SMV has enabled over 1000 e-rickshaw ownership, of which 550 are in Varanasi, and the company estimates that it has reduced over 2000 tonnes of CO2 emissions since its inception.