Tribal people heavily depend on Wildlife Tourism as a sustainable source of income. Wildlife Safaris, being an integral part of this activity, use a large number of 4*4 vehicles which run on conventional engines. There are an estimated 50,000 vehicles in over 450 sanctuaries in India. These vehicles are responsible for heavy pollution in the most eco-sensitive region which is threatening to the survival of such forests. In addition to this, the fuel consumption of tourist vehicles is as high as Rs.1500 a day, which leaves tribal people with low earnings.
Pixy Electric Cars has therefore developed an ‘Electric Conversion Kit’ which replaces the engines of the regular 4*4 cars that are currently being used for Safaris. This conversion can be carried out in the forest itself by using simple hand tools. The kit can save fuel costs, as the cost of recharging the battery is about Rs. 75 per day. The converted system is well capable of withstanding mud splash, harsh environments and propelling the vehicle over difficult terrain.
Scalability and Impact
At present, the “Production Impact Prototype” has been developed. Permission to deploy vehicles in the forests has been given by the respected forest authorities. The aim is to produce 100 conversion kits a month, and ramp it to 1000 kits per month in the first year. After reaching this level of production, Mr. Ranadive plans to increase the capacity, and include more applications to the technology. Using this product will help the Base of Pyramid (BoP) population financially and also reduce the pollution in eco-sensitive locations.
Awards and Recognition
• CII Manufacturing Innovation – Jury Finalist