The Rickshaw Run begins its electric odyssey
November 18, 2020
Rickshaws are awesome. Their three wheeled prowess on the dirt tracks of adventure needs no sugar coating. Especially to all you lot that know of the wonders of the Rickshaw Run.
They’re shit uphill. They fall over easily. They break down, The suspension is rubbish, the rain floods in… bla bla bla you’ve heard all their magical plus points before… But they have one downside. Their 2 stroke wonder engines are crap for the environment.
It’s worth pointing out at this point that with our buddies Cool Earth we’ve already protected over 9 million trees in the rainforest which equates to about 9.4 million tonnes of CO2. That’s roughly offset the carbon produced by every single 2 & 3 wheeled vehicle in the entire world for a whole month. So the tiny bit of emissions we’ve produced has been offset tens of thousands of times over.
That’s mind explodingly great – but it’s obviously better if we also produce no emissions in the first place. We love adventure and it will be somewhat shit if we turn the World into a boiling firepit with no animals left to eat us.
So to make sure we do even more to save the World we’ve been hatching this plan for some years now.
To summarise we’re going to…
- build the greatest long distance adventure Electric Rickshaw in the World;
- give away 1000’s of free electric conversions to India’s rickshaw wallas to help reduce emissions and enable them to earn more money;
- And keep saving the World a bit more.
1. Developing the ultimate electric adventure rickshaw
Electric rickshaws exist of course. But what a waste of materials to pick up something new and plasticy would be. The Ultimate Electric Adventure Rickshaw will be based on our existing fleet on the classic, and may I say rather attractive, rickshaw shape so skillfully designed in 1947. We’ll be pulling out the old engines and replacing them with spiff-jazz electrical motors.
We won’t do our whole fleet in one go because getting the conversion right will take some trial, error, catastrohpy and research. Hence the call for electro-pioneers. We’re also teaming up with a notable Indian University to help refine the design. Our first prototypes are being built very soon and these will form the sort of basic platform from which future evolution will grow.
Each time we run the adventure we’ll convert more and more of the fleet to electrickery.
A call for you to be an electro-pioneer
We’re going to need some of you legendary Runners to help by taking our initial prototypes into the wilds of India and giving them a bloody good thrashing. We need you to become an Electro-Pioneer. Then you can tell us how it was, so we can better evolve the next generation of beasts. Will it explode on you? Will it stop working in the middle of nowhere? Hopefully, but you need to find out for us.
We’ll have our first 5 prototype elect-rickshaws ready for you to test on the Rickshaw Run India in September 2021. We’ll think of a way of selecting which teams get the legendary beasts in a bit.
2. Helping Rickshaw Wallas by converting their rickshaws.
Rickshaw Wallas are the heroes of every Indian town. They keep the people of the Sub-continent moving. They’re also generally not very well off. It’s a tough business to make a living from and the margins are shit. An electric Rickshaw is 5X cheaper per KM (or more with a rooftop solar panel). All of that is money they can take home to their family.
So every time we run the Rickshaw Run we will be using some of your entry fees to convert local Walla’s rickshaws for free. How many we can do each time will depend a little on the cost of the eventual kit we settle on.
As well as the legends at Cool Earth we’re now looking for a charity partner who can help us convert more rickshaws over to electric so if you want you can also raise money to help India’s road heroes as well as help save the world.
So with the rickshaws we’ll be converting and giving away anyway by you simply taking part in the Run plus any money donated to the charity partner it should mean, over time we can have an actual impact on emissions in India’s cities. Plus with Cool Earth we’ll keep going until we have offset all of the emissions from all of the 2 and 3 wheelers in the entire World for a whole year.
3. Keep on saving the World
9 million trees saved is a pretty decent number by any gigantic yardstick. But, it’s not enough. We want to be able to see forests from space that have been planted as a result of Adventurists stupidity. So we will keep working with the legends at Cool Earth and keep coming up with new plans to save the world even more.
But it won’t break down if it’s electric?
Now you might be thinking, “Hang on smug-face, an electric rickshaw won’t breakdown as much, so it won’t be an adventure”. But I would reply (smugly) “But that, is where you are wrong. It’s electric-ness means it essentially breaks down all the time when it runs out of battery. You’ll be finding ways to charge from all manner of random people’s houses and plug sockets. It’s like genetically programmed in adventure chaos.” Plus the brakes are still rubbish, they are still as comfy as having piles and they still fall over round corners. So in fact these are even more stupid.
…there it is. Operation Electrickery. If you can’t already tell I’m pretty excited about this. I love the Rickshaw Run and electricity makes it more ridiculous and better for the World. Double win in my books.
Next up is getting you to India with no emissions. While this plan is not ready to go, it is in the works and it is fucking stupid.
(Rickshaw Run Founder and Chief Idiot at The Adventurists)