Going Electric


"We had the chance to work with theObservatory on an electric 3 wheeler design project. Their valuable insights set the stage for the entire design exercise for the vehicle. They are not just good with problem identification but also using the available data very efficiently to understand consumer behaviour and suggest a range of solutions too. From the low hanging fruit to the stretch goal, optimum solution. I look forward to working with them on many more projects in the future."

- Vivec Desai, Industrial Designer & Founder, Worxwell Innovation


Battery operated electric three-wheelers or e-rickshaws have recently emerged in the public road transport sector in India. These vehicles have gained much popularity owing to the comfortable and economic mode of transport they provide to fellow commuters.


Yet, three-wheeled electric rickshaws are struggling to replace the popular Bajaj or Piaggio CNG and petrol rickshaw. 


Before designing and manufacturing their model, Auto Power, a Gujarat based company that was manufacturing the three-wheeler electric rickshaw, needed to identify why rickshaw drivers were reluctant to switch from fuel-based rickshaws to an electric rickshaw.


  • Through in-depth interviews and observation, we uncovered the rickshaw drivers' mindset,  identifying perceptions of and barriers to the adoption of E-Rickshaws.

  • Stakeholder mapping and interview: Understand what your existing and potential customers, sales reps, showrooms and other stakeholders see and experience when making decisions to buy rickshaws

  • Product Benchmarking: To help determine where the electric rickshaw fit in the ecosystem, identify strengths and weaknesses to see where and how the new electric rickshaw can fill in the gaps


  • Design direction: The insights from the research directly informed the vehicle design specification and identified the features that Auto Power’s E-rickshaw must have to succeed. 

  • The stakeholder interviews and the insight from it also informed a launch strategy, that can ease traditional rickshaw drivers’ apprehensions. 

  • Concepts for marketing ideas, for early adoption.