David Pieris Motors takes lead in launching eco-friendly electric three-wheeler taxi service



DPMC is considering a fast-growing fleet of electric tuk-tuk depending on passenger response.

By Sanath Nanayakkare

Being proactive to make an impact on Environmental and Social Goals (ESG) and strategising for consolidating its market leadership in the rapidly changing mobility landscape, David Pieris Motor Company Pvt Ltd (DPMC) yesterday launched E-drive, a model electric three-wheeler (tuk-tuk) taxi service for passenger transportation.

Kicking off with the deployment of 20 Bajaj three-wheelers as part of the emission-free pilot project, the company boasts electric conversion done here in Sri Lanka by DPMC, replacing the combustion engine entirely and installing a battery pack, an electric engine,  gear, wiring, and more.

“As the experts of Bajaj vehicles in Sri Lanka, we can confidently guarantee the electric conversion done by DPMC. We are all too aware that only the correct conversion can ensure safety and comfort for the passenger travelling in the vehicle,” said Jayantha Ratnayake, Executive Director, David Pieris Holdings Pvt. Ltd and David Pieris Automotive Cluster.

“These three-wheelers will initially operate in Colombo and its immediate suburbs. The vehicles can easily be identified due to their unique white and green branding and the service will be available from 7 am to 7 pm from Monday to Saturday. They can be hailed down on the road, booked via the YOGO taxi-hailing mobile app and through a dedicated hotline 077 7 606077,” he said.

“The drivers of the E-drive taxi service have been trained not only on how to drive this vehicle but have also received refresher training in road rules and road etiquette. In addition, all vehicles are monitored centrally by the company. The drivers will be wearing an E-Drive uniform, and their details will be displayed in the vehicle for customer’s information, along with a telephone number to call in the event of any issues,” he explained.

Responding to a query on taxi fares, he said,” “The fares are designed to be very affordable as these three-wheelers will charge a flat rate of Rs. 65 per kilometer with no added peak hour charges. The ability to pay easily with cash or credit/debit cards is a unique facility available in this service.”

DPMC is the first company to obtain approval for registering converted Bajaj three-wheelers. The company said it wanted not only to use this platform to allow the public to use a greener, cheaper means of transport but also to ensure passengers get a safer ride with disciplined, trained drivers. They further said that smooth rides available due to reduced vibration and the quietest three-wheeler engine on the road would set new standards for three-wheeler taxi service in Sri Lanka.

President, David Pieris Group, David Pieris speaking to The Island said,” Green mobility concept is a done deal anywhere in the world now, particularly given the environmental and social concerns of the mobility sector. If we see a positive response from passengers and other stakeholders, we will focus on a fast-growing fleet. Otherwise, we would take an appropriate decision weighing the pros and cons of the market reaction. It is always best to test the waters before you fully commit yourself to a project like this because of possible external challenges you would find in your way. I do hope regulatory barriers resulting from lobbying won’t be one of them.”


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