Bangalore, December 2, 2020: Bengaluru based Three Wheels United, a tech-enabled financier of light electric vehicles, has been selected for Third Derivative’s inaugural cohort comprising 50 startups striving to tackle climate change through innovation. Third Derivative (D3), a joint venture of Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and New Energy Nexus, is a global, vertically integrated engine for climate innovation. They aim to achieve faster reductions in global carbon emissions and find, fund, hone, and scale the most promising technologies to achieve this.
The inaugural cohort known as ‘Cohort 417’ is named after this year’s peak atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration of 417.1 ppm recorded in May. It comprises startups spanning across sectors such as transportation, electricity, energy access, buildings, food and agriculture, and financial and business model innovation. Three Wheels United is one of the only three startups shortlisted from India.
Three Wheels United(TWU) was founded with an aim to reduce air pollution and also help generate more income for auto-rickshaw drivers by helping them switch to electric auto-rickshaws. Founded by Cedrick Tandong, Kevin Wervenbos, and Apurv Mehra in 2017, Three Wheels United provides loans for drivers to make a switch from conventional rickshaws to the more eco-friendly electric rickshaws. Out of the 12 Million auto-rickshaw drivers in India, 50% of the drivers rent their vehicle. Such financing that is currently available for auto-rickshaws drivers has an extremely high down payment and interest rates, making it difficult for the drivers to opt for them. Though electric 3-wheelers are more attractive for a driver due to a lower total cost of ownership & operation and higher profitability (TWU, ENEA, 2019), due to the lack of financing options that work for them, auto drivers are unable to make the shift to electric vehicles. Three Wheels United was founded with the aim provide a feasible financing option to shift from conventional auto rickshaws to Evs that will help improve income for drivers and positively impact the environment.
Talking about the selection, Cedrick Tandong, CEO and Co-Founder, Three Wheels United said” We are excited to be a part of one of the largest climate innovation cohorts. At Three Wheels United, our overarching goal is to reduce the climate impact of the transportation sector by helping auto-rickshaw drivers seamlessly switch to cleaner mobility. This collaboration with Third Derivative will surely help us accelerate our efforts towards promoting sustainable last-mile connectivity”
To date, Three Wheels United has worked with over 30,000 drivers offering them various products and services, financed 3000+ auto-rickshaws resulting in a reduction of 22,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, and the generation of an extra $20M in income for the drivers.
About Three Wheels United (TWU)
Three Wheels United is a Bangalore based fintech startup that offers holistic financing solutions for auto drivers to own a light electric vehicle, such as an electric auto rickshaw. It was started with an aim to reduce pollution while generating more income for light vehicle operators by helping them switch to electric vehicles.