Three Wheels United offers rickshaw drivers the opportunity to exchange their polluting tuk-tuk for an electric one. To date, TWU has financed more than 2,000 vehicles at an interest rate of less than 1%. The start-up is ready to grow this number drastically in the coming years.
Three Wheels United (TWU) was set up in 2014 by the Dutch social venture builder Enviu. CPI selected TWU from three thousand companies because the start-up makes the transition to electric driving possible for the low-income group. TWU has been named by the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) as one of the most innovative and promising financial instruments against climate change worldwide.
Reducing emissions, increasing income
India has roughly 6 million tuk-tuks driving through the streets that annually causes 23 million tons of CO2 emissions. The 12 million tuk-tuk drivers earn €7 per day on average and often do not have the means to purchase a less polluting vehicle. This is what motivated TWU to develop a smart financing service that meets the needs and capabilities of drivers. With our help, tuk-tuk drivers can increase their yearly income with 70%, and – through their entire lifecycle – save 65 tons of CO2 with their electric tuk-tuk.
Green Asset Financing
Our Green Asset Financing system covers full vehicle costs, does not require a guarantor, and the interest rate is extremely low. Our service is supported by modern technologies that enable, among other things, the management of the loans. TWU believes that asset ownership is a vital key to breaking poverty. In addition to that, the tuk-tuk drivers also receive an app, which can help them to attract more customers, make better use of the metro stations and interesting data is collected to optimize transport within the city.
The recognition of CPI, which includes major players such as Rockefeller and the World Bank, opens doors to financiers for Three Wheels United to offer and scale-up its sustainable innovation across India. Cedrick Tandong, CEO of TWU: "By further developing and scaling up the product, we can work towards 20 to 25% more use of public transport in the major cities of India. That will significantly reduce the number of cars on the road. Anyone who has ever set foot on Indian soil knows that this is going to make a huge difference".