Electric three-wheeler maker Astro Motors has set a new record by taking their electric vehicle, the Astro Navya, to Umling La Pass – the world’s highest motorable road. Umling La is located in Ladakh, and the altitude is 19,024 feet.

Apart from the marketing exercise, by driving their electric three-wheeler to Umling La, Astro Motors have successfully demonstrated the capabilities of the EV. The vehicle can be deployed in a host of regions across India, from the old and steep mountain lands of Ladakh to the extreme heat of Delhi and Gujarat to hilly and extremely high moisture areas of Maharashtra and high traffic zones of Bengaluru.

Capability of the Astro Navya

The three-wheeler cargo vehicle is powered by an electric motor and a 10.2 kWh battery pack. It has a payload capacity of 630 kg and a top speed of 50 km/h. The EV uniquely gets a manual transmission mated to the electric motor.

Drive at Umling La

The Astro Navya was driven by Pratiksha Das, who is India’s first female BEST licensed driver. Apart from the challenges of High Altitude, there was also the difficulty of a very cold climate. However, the thin air and the sub-zero temperatures did not affect the Navya. It was especially because the vehicle was driven with a full-rated payload of 630 kg.

Potential of EV cargo vehicles in India

Given the rising demand for doorstep delivery and the emergence of e-commerce, there is a need for last-mile connectivity for the delivery of cargo. The L5 segment, in which electric cargo vehicles fall, has shown a YoY growth of 101.32%. EVs currently comprise 1% of total sales, and the figure is expected to increase to 2% for the current year. The Government of India has also set a target to increase the adoption of EVs.