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The City Corporation too has jumped on the electric vehicle bandwagon by planning an electric autorickshaw (e-auto) project in the capital. A feasibility study has already been launched to convert all autos in the city into electric vehicles under the Smart City project. The aim of the project is to make public transport more environment-friendly.

Initially, 50 autos now plying on city roads will be replaced with e-autos within a year. The project will take off from Thampanoor on a trial basis. Around 10 spots in the city will be considered for implementing the first phase.

An expert panel has been entrusted with the task of carrying out the feasibility study and submitting a report. It is planned to launch the project within a couple of months. Rs 2 crore is expected to be set apart for introducing e-autos under the ‘Low carbon Ananthapuri’ initiative of the Smart City project.

Various options

The long-term aim of the project is to convert all the autorickshaws in the capital into e-autos. This will be done in several phases. There are also plans to provide electric vehicles in place of the existing autos. Yet another move is to rope in the Kudumbashree units to give employment to women as auto drivers.

It was pointed out at a meeting held to discuss the plans that unless several benefits are offered to people for replacing their old vehicles with e-autos, the project will not be effective. Following which, measures like tax concessions were mooted as part of the Kerala government’s new e-vehicle policy. Another requirement to implement the project is adequate number of battery charging points. E-autos run on electrically charged batteries and are popularly known as battery autos.

Tackling fuel price hike

The City Corporation authorities feel that the auto drivers in the capital would switch over to e-autos in view of the steadily rising fuel costs. The project aims to attract owners of autos plying in the city with tax concessions.

The fare of e-autos is also expected to be lower than that of the autos running on petroleum fuel. However, the tender procedures for implementing the project will start only after detailed discussions.

In many countries, new permits are issued only to electric vehicles as part of popularising this mode of transport. However, it has been pointed out that such a system is not feasible in India. In some cities, facilities like preference in parking and free parking are extended to electric vehicles.

The electric vehicle policy of the Kerala government envisages introduction of two lakh electric two-wheelers, 50,000 e-autos and 3,000 electric buses on the state’s roads within two years. There is also a plan to launch 10 lakh e-vehicles in four years.


Quelle/Source: Onmanorama, 13.10.2018

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