Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has come out with the preliminary draft of the ambitious policy aimed at promoting the use of eco-friendly electric vehicles.
The government is targeting a fully electric fleet for public transport, comprising buses and auto-rickshaws, in the initial phase.
If the policy gets the necessary approvals, the existing fossil fuel-powered autorickswhas in the state could be converted into electric within four months.
There is also a plan to issue taxi permits to only e-autorickshwas in order to bring the down the number of petrol/diesel-fueled three-wheelers.
The government observed that offering subsidies to electric vehicles would not be a feasible option. Instead, the state budget would provide tax cuts and other incentives to encourage production and use of e-vehicles.
As part of the promotion of the project, there will be no hike in power tariffs during the first four years.
The government has already started holding talks with major e-vehicle manufacturers such as Mahindra and Gogoro.
The state authorities will have a meeting with a team led by Ashok Jhunjhunwala, professor, IIT Chennai, and former government adviser associated with central government’s electric vehicle program, to discuss the economic aspects of rolling out battery-powered buses. The final draft is expected to the be submitted to the Center in a month’s time.
Key recommendations in the preliminary draft
• Setting up of battery swap kiosks at fuel stations in cooperation with Bharat Petroleum and Kerala State Electricity Board.
• Low-cost programs to convert fuel-powered autorickshwas into e-autos. Tax cuts for e-vehicles.
• To avoid monopoly prices, do away with entering into agreements with auto manufactures in the initial phase.
• Convert the existing vehicles operating in ecologically fragile areas into e-vehicles in a time-bound manner. Form e-vehicle zones in those areas.
Proposed power tariff for charging e-vehicles (per unit)
Between 11 pm to 5 am: Rs 5
Between 6 pm to 11 pm: Rs 6
Between 5 pm to 6 pm: Rs 5.50