Kerala Targets 1 Million EVs by 2022
Kerala’s electric vehicle policy has set an ambitious target to introduce one million EVs on the roads across the state by 2022, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said.
A pilot fleet of 3,000 buses, 100 ferries, two-lakh two-wheelers, 50,000 three-wheelers, and 1,000 goods carriers are planned as part of this. Apart from investment, the policy has also called for the adoption of technology best suited for Kerala. The State-run KAL also plans to roll out 8,000 e-autos a year. It has also tied up with Swiss e-bus manufacturer HESS to assemble and later on manufacture e-buses, for which a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed. The plan is to make 3,000 e-buses for KSRTC. The KSRTC has already invited bids for 1,500 e-buses on wet lease this year. Thiruvananthapuram would have 100% e-mobile public transport within a year, according to the Chief Minister.
MoU on charging infrastructure will be signed with NTPC, Energy Efficient Services Ltd (EESL), and for hydrogen fuel cell project with a firm at Evolve. The government has already started taking e-buses on wet lease and e-vehicles for departmental use.NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has also promised subsidies and exemptions for the use of e-mobility.
Principal Secretary (Transport) K.R. Jyothilal said that two pilot Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) corridors had been identified in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi. A carbon-neutral solar semi-high-speed train corridor too had been planned in the State. In addition, the KMRL and Cochin Shipyard are set to jointly launch world-class, hybrid ferries (for the water metro project).
Almost 50% of the beneficiaries of e-autos would be women. Steps would be taken to install an adequate number of fast/flash charging points. Kerala is clearly accelerating in terms of meeting its e-mobility goals and has left behind other states in the country to achieve it. This could be great news for private automobile companies like Mahindra who will get a wider target audience to test their EVs on.