Pinarayi Vijayan | Screengrab: Facebook/pinarayivijayan
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday said with global warming being the most grievous crisis in the world resulting in natural calamities around the globe, the southern State has become one of the few in India to come up with a policy for electric mobility.
Speaking at an international conference and expo on e-mobility and alternative fuels -- Evolve 2023, Vijayan said Kerala has set targets and drawn detailed roadmaps for faster adoption of electric mobility to reduce dependency on conventional fuels.
He said subsidies are being offered for purchase of e-autos and for retro-fitting old diesel autorickshaws with electric motors and battery.
Besides that, reduction of road tax on electric vehicles and tax exemption for five years on e-autos is also being offered, he said.
The government is also working to provide more public charging facilities and induct electric buses into the fleet of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, he said.
Giving details of other environment-friendly measures being taken, the Chief Minister said, "The Cochin International Airport Limited is the first airport in the world that is fully powered by solar energy. With an installed capacity of 50 MW in solar power alone, it is even power-positive. Our Kochi Metro is giving rainwater harvesting and solar power a major thrust. Fiftyfive per cent of KMRL's power requirements are met through its solar plants, one of the highest in the country by any standards. KMRL targets to be energy-neutral at the earliest as well."
The Kochi Water Metro with solar-powered airconditioned boats is the first of its kind in the country, he said.
He said these measures show that sustainability was at the heart of the mobility solutions of the State.
Vijayan said a major hurdle in the shift to electric vehicles (EVs) is the higher initial cost of the vehicles in comparison to conventional vehicles as heavy-duty battery packs are expensive and are a major contributor of the excess cost.
He said battery swapping was deemed as a viable solution regarding initial cost, limited range and battery life-span.
e–mobility, apart from addressing the concerns related to global warming and climate change, would also propel the economic prospects of the nation. "Therefore, we are hopeful that this international conference on e–mobility will set the stage for India's comprehensive shift to a sustainable mobility environment," Vijayan said.