The Nepal government has emerged as the frontrunner to place orders to import 200 electric auto-rickshaws from KAL (Kerala Automobiles), India’s first public sector e-auto rickshaw maker. While the country is under a lockdown, the state-run PSU has opened bookings of its E-Neem, that costs just 50 paise per km to run. “From April, 200 E-Neem auto rickshaws will roll out to the saleroom, every month. The assembly units in its factory in Neyyattinkara had been ready, for this full-fledged commercial production from last year,” Kerala industry minister EP Jayarajan told FE. As soon as the lockdown is over, this will take-off. E-Neem, with a base-price of about Rs 2 lakh, was originally slated to debut on the Indian roads in September, 2019.
Besides Nepal’s 200 vehicles order, Tamil Nadu has shown interest in buying 1,000 e-auto rickshaws, said Jayarajan, adding that there has been a spate of enquiries from Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The significance of E-Neem’s orderbook bursting at the seams with enquiries this week, is that from April 1, it would be entitled to the Rs 30,000 green subsidy, as per the state’s e-vehicle policy. However, its major attraction is the battery, indigenously made, with German technology support, that stirs up a 2KV motor. “One can charge the vehicle, with an ordinary 3-pin 5 amp plug. And at a single charging, the auto rikshaw can run up to 100 km,” said A Shajahan, managing director, KAL.
Japanese manufacturer Toshiba is also likely to associate with KAL in the production of e-auto rickshaw. A five-member team headed by Tomohiko Okado, managing director, Toshiba India, had visited the KAL factory and offered to associate with the state-run PSU soon. The Kerala government targets to set one million EVs on road by 2022. Mahindra’s Treo e-auto and Treo Yaari e-rickshaws are already in the market. The state has also signed an EoI with State Electricity Board (KSEB) for developing charging infrastructure.
Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.