The battery, made locally with German technology hand-holding, and a 2KV motor will be the autorickshaw's nerve centre.
An indigenous electric three-wheeler with the German battery technology, running at a cost of just 50 paise per km, will debut on Indian roads by September. KAL (Kerala Automobiles) has emerged the country’s first state PSU to get the nod for commercial production of electric auto rickshaws. “After technical validation by Pune-based ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India), the Ministry of Heavy Industries has given the green signal to start production of e-auto rickshaws,” KAL managing director A Shajahan told FE.
The battery, made locally with German technology hand-holding, and a 2KV motor will be the autorickshaw’s nerve centre. The battery can be fully charged in 3.55 hours. At single charging, the vehicle runs up to 100 km. Just an ordinary 3-pin plug can be used to charge the vehicle. Maintenance costs and vibration, besides sound pollution and carbon pollution, are much lower than that of its petrol-diesel siblings, says KAL chief.
Neem-G, as it is named, is expected to be priced approximately Rs 2 lakh per vehicle. In September, the e-auto rikshaw will be launched in the market.
KAL’s plant in Neyyattinkara, near Thiruvananthapuram, will roll out 15,000 auto rikshaws within an year. The Kerala government plans to have 50,000 e-auto rickshaws on roads by 2022-end, says chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Last week, KAL had inked an MoU with Switzerland-based HESS AG to assemble and later manufacture 3000 e-buses for state transport utility KSRTC. “We are plying green fuels on water and rail too. The Cochin Shipyard and Kochi Metro Rail plan to jointly launch water-metro hybrid ferries,” state transport secretary KR Jyothilal said.
Kerala has recently signed a pact with the Birmingham University for identifying ultra-low emission energy sources for e-vehicles.