THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The production of electric autorickshaws has helped Kerala Automobiles Ltd (KAL), which was on the brink of a collapse, emerge as a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) that has caught the nation’s attention, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said here on Wednesday.
He was inaugurating the commercial production of e-autorickshaws and the launch of a modernised machine shop. Pinarayi said, “KAL was on the path of growth and was putting up an exemplary performance”. He said that PSU would get the backing of organisations such as ISRO if it is able to function more effectively.
It is for the first time in the country that a PSU is venturing into the production of e-vehicles. The Chief Minister said that the government intends to promote electric vehicles. To back the initiative, charging stations have been set up at various places. Electric vehicles are convenient as they can be charged when parked at home, Pinarayi said. Kerala Automobiles Ltd can pioneer the revolutionary shift to electric vehicles as many people have come forward opting for an environment-friendly mode of transportation, the Chief Minister said.
Industries Minister E P Jayarajan presided over the function. Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran inaugurated the distribution of side wheel scooters. KAL Managing Director A Shajahan presented the report.
KAL has already received certification from the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). In the first phase, 800 electric autos will be manufactured. The production will be stepped up based on demand. The running cost of electric autos will be 50 paisa per kilometre and it would be a low-maintenance vehicle.
The PSU, in association with Swiss company Hess and KSRTC, will commence production for electric buses over the next nine months.