KOCHI: To check the spiralling increase in vehicle population and reduce subsequent pollution, the state government had brought out an Electric Vehicle Policy (EVP). The state has directed all departments to switch to electric vehicles instead of purchasing new fuel-based ones.
Currently, three agencies are involved in pushing e-mobility. Through the Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT), the government hires electric vehicles from the Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) either on dry or wet lease. When it comes to electric vehicle charging infrastructure, the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) is the nodal agency and run based on clear directives regarding tariffs for different categories of electric vehicle charging points in the state. The state government has also established an Energy Management Centre (EMC) to hold awareness campaigns on the benefits of green energy.
To mark World Environment Day, the EMC promoted by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency is launching a ‘ Go Electric’ campaign to sensitise state departments and the public on green modes of transportation. “Over `8lakhcrore have been spent on petroleum import alone, and this is consumed by the transport sector. Hence, shifting to green energy is the need of the hour, “ said R Harikumar, director of Energy Management Centre, Kerala.
He said the online campaign will focus on promoting electric cooking too. “LPG is still used in most kitchens, adding to pollution. Electric cooking can be a sustainable alternative. Electrical energy sources can be used in centralised or decentralised forms,” said Harikumar. The long-term plan is to put one million EVs on the road by 2022. Last year, a proposal was also made to ply a pilot fleet of over 2 lakh two-wheelers, 50,000 three-wheelers, 1000 goods carriers, 3000 buses and about 100 ferry boats.
MVD SHIFTS TO E-VEHICLES
As part of its ‘Safe Kerala project’, the Motor Vehicles Department added electric vehicles to its fleet last year. Around 65 Tata Nexon electric vehicles were rented out by ANERT for the department. “Electric vehicles incur low running and maintenance expense. As it is electric, the power delivery is also quick. However, charging infrastructure needs to be improved to make it convenient, “ said an MVD official.