THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : The state government has signed an MoU with World Resources Institute (WRI), India, on Monday to implement an electric vehicle (EV) policy, and value capture financing policy framework for Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode. The MoU was signed during the stakeholder consultation workshop on EV policy and way forward for the Kerala Metropolitan Transport Authority (KMTA), inaugurated by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at Mascot Hotel.
“Environmental conservation is on the top of our agenda in the state, as we are recovering from the devastating flood. In this context, the idea of electric mobility is of great significance. The suggestions received through such workshops will be incorporated and the final EV policy will be issued soon,” said Pinarayi, adding KSRTC has the enviable tag of being the first in south India to run environmentally-friendly electric buses.
The workshop aimed to bringing together stakeholders - manufacturers, OEMs, startups and technology solution providers - in the EV ecosystem, together with government decision-making bodies to encourage a discussion around the strategies to be adopted by the state for EV and for operationalising the KMTA Bill.
In line with the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020, the state government has recognised the need for the transition to EVs and formulated the Kerala Electric Vehicle Policy. “As per the recent Central government notification, permission is not required for e-buses, hence it will increase the vehicle population on roads. We must consider the capacity of roads and traffic congestion while making such a decision. There is the need to rethink such permit policies,” said Transport Minister A K Saseendran.
The state government plans to ensure a robust infrastructure for EV that includes adequate power availability, a network of charging points, and favourable power tariff. “The Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) Bill, tabled in the assembly, is expected to bring a revolutionary shift in creating a single platform for integrating various modes of transport,” said K R Jyothilal, Transport secretary.
2022 - 1 million EVs on the road
2020 - Pilot fleet of 200,000 two-wheelers, 50,000 three-wheelers, 1,000 goods carriers, 3,000 buses and 100 ferry boats.
Auto industry urges collaborative EV policy
T’Puram: The recent move of the state government setting a target of putting 1 million electric vehicles (EVs) on the road by 2022, studded with tax holidays and creation of common charging infrastructure has been marred by controversy. Industry expert Mukesh Malhotra feels such suggestions on swapping have been rejected in the most competent multi-stakeholder forums. In its vision paper, industry body SIAM says, “To make sure that this vision is realised, the industry, government and various stakeholders will need to collaborate and invest.” Swapping of batteries has unresolved issues for customers related to safety, warranty and consistent performance. These major issues have been ignored by policy makers in Kerala, feel the industry.