THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The government offices in the state are running in a low-gear mode regarding the policy to replace its existing fleet of vehicles that run on fossil fuels with electric cars. Barring the Motor Vehicles Department, which has ordered 65 vehicles on lease, the other departments have either ignored or shown minimal interest in leasing electric cars under the e-mobility project launched in June.
Agency for Non-Conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT), which implements the electric vehicle (EV) project in the state under the e-mobility scheme, has received lease agreement orders for only 75 e-cars. Apart from MVD, a few local body institutions and two directorates have entered into the deal.
Higher leasing cost and yet-to-be developed e-vehicle ecosystem are said to be blocking the popularity of the project. At present, the scheme is available only for government offices and public sector undertakings.
“A government office would be spending around `22,000 to hire a petrol or diesel vehicle on contract for a month. At the same time, they will have to shell out more than `40,000 to wet lease an electric car,” said a source.
However, the leasing of e-vehicles was value for money for offices that use the vehicle extensively. For example, the Motor Vehicles Department has added 45 new electric vehicles for its ‘Safe Kerala’ project which involves extensive road patrolling to reduce traffic offences and create traffic awareness. MVD will get 20 more EVs in the next week, said the officer. However, other enforcement departments such as police and excise are yet to show any interest in the scheme, said the source.
ANERT has signed a deal with Energy Efficiency Services Ltd under the Union Power Ministry to provide electric cars to government offices as part of the e-mobility project. The client department will get the vehicle with eight years of warranty.
There are five models of e-cars and the department can choose the vehicle as per its eligibility criteria. The e-vehicles can run between 140 to 420 kilometre for every recharge.
ANERT has tied up with KSEB to start at least one charging station in every 25 to 30 kilometres on MC Road and national highways. However, there had been delay in getting land allotted for setting up charging station by various district collectors, said the source.