THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Not many are familiar with the green number plates that adorn e-vehicles plying across the state which now boasts close to 500 such vehicles. The distinctive green number plates were introduced to encourage the use of electric vehicles a year ago.
Intended for easy identification and proposed benefits in terms of concessions at toll plazas and parking lots, not all e-vehicle users have claimed their green number plates yet. The green number plates bear numbers in yellow in case of taxis or public sector vehicles while it is white in case of private vehicles.
“We have seen a commendable though slow growth in the e-vehicle front. While many states have not even thought of such projects, we have experimented with buses and quite successfully too.
We are evolving at a faster pace. Though mostly we have scooters now, there are autorickshaws and other vehicles too and in the coming days we expect it to change the face of transportation in the state,” said a top official in the Motor Vehicles Department.
Officials feel with the new subsidy coming up for e-vehicle users, more people will be encouraged to go green. However, they are quick to point out that better infrastructure is the only way forward to encourage e-vehicles.
“The last budget allotted money through a programme where a limited number of e-vehicle owners will be given subsidy or a grant of Rs 30,000 or a specific per cent of the cost of the vehicle. The government’s main aim is to ensure that we are going in the right path in using environment-friendly transportation. It is not surprising that people are hesitant at present. The necessity of more charging stations is very important if we want to help this grow.
“The case with CNG vehicles is also the same that they do not have enough charging stations or they are too far from cities. So, when we encourage e-vehicles, the charging stations are very important which at present we are not equipped with. But if the projects on this front succeed, we will be ahead in the country itself,” said another official.