Kerala joined the country’s ambitious e-mobility push with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan kicking off the commercial production of the three-seater environment-friendly Kerala Neem G autorickshaw at the public sector Kerala Automobiles Limited’s (KAL) plant at Aralumoodu, near here, on Wednesday.
With this, the State has commenced its e-mobility journey to meet the deadlines and targets to fully electrify all classes of motor vehicles by 2030 as spelled out in the Electric Vehicle Policy.
KAL’s initiative is part of the target of putting one million EVs on the road by 2022, with a pilot fleet of 2,00,000 two-wheelers, 50,000 three-wheelers, 1,000 goods carriers, 3,000 buses and 100 ferry boats by 2020.
The Chief Minister, who also inaugurated the modernized machine shop set up on the KAL premises at a cost of ₹7 crore, said the e-auto has gained national prominence as KAL has become the first public sector undertaking to foray into the e-mobility business.
The government wants more e-vehicles on the road to address the issue of environmental problems created by the use of fossil fuels in automobiles and spiralling price of petroleum products.
‘E-auto is the first step. e-cars have also started running in the capital. Solar-powered boats have been launched.
Steps have been taken to roll out e-buses. Kerala will become a land of e-vehicles soon as people are willing to adopt such changes,” Mr. Vijayan said.
The government will set up more charging stations for e-vehicles.
The Chief Minister reminded the personnel of KAL, which is limping back to normality after being in the red for many years, to take advantage of the order received from the Indian Space Research Organisation for manufacturing various components by executing the work professionally.
Presiding over the function, Industries Minister E. P. Jayarajan said commercial production of the e-auto from the KAL plant will give an impetus to the industrial development of the State.
The KAL plant is also gearing up to commence manufacture of 3,000 e-buses of 12 m to 35 m needed for the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation in partnership with Swiss e-bus manufacturer HESS, Mr. Jayarajan said. As many as 8,000 e-autos cams be rolled out from Aralumoodu plant annually, he said.
Minister for Tourism Kadakampally Surendran handed over the side wheel scooters manufactured by KAL.
Legislators K. Ansalan, C. K. Hareendran, municipal chairperson W. R. Heeba, KAL Chairman Karamana Hari, KAL Managing Director A. Shajahan spoke.