NavAlt Solar & Electric Boats earned a coveted international honour when the Kochi-based company under the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) bagged the Gussies Electric Boat Award for its low-expense electric boat plying along a busy stretch off the state’s coast.
The Aditya, which runs between Vaikom in Kottayam district and Thavanakkadavu in adjoining Alappuzha, fetched the 2013-founded NavAlt the recognition, officially called Gustave Trouvé for Excellence in Electric Boats and Boating.
As the world’s only international awards exclusively for electric boats, this was its first edition and had received over 10,000 votes across two rounds and three categories.
NavAlt’s sun-powered Aditya emerged the winner in the passenger boat category, surpassing five European firms, according to plugboats.com, which has instituted the pioneering awards.
The portal described the Kerala commuter ferry as “one of the great stories of the future of electric marine propulsion”. Every day, The Aditya makes 22 trips of 3 km each with 75 people on board. This counts to 580,000 people a year even as the charging cost to top up the batteries is a mere $2.6 a day. Annually, this prevents the burning of 58,000 litres of diesel and saves ₹46,12,000.
Down the past three years, The Aditya carried 11 lakh travelers, covering 70,000 km. The service helped the State Water Transport Department save money worth buying diesel worth ₹75 lakh, a press release said.
Trouvé (1839-1902) was an innovative French electrical engineer, highly respected for his skill in miniaturization.
The 2013-founded NavAlt works to transform marine transport by drastically reducing the energy for its operation and making the boating industry eco-friendly.
KSUM is the state government’s nodal agency for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities.