Kerala’s electric vehicle (EV) policy envisages an ambitious target of introducing one million EVs in the State by 2022, the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

The State has planned a pilot fleet of 3,000 buses, 100 ferries, two lakh two-wheelers, 50,000 three-wheelers and 1,000 goods carriers. Apart from the investment, it also called for the adoption of technology best suited for the State, the Chief Minister said after inaugurating ‘Evolve: Kerala mobility conference and expo’.

The State-run KAL plans to roll out 8,000 e-autos a year. It has also tied up with Swiss e-bus manufacturer HESS to assemble and later manufacture e-buses, for which a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed. The plan is to make 3,000 e-buses for KSRTC. The KSRTC has already invited bids for 1,500 e-buses on wet lease this year. Thiruvananthapuram would have 100 per cent electric public transport within a year, he said.

An MoU for charging infrastructure will be signed with NTPC, Energy Efficient Services Ltd (EESL), and for a hydrogen fuel cell project with a firm at Evolve. The government has already started taking e-buses on wet lease and e-vehicles for departmental use.

E-mobility zones would be declared in tourist locales such as Kovalam, Munnar and Bekal, apart from the Secretariat, Technopark and Infopark.

Speaking on the occasion, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant called upon Kerala to be the front-runner in manufacturing all items needed for e-mobility in India rather than import them from other countries. He also assured subsidies and exemptions for the use of e-mobility.

According to KR Jyothilal, Principal Secretary (transport), two pilot Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) corridors had been identified in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi. A carbon-neutral solar semi-high-speed train corridor, too, had been planned in the State. The KMRL and Cochin Shipyard are also set to jointly launch world-class hybrid ferries for the water metro project.

EV charging stations

The Chief Minister also launched first electric vehicle charging station at an Indian Oil fuel outlet at Edapally near Kochi.

Indian Oil, in association with Power Grid Corporation of India, is planning to set up EV charging stations across Kerala in the coming years. The EV charging station at Edappally is the first out of eight charging stations planned in the State to be commissioned by March 2020. With this, Kochi has become the second city in South India to have EV charging stations.