State-run Kerala Automobiles Limited (KAL) will begin the production of electric autorickshaws from Wednesday with an aim to launch 8,000 vehicles in the first phase.
KAL will also enter into the production of electric buses within next nine months in collaboration with Swiss electric bus manufacturer Hess AG.
Automotive Research Association of India has already given certification to KAL for manufacturing electric autorickshaws.
The company will soon begin accepting orders from the market for autorickshaws.
According to KAL, the e-autos will be capable of travelling 100km after a full recharge. The mileage can be increased if the vehicle is charged when it is at rest.
“The lithium-based batteries can be charged using ordinary plug sockets at home. We are also working towards launching electric charging stations across the state with help from the Kerala state electricity board (KSEB). E- autos, which will cost around Rs 2.5 lakh per unit, can be operated at a cost of 50 paise per km. Thus it will fetch better profits for the auto-rickshaw drivers. Setting up of charging stations at auto stands is also on the cards. Maintenance cost will also be lower than petrol/diesel auto-rickshaws,” said KAL managing director A. Shahjahan.