Kochi

‘Onus on govt. to address concerns about e-vehicles’

Drive to future: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Secretary Tom Jose, and Hibi Eden, MP, taking a look at an electric scooter displayed at EVOLVE expo in Kochi on Saturday.

Drive to future: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Secretary Tom Jose, and Hibi Eden, MP, taking a look at an electric scooter displayed at EVOLVE expo in Kochi on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Spl

Inadequate awareness, resistance to change, high capital cost, limited driving range (after full recharge), high charging time, and need for coordinated action by multiple agencies are some of the hurdles encountered while introducing e-vehicles in the country, O.P. Agarwal, CEO of World Resource Institute (WRI) India, has said.

Inadequate recharging facilities, impact of road gradient, and being comfortable with the existing (highly-polluting) systems too are challenges. Kerala will need a multi-pronged, multi-phased implementation of a roadmap from the government’s end to meet the target of introducing one million e-vehicles by 2022, he observed. Mr. Agarwal was addressing a session on ‘Roadmap for Electric Mobility in Kerala’, organised in connection with the two-day EVOLVE, Kerala’s first electric vehicle (EV) summit-cum-exhibition that began here on Saturday.

Much care should be taken in the government-led pilot phase, which will be followed by the scale-up phase wherein the government readies amenities and grants incentives. The third will be the self-propelled phase. The KSRTC must begin operating e-buses, besides readying charging infrastructure.

The task of creating awareness and marketing can be handed over to an outreach agency. Kerala also needs an e-vehicle manufacturing hub and efforts at aggregated procurement, Mr. Agarwal said.

Pollution

Former Kochi Metro Rail Limited managing director Elias George, who is now chairman, IGH, KPMG, stressed the importance of why a country like India needed EVs desperately. “Ten per cent of the population, ie., 140 million people, breathe air which is 10 times more dangerous than the prescribed safe limit. Nearly two million premature deaths a year are caused due to air pollution. Thirteen of the 20 cities of the world afflicted by air pollution are in India. Unless we decide to take a 180-degree turn towards electric vehicles, we are in for bad times,” Mr. George said.

Focus on e-buses

Buses are the lifeline of public transport and for the same reason one cannot simply wish them away. India has roughly 17 lakh buses, out of which 10% are operated in the public sector and 90% in the private sector.

Electric buses are not just buses with electric batteries. It is well beyond that, pointed out speakers at a session on ‘Ecosystem for Public Transport Focussing on E-Buses’.

Co-bolt

The session also discussed the use of Co-bolt, a proven body system for e-buses, with no welding requirement, and the use of magnesium for light-weight technology in e-vehicles.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 5:30:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/onus-on-govt-to-address-concerns-about-e-vehicles/article28230949.ece

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