Andhra Pradesh

Tirupati to get greener with electric auto-rickshaws

S. Ramana Reddy, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, NREDCAP tries his hand on a battery-operated two-wheeler during a demonstration in Tirupati on Sunday. NREDCAP General Manager C.B. Jagadeeswara Reddy is also seen.  

The temple city of Tirupati is all set to become greener with reduced emissions, thanks to the initiative of New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (NREDCAP) to convert the vehicles operated by petroleum products with electric vehicles (EV).

As part of the ‘Go Electric’ campaign, the EV technology will be adopted to provide four-wheelers, three-wheelers, two-wheelers and charging infrastructure.

As the first step, the fuel-operated auto-rickshaws are converted into electric vehicles by retrofitting them with batteries, apart from launching a swapping station.

“The technology will be adopted for 200 auto-rickshaws and 20 swapping stations will be opened in Tirupati as a pilot project,” said NREDCAP Vice-Chairman and Managing Director S. Ramana Reddy on Sunday. Along with NREDCAP General Manager C.B. Jagadeeswara Reddy and OSD Ramanjaneya Reddy, Mr. Ramana Reddy attended a demonstration on the performance of auto-rickshaws retrofitted with batteries. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), a union Government initiative, has come forward to meet the cost of the retrofit kit and swapping stations established by battery manufacturers.

“NREDCAP has been in the process of identifying prospective manufacturers of retrofit kits, studying their proposals and testing their performance. The response from auto-rickshaw union leaders, fleet operators and even passengers is encouraging,” Mr. Ramana Reddy told reporters.

At the macro-level, training would be imparted to rural automobile mechanics and ITI students on handling electric vehicles.

Though the initial conversion cost is one-third of the vehicle, the operating expenditure is just half of what used to be in fossil fuel-based vehicle, resulting in savings of ₹1.95 per km for drivers, Mr. Jagadeeswara Reddy explained. Similarly, one lakh EV-based two-wheelers would be supplied to government employees, offering them the benefit of subsidy as well as EMI basis.

“On the environmental front, the conversion is similar to planting 22812 trees required to absorb the 456 tonnes of CO2 emitted by 100 auto-rickshaws in a year,” Mr. Ramana Reddy concluded.

Based on the Tirupati experiment, 100 each retrofit kits would be extended to Visakhapatnam, Rajamahendravaram and Eluru cities. Another path-breaking initiative is to replace the garbage auto-rickshaws in all civic bodies with EV auto-rickshaws by providing charging infrastructure.

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 2:58:57 AM |

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