Kerala

e-scooter, e-rickshaw from KAL soon

E-rickshaw to be launched by Kerala Automobiles Ltd  

The public sector Kerala Automobiles Limited (KAL) is to give a big push to State’s e-mobility journey by launching e-scooter, e-goods auto rickshaw, and e-rickshaw from its plant at Aralumoodu in the capital.

The KAL’s foray into personal mobility and other arenas comes in the wake of the demand for three-seater environment-friendly ‘Kerala Neem G’ autorickshaws launched by it from even outside the country. The KAL is the first PSU in the country to foray into the e-mobility business and the aim is to build on it.

The KAL has begun steps to roll out e-scooter, e-goods auto rickshaw, and the e-rickshaw after carrying out the feasibility. While the e-goods autorickshaw can be rolled out from the existing platform for e-auto, a new platform is needed for the e-rickshaw and the e-scooter. The modern machine shop set up on the KAL premises for ₹7 crore will come in handy for the new projects.

Efficiency and cost

The five seater e-rickshaw, to be rolled out for travel on the level roads and for city ride, is to run 80 km with one charging. While the price of the e-auto is ₹2.85 lakh, the e-rickshaw will be sold for ₹2 lakh.

The e-goods auto rickshaw will also run for 80 to 90 km with one charging. It will be able to ferry up to 600 kg of goods and will be priced below ₹3 lakh. The State road network would have environment-friendly e-goods autos replacing the conventional auto rickshaws in the near future in tune with the introduction of e-autos in three major cities.

The e-scooter and e-goods auto are to be launched in two months. The KAL is planning two variants of the e-scooter in March 2021, both will cost less than ₹75,000, KAL managing director A. Shajahan told The Hindu. The e-scooter will be a good alternative to traditional petrol scooters and it will offer great torque, speed, comfort, and performance. “We are rolling out an e-scooter equivalent to a 100cc conventional scooter and this will address the speed issue,” he said.

Indigenously made batteries using German technology can be charged within three hours and 55 minutes. Charging can be done using a three-pin plug in households that have single-phase connection for the upcoming e-scooter, e-rickshaw, and e-goods auto rickshaw.

The KAL’s plant that can now roll out 7,200 e-autos annually will soon be upgraded to manufacture 15,000 e-autos. e-autos will soon hit the streets in large numbers in Kerala as 17 dealers have been appointed. KAL is also taking steps to expand its Kerala-Neem G network outside the State, the MD said.

The initiative is part of the target of putting one million electric vehicles on the road by 2022, with a ‘pilot fleet’ of two lakh two-wheelers, 50,000 three-wheelers, 1,000 goods carriers, 3,000 buses, and 100 ferry boats by 2020.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 6:56:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/e-scooter-e-rickshaw-from-kal-soon/article32910236.ece

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