Kerala

KSRTC seeks special power tariff for e-buses

Approaches electricity regulatory commission

The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has approached the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission for a special tariff for the electricity at the charging stations for powering electric buses.

The request for a special tariff as per the electric vehicle policy comes in the wake of the 10 electric buses taken on wet lease operating on the Nilackal-Pampa-Nilackal sector to ferry Ayyappa devotees.

Transformer installed

Although a 500 KVA transformer has been installed at the Nilackal base camp by the Kerala State Electricity Board free of charge to recharge the buses, the commission has not fixed the tariff for the electricity being consumed by the buses.

KSRTC chairman and managing director Tomin J. Thachankary, in a letter, urged the chairman of the commission to fix below ₹4.4 per kilowatt hour as tariff for the charging stations on a par with the industrial tariff as the buses were environmental friendly.

In the off-peak hours between 10 p.m and 6 a.m, the KSRTC suggested that the tariff be below ₹4 per kilowatt hour for high-tension and low-tension charging stations “to motivate” charging the batteries in the off-peak hours.

Mr. Thachankary said when compared with the 10 services operated daily by the electric buses in the sector, only five services were being operated by the air-conditioned low-floor Scania and Volvo buses.

Charge for a month

The cost of power for charging the electric buses in the past one month was below ₹1 lakh. Besides being environment friendly, the KSRTC needed only ₹48 a km, including rental charges, for an electric bus to run a km while the operational cost of Scania and Volvo buses was above ₹80 per km. Mr. Thachankary said the electric buses were profitable for the KSRTC .

Subsidy proposed

The draft electric vehicle policy had proposed a subsidised tariff of ₹5 to ₹5.5 a unit for electric vehicle charging stations as a support scheme for early adoption of e-mobility.

The KSRTC also asked the KSEB to install transformers at the charging stations free of cost as the former could not mobilise funds due to financial crisis.

The CMD said the electric buses would be shifted to major cities for daily operations after the Sabarimala pilgrim season and charging stations would be needed at the depots.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 11:08:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/ksrtc-seeks-special-power-tariff-for-e-buses/article25746050.ece

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