Kerala govt okays e-vehicle policy; to procure 6,000 buses by 2025

The government of Kerala has finalised an electric vehicle (EV) policy for the state. The Cabinet approval came with some changes in the draft policy. One aim is to procure 6,000 electric buses for the state road transport corporation by 2025. In the first phase, EV buses will ply in Thiruvananthapuram. Other vehicles powered by electricity are to be progressively phased in. Charging stations will be set up.

Use of e-rickshaws is to be expanded through state-owned Kerala Automobiles. Subsidies and other incentives would be given, from both central and state governments. The state Budget for 2019-20 has proposed to ensure a rise in the number of EVs to a million by 2022.

An e-mobility promotion fund is to be started, with Rs 12 crore allocation. Around 10,000 electric autos will be given a subsidy from this year. The Budget also proposes a 50 per cent concession on road tax for five years to newly registered e-rickshaws. For other EVs, a 25 per cent concession for five years.

Charging stations will be established with help from private investors. Gradually, only electric autos will be permitted in major towns. 

The government has also started discussion with a Swiss company to manufacture electric buses, as a joint venture.

When the state road transport body turns to e-buses on a large scale, the supplier company might be asked to start a manufacturing centre in Kerala. Allied industries will be developed, says the Budget document.

Under the new policy, the state will promote the setting up of factories for making EVs, ancillary units and research facilities.

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