Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) has decided to set up electric charging points in all Metro stations in order to give a boost to electric mobility. KMRL in association with the agency for new and renewable energy research and technology (Anert) will set up charging points in four Metro stations soon. After that, the project will be extended to all the 22 Metro stations.
A top official with KMRL said – “We have held preliminary talks with Anert officials in this regard. We will conduct a survey for handpicking the four stations where the charging points are to be installed in the first phase. It will be based on the flow of vehicles and the number of prospective owners who may buy or switch to e-vehicles at each centre that the stations will be selected.”
P M Shabeer, regional transport officer (RTO), Ernakulam stated – “There is an increase in the number of electric vehicles being registered in Kochi. Still, the pace of increase in the number of such vehicles is very slow. Unavailability of charging points is one of the factors which force many from not opting to buy electric vehicles. As of now, there are only a few charging points in the city and suburbs. KSEB has installed two charging points in the city, while KEL has set up one in Mamala near Tripunithura. People complain that the performance of electric vehicles is not up to the mark. This may be another reason for low demand for electric vehicles. It is learnt some of the manufacturers have come up with improvised versions of electric vehicles. Then, the demand for electric vehicles will go up.”
One of the manufacturers who is set to introduce their new electric scooter in Kochi plans to install electric vehicles charging points in the city. They held discussions with various agencies, including KMRL, for installing charging points in Kochi. Apparently, they offered a revenue sharing model which can be implemented as a joint venture with KMRL.
Along with this, KMRL also is planning to roll out e-autos in the city as feeder service to the Metro. It has invited tenders for submitting request for qualification (RFQ) for launching e-auto service. The Metro agency plans to procure 115 e-autos for the purpose in two phases. The firm or consortium which emerges successful in the tendering process should operate and maintain e-autos in the city and suburbs as a feeder service to Metro. Initially, in the first phase, 77 e-autos will be rolled out.