KOCHI: When the authorities are aggressively promoting electric vehicles and setting up charging points, there are people in the city driving e-vehicles for years now.
Ranjini Varma, a teacher from Tripunithura, bought her electric car more than eight years ago. A proponent of clean and green energy, she also has a rooftop solar panel at home, making her vehicle "energy neutral."
Ms Varma is extremely proud of being the owner of a silver Reva-i from Mahindra's electric stable, the pioneer in this sector in India. Working as an English teacher at the Cochin Refineries School in Ambalamugal, she daily drives it to work, and the e-car has become her signature style.
“It takes six hours to charge the car fully, and on a full charge, it can travel a distance of 60 km. It reaches a maximum speed of 40-60km/hr and can accommodate four people of average size comfortably,” said Ms Varma.
The only big expense she had to incur was to change the battery, that too after six years. There is no other depreciating part, and even today, people are willing to buy it at a higher price. But the proud owner is not ready to part with her proud possession, which has a music system and an air-conditioner.
As an early adopter of the technology, Ms Varma does not regret a single rupee she spent on the car.
Lack of public charging points in the city is a real challenge for electric vehicle users.
“Charging points set up in malls and movie theatres are of great help,” said A. Ajit, her husband.
The tax sops up to Rs 2.5 lakh in the latest Union Budget, and the state government’s pilot programme to introduce more EVs by 2022 may bring down the cost, hope EV owners....