Kochi: Despite finding favour with commuters, the fleet of non-polluting e-autos saw no addition after their launch as Metro feeder services over six months back.
The main reason being lack of availability of vehicles, with the Kerala Automobiles Limited (KAL) unable to roll out e-autos by Onam as scheduled and the drivers not happy.
“Many are willing to run e-autos as it is profitable,” said V.H. Nasser, an e-auto driver based at Maharaja's College ground metro station and the general secretary of Auto Drivers Union (INTUC). “However, the shortage of vehicles has affected the plans. Currently, the fleet consists of 16 e-autos, the same as when they were launched in February this year.
“The current model, that of Kinetic Green Energy and Power Solutions, is not popular with the drivers as they are very light and has more length while the width is too short, upsetting balance," said Syamantha Bhadran, convener of Ernakulam Auto Rickshaw Drivers Co-operative Society, managing the fleet.
KAL says the battery will last four years and the running cost per km will be 50 paise. The vehicle will be priced at Rs 2.5 lakh....