Electric autorickshaws in Tirupati soon
Deccan Chronicle.| AVINASH P. SUBRAMANYAM
In Phase-1, 200 autorickshaws will be converted and at least 20 swapping stations will be launched
Tirupati will soon see non-polluting electric autorickshaws. (Representational Image/ Twitter)
TIRUPATI: Tirupati will soon see non-polluting electric autorickshaws operating, thanks to the initiative of the energy department to retrofit electric kits in conventional highly polluting three-wheelers that run on motor fuels.
In a bid to reduce carbon footprint and promote e-mobility, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, a Union government initiative, has recently given consent to the state energy department to the conversion.
The internal combustion engine would be replaced with electric motors and relevant changes would be made to turn them into electric vehicles (EVs). Besides, battery swapping stations would be set up to make it easier for the three-wheelers since charging could take some time.
In Phase-1, 200 autorickshaws will be converted and at least 20 swapping stations will be launched. The energy department has recently converted three conventional autorickshaws into EVs as a pilot project and their performance is being analysed.
"We are expecting that these autorickshaw drivers would save at least Rs 5,000 a month when compared to autorickshaws that run with petrol or diesel. The maintenance cost of an e-auto will be low and there would be zero pollution," an official from the energy department said.
According to the official, it would cost up to Rs 90,000 to retrofit an old autorickshaw. The initial conversion cost is one-third of the vehicle, while the operating expenditure is half of that of a fuel-operated autorickshaw.
On the environmental front, the conversion of 100 autos is similar to planting nearly 22,000 trees, which required to absorb 456 tonnes of CO2 in a year. The authorities also formulated plans to provide a subsidy for the retrofitting process, while the owners need to bear the remaining cost.