There will be less harrowing sound of diesel autos on the streets of Kochi city. In a major effort to cut down carbon emission and noise pollution, Kochi Corporation has rolled out an electric vehicle programme through which 100 e-autos will be distributed to beneficiaries in the city.
In the first phase, 30 e-autos were distributed by Minister for Cooperation V N Vasavan at a function held in the city the other day. An official statement said the distribution of e-autos was the first step in introducing eco-friendly public transport for commuters in the city. The electric vehicle programme is being implemented with the support of Smart SUT, German agency GIZ, and UN Habitat’s Urban Pathways programme.
GIZ has provided subsidy to the tune of Rs one crore for the procurement, operation, and driver training while the state government has offered Rs 30,000 subsidy for an e-auto.
The programme is being implemented with the support of the Ernakulam District Autorickshaw Drivers’ Cooperative Society. Apart from passenger e-autos, the city corporation has also introduced e-autos for carrying goods. Five electric charging stations for e-autos have also been installed in the city as part of the programme.
An app called Auto Savari (AuSa) for booking a ride in autos operating in Ernakulam district was also launched by the cooperative society. The app helps passengers avail auto services and make payments for the ride. It will help drivers review trip details, payment history and analyse earnings. It has an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) through which drivers can access vehicle details like battery power and vehicle location.