As the first step, the fuel-operated auto-rickshaws are converted into electric vehicles by retrofitting them with batteries
As the country catches on to adopting electric mobility, the New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (NREDCAP) is planning to convert the vehicles operated by petroleum products with their electric counterparts in Tirupati.
The EV technology will be adopted as part of the ‘Go Electric’ campaign to provide four-wheelers, three-wheelers, two-wheelers and charging infrastructure.
As the first step, the fuel-operated auto-rickshaws are converted into electric vehicles by retrofitting them with batteries, apart from launching a swapping station.
“The technology will be adopted for 200 auto-rickshaws and 20 swapping stations will be opened in Tirupati as a pilot project,” said NREDCAP Vice-Chairman and Managing Director S. Ramana Reddy.
Along with NREDCAP General Manager C.B. Jagadeeswara Reddy and OSD Ramanjaneya Reddy, Mr. Ramana Reddy attended a demonstration on the performance of auto-rickshaws retrofitted with batteries.
The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), a union Government initiative, has come forward to meet the cost of the retrofit kit and swapping stations established by battery manufacturers.
“NREDCAP has been in the process of identifying prospective manufacturers of retrofit kits, studying their proposals and testing their performance. The response from auto-rickshaw union leaders, fleet operators and even passengers is encouraging,” Mr. Ramana Reddy told reporters.
At the macro-level, training would be imparted to rural automobile mechanics and ITI students on handling electric vehicles.
“On the environmental front, the conversion is similar to planting 22812 trees required to absorb the 456 tonnes of CO2 emitted by 100 auto-rickshaws in a year,” Mr. Ramana Reddy concluded.
Based on the Tirupati experiment, 100 each retrofit kits would be extended to Visakhapatnam, Rajamahendravaram and Eluru cities. Another path-breaking initiative is to replace the garbage auto-rickshaws in all civic bodies with EV auto-rickshaws by providing charging infrastructure.