Kerala Automobiles to Manufacture 8,000 Indigenous Electric Autorickshaws

The battery for the autorickshaws will be manufactured locally with German technology


The Kerala Automobiles Limited (KAL) is set to roll out indigenous three-wheeler eco-friendly autorickshaws in the state.

According to the company, it has recently received the clearance certificate from Pune-based Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) for the vehicles.

Speaking to Mercom, the managing director of KAL, A. Shajahan, said: “After receiving the clearance certificate from ARAI, we also got the go-ahead from the central government in New Delhi.”

Shajahan added that the indigenous product would be manufactured in KAL’s factory located at Aralumoodu near Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. The company, which is an undertaking of the Government of Kerala since 1978, manufactures three-wheelers (diesel, petrol, LPG, and CNG) suitable for passengers and carrying goods.

According to the official, the battery for the autorickshaw will be made locally with German technology handholding, and a 2 kV motor will be the main part of the vehicle. Its battery will be fully charged in four hours.

Further, he said, “Although the company’s target is to manufacture 8,000 electric autos per year, we’ll increase the production as per the requirement. We’ll also start taking the orders from the market.”

Earlier, Mercom had reported that Kerala, with over 10 million vehicles on the road, has decided to reduce the air pollution by introducing e-vehicles. The state government had then chalked out a roadmap for an Electric Vehicle Policy.

The state has put up some ambitious deadlines and targets, keeping in mind the full electrification of all classes of motor vehicles by 2030.

After the official launch of the vehicle on July 10, 2019, Sahajahan informed that 500 vehicles would be manufactured which will be available in the market by September 2019.  The vehicle will run at the cost of just 50 paise (~$0.00725)/km.

“The cost of the vehicle will be finalized only after the completion of the manufacturing processes, and it could be about ₹250,000 ($3,640) to ₹ 270,000 (~$3,930),” he told Mercom.

Recently, KAL also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Swiss e-bus manufacturers HESS. The company will manufacture e-buses for the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC).

The National Institute of Transforming India (NITI) Aayog recently put out a proposal that states that after 2030, only electric vehicles must be sold in the country.  NITI Aayog estimates that EV sales will save around $60 billion by reducing oil imports. Meanwhile, India aims to reduce 10% of its total oil imports by 2022.

In June this year, the Department of Heavy Industries invited expressions of interest from the state transport departments for the deployment of 5,000 electric buses.

Image credit: By Sanu N [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.