Bengaluru transport department is reportedly planning to launch electric auto rickshaws in the city in a bid to curb increasing pollution levels across the state.
According to TOI the transport department as part of the Karnataka Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Policy, 2017, has decided to create its own version of electric auto rickshaws, instead of the patented battery-operated auto rickshaws that aren’t permitted to run within city limits.
The electric vehicles to be promoted in Karnataka require retrofitting batteries to the existing auto rickshaw models.
Officials in the department speaking to the publication said the usual electric rickshaws are actually converted from cycle-rickshaws and they neither reach a speed of over 25 kmph nor are stable on the road.
Transport commissioner B Dayananda on Tuesday said: “A month ago, we had proposed retrofitted electric autorickshaws to the government. The government too showed interest in promoting use of electric vehicles. Drivers who wish to opt for retrofitting would be supported by the department and the state. Once we get the required approvals, we’ll kickstart a drive to promote conversion of autorickshaws into electric mode.”
Karnataka is one of the first states in the country to introduce a policy for EVs. The policy exempts EV owners from paying road taxes.
The transport department is also working to roll out electric buses through BMTC and KSRTC.