The Sunday Leader

100,000 E-Cars In Two Years

By Roy Silva

There will be 100,000 electric cars on Sri Lankan roads in two years, says Anuruddha Lihinikaduwa, CEO of E-Lanka Automotive.

At present there are only about 60 such eco-friendly vehicles but the momentum is catching up and very soon people will be moving into this new concept, which will not only create an emission free environment, but also brings a huge money saving, he said.

According to Anuruddha, they too are keen on the eco-friendly concept.  “The government is also taking many steps on city beautification and controlling emission from vehicles that  pollutes the environs. Reducing that environmental threat is also a vital area in the beautification of the city. Not only the emissions from combustion engines but also the noise pollution and heat generated from combustion engines contribute to the pollution,” he said. These are concerns when developing city. In most developed cities, steps have been taken to reduce these threats. In European countries, there are regulations to reduce the emission from petrol and diesel vehicles entering the cities.

“However, in Sri Lanka, we have not moved in that direction for the simple reason that we still do not have the proper infrastructure. What we are attempting to do is, as a company that’s mainly concentrating on electric vehicles, to introduce those concepts so that people will be able to use them,” said Anuruddha.

According to the E-Lanka Automotive CEO, the company is also in the process of converting fleets into electric vehicles. “We have already signed up with a reputed company to replace their entire fleet of 25 vehicles into electric vehicles. The amount of money they save as well as the country is vast. Also, the management has created packages for their staff prompting them too to go electric. They are also providing facilities to buy electric bicycles.

It in fact is their CEO’s vision and they proceed with that green concept,” he said. It’s a concept that’s moving forward and in five year’s time, there will be a boom in the sale of electric vehicles, especially when the fuel prices begin to escalate, said Anuruddha and added that those who converted now would definitely be at the winning end. It would not only save a lot of money for the country, but also bring a reputation that Sri Lanka is going green. It will also encourage more tourists to visit our beautiful land, highlighting another aspect to the economy.

“Our efforts are to get people out of petrol sheds, which is very difficult, but half of it is won once we put up the charging points,” he added.

E-Lanka Automotive is not a general car seller, but we promote the sale of concepts. Spark is the brand of our electric vehicles, which, I must mention is a local brand. Under that we are in the process of bringing down leading brands, such as Nissan, Mitsubishi, BMW and the world’s No. 1 electric vehicle Tesla, a US brand. We will provide the opportunity for our people here to use them at a very nominal price, because the government is supporting it, added Anuruddha.

Elaborating he said that for a normal car, a duty of 150 per cent has to be paid, but for an electric vehicle, it’s only 30 per cent and it’s a big advantage. That I should say is a bigger grant than any other part of the world. The main reason is the government wants to promote the eco friendly vehicles.

Commenting on the issues involved with electric cars, Anuruddha said the main issue for the customer is how to charge his vehicle. In developed countries, there is a network of charging points such as petrol stations. We, as an individual company is now sorting it out with the support of the government.

We have aligned ourselves with Mackwoods Energy and we are in the process of installing charging points all over the country. That’s the answer to the one and only issue with regard to the electric vehicles, ‘Where do I charge?’

Anuruddha pointed out that they were going into places like Keells centres. In Colombo, that many are not necessary as it’s only a 50 kilometre radius. However, outstations, plans are afoot to install charging points at every 50 kilometres so that the vehicle could be charged in about 30 minutes. Within the next two months, they will be up and running. In fact it’s a Mackwoods concept and they have joined with E-Lanka Automotive in taking this e-concept forward. By the end of the year, the company plans to complete installing charging points all over the island.

“At present, as an e-car promoter, we have no competition as such in the context of engineering and after sales as we are well ahead. We are all electric, we concentrate on electric and we supply the best vehicles available in the world,” said Anuruddha.

Another important point is that we have had no complaints from our clients, be it cars, bicycles or eco-taxis. It’s a zero complaint scenario and it’s also our policy.

In general, using the electric car is so easy when there are enough charging points. The travel distance per charge varies from 160kms to 210kms.
There’s huge interest in the young people, especially for electric bicycles. Most of those walking in are young and they want to get out of petrol.

At present, there are about 60 electric vehicles are on the roads.

My concept is to reach the 100,000 mark in two years. It’s not going to be a mass market trend initially. A consignment of 100 electric cars are arriving. At present we are selling about 6 cars per month.

6 Comments for “100,000 E-Cars In Two Years”

  1. Sir….to add 100,000 electric cars in a country of 20million in such a small time frame is highly doubtful.
    1…same as 1,500,000 in the USA…doubtful…??
    2…charging stations need get started very, very promptly..
    3… Those 20million are a dense population, in a small area..
    So give it a try…
    4…the power plants are so important…any statistics?
    Vern Cornell

  2. Sir….this is my second comment…..electricity produced is 30 percent hydro and 70 percent imported petroleum products (diesel, fuel oil, etc).. Of course all the cars and trucks are also run on petroleum…imported.
    So you need to build coal- burning power plants as fast as you can…
    Your 100,000 electric cars mean nothing for the country…today…
    Coal is cheap…
    As power switches from oil to coal, your electric cars will have real meaning..
    Vern

  3. Mr Anuruddha Lihinikaduua….
    I believe your company should get investors, including your company, to build the first Coal-burning plant…
    What a way to give real meaning to what you want…
    Success…!
    Vern

  4. Sir…three comments only…vern

  5. Roy, are you a betting man? I’ll put a hundred bucks on there NOT being 100,000 e-cars in Sri Lanka in two years.

    Bear in mind that they are currently selling a stunning 6 e-cars per month … which adds up to 144 cars in two years.

    So I’m saying that even with a huge government subsidy (almost fifty percent of the cost of a new car), no way they’re gonna get to a hundred thousand.

    Look … i know that you’re a journalist. But you need to crank up your skepticism. For example, did you look at the annual number of new cars sold in Sri Lanka? I did. It’s about 36,000 per year. SO even if every one of them is replaced by an electric car, there’s still no way they’ll get there … and they’d be lucky to get 50% market penetration.

    I do so enjoy hard-hitting, inquisitive journalism … but sadly, this ain’t it. In this one, you’re just acting as an unpaid PR guy, shilling for the car manufacturer.

    Is that what you went to journalism school for?

    My regards to you,

    w.

  6. jeff

    Certainly the benefits will be easy to account for.
    I believe they need much more thought into how these vehicles will be charged. In poorer countries it is common to find your gas tank siphoned. What do you think will happen with electrical access points for EV charging?

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