Just six months back Kerala launched its first solar-powered boat on its famous backwaters. The key highlights of the performance review shows ZERO CARBON emission, saving of hundreds of litres of diesel and spending of just 5 paisa on every passenger per kilometre.
The operational cost of the solar boat, Aditya, is Rs 163 per day against a diesel boat’s Rs 7,000 and the best part of the boat’s design is it “saves on fuel and leaves zero carbon footprints without compromising on speed.
Its average speed is 5.5 knots, which is the maximum a boat can attain in Alappuzha’s Kuttanadu backwaters. Aditya’s operational speed is 7 knots. A diesel boat can achieve a speed of 10 knots but then, no passenger boat can cross 7 knots in Kerala’s inland waterways.
To sum up this is what the water transport department’s performance review, conducted over the last three months, has revealed:
A diesel boat needs 100 litres of fuel per day and 35,000 litres annually while Aditya has zero fuel requirements. n CO2 emission is zero for Aditya while a diesel boat generates 90 tonnes during a similar operational period.
The cost of transporting a passenger per kilometre is 5 paise on Aditya, and 170 paise on a diesel boat.
And perhaps, most importantly for Kerala, Solar boat Aditya managed to complete its 22 regular daily trips even on rainy days.
Kerala Government is planning to implement this idea across various platforms, including the ubiquitous houseboats in Kerala’s backwaters that draw lakhs of tourists every year but also pollute its lakes and backwaters.