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Mahindra TREO electric trishaws launched in Sri Lanka

ECONOMYNEXT  – Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd of India has launched its TREO electric trishaw in Sri Lanka which will reduce pollution and noise in urban areas, officials said competing directly with with conventional vehicles with no tax benefits.

Minister for International Trade Malik Samarawickreme said electric vehicle were welcome, as they were was in line with the ‘Blue Green’ economic strategy of the government.

The EV is priced at just below a million rupees Aravinda de Silva, Deputy Chairman of Ideal Motors, Mahindra’s agents in Sri Lanka said.

There is no specific tax reduction for electric three wheelers compared to and conventional three wheelers. 

De Silva said the high cost of the three wheeler was mainly due to taxes in Sri Lanka but the vehicle’s lithium-ion battery was also expensive.

The vehicle is about 10 percent more expensive than conventional petrol driven three wheelers to purchase initially.

But the EV has sharply lower maintenance costs which allowed the owner to recover the cost faster, de Silva said.

The three wheeler can travel about 130 kilometres and it take two hours to charge, he said

There was no clear policy to boost electric charging points in the country at the moment, de Silva said, putting the onus on vehicle suppliers to build the infrastructure.

Sri Lanka’s power regulator however has announced a separate tariff for people who may want to operate charging stations.

Arvind Mathew, Chief of International Operations at Mahindra and Mahindra said he was looking to see the take-up in Sri Lanka as a model to promote the vehicle in several states in India.

Sri Lanka’s top selling three wheeler is Bajaj, whose sales have fallen amid a currency collapse and credit restrictions.

Sri Lanka’s central bank induced the Treasury to slap credit controls on three wheeler imports to cover up its policy errors in mis-managing a soft-peg with the US dollar, in monetary dominance of fiscal policy.

Petroleum driven three wheelers at the moment provide taxes to the government with each litre of fuel with petrol being the most highly taxed fuel.

The government is looking to repay debt, and petrol is charged excise duty, import duty, port and airport levy bringing revenue to the Treasury. (Colombo/Mar27/2019)