Reethu, a story teller, a person often found between the pages of a book or contemplating the nuances of life.
India's first solar-powered ferry, Aditya, that commenced operations three years ago in Kerala's Vembanad backwaters, has won the prestigious Gustave Trouve Award for Excellence in Electric Boats and Boating.
"The Aditya, from Navalt Boats, is a sun-powered commuter ferry that is one of the great stories of the future of electric marine propulsion," reads the citation.
"Every day she makes 22 trips with 75 people on board – that's 580,000 people a year – and the charging cost to top up the batteries is $2.60 – two dollars and sixty cents a day – preventing the burning of 58,000 litres of diesel and saving $ 4,612,000 – $ 65,000 a year," it added.
The awards, instituted in memory of French electrical engineer and pioneer in electric cars and boats Gustave Trouvé, is the world's only such honour given to individuals and companies building and innovating in state-of-the-art electric boats and was handed out for the first time this year.
The result was announced in Paris on the 118th death anniversary of Trouvé, in honour of his groundbreaking work in mobility based on electric transport, moving away from conventional fossil fuels.
The ferry won the world's best electric boat award in the category of ferries designed for paid passenger service.
Sandith Thandassery, a naval architect from IIT Madras and founder-CEO of NavAlt, that built Aditya from scratch said that the recognition will open up a world of opportunities and possibilities for the company and also start more discussions about electric water-transport among policy-makers in New Delhi.
"It is a proud moment for the state. Aditya was the only ferry from Asia among the 12 vessels from across the globe shortlisted for the award. It entered the finals with five other contestants in the first week of July through public voting. We are thankful to the state government for giving us the opportunity to build Aditya. We are also in the process of making five more Adityas, which will be handed over to the government by the end of this year," Thandassery was quoted by The New Indian Express.
The ferry, which belongs to the Kerala State Water Transport Department (KSWTD), has been plying on the Vaikkom-Thavanakkadavu route in Alappuzha district since January 2017. The main attraction of Aditya is its low operational cost. Compared to over ₹8,000 required per day for a diesel ferry, Aditya needs just ₹180 per day as energy cost. The ferry is considered to be a a game-changer in India's solar-powered boat sector.
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