KOCHI: ‘Aditya’, India’s first solar-powered ferry, has won the prestigious Gustave Trouve Award for Excellence in Electric Boats and Boating. The Aditya, produced by NavAlt Boats, is a sun powered commuter ferry that is one of the great stories of the future of electric marine propulsion. The boat makes 22 trips with 75 people on board daily. This amounts to nearly 5,80,000 people a year. The charging cost to top up the batteries of the boat is $2.60 a day and prevents the burning of 58,000 litres of diesel and $61,000 – $65,000 a year. The ferry operates service between Thavanakadavu in Alappuzha and Vaikom in Kottayam district. It is equipped with ultra-modern facilities like eco-sounder, GPS, hydraulic steering, automatic pump to remove water from the haul and many other facilities. The ferry was designed by the Department of Ship Technology, Cochin University of Science and Technology.
The Gustave Trouve Award, which was instituted in memory of French electrical engineer and pioneer in electric cars and boats Gustave Trouve, was awarded to Aditya after it bested five other finalists from European countries in the public transportation category.
“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,” said Sandith Thandasherry, Founder CEO, NavAlt Solar and Electric Boats.