15 Solar Boats To Sail On Alappuzha Backwaters In Kerala

Just as solar-powered boats made their way into the Chilika Lake in Odisha on the

eastern Indian coast, some western states now want to jump onto the bandwagon

too. The latest development has come from Kerala, known for its numerous


The Kerala Water Transport Department has planned to introduce electric boats in

its backwaters. These solar boats would be fuelled by solar power. The move will

likely pave the way for the decarbonization of the boats and help protect the local

aquatic ecosystem.

The state government has planned to convert 50 percent of the total boats into

solar boats. At first, 15 solar boats would be deployed. The first solar boat trench is

expected to sail the backwaters of Kerala in Alappuzha in the first week of July 2023

under the plan.

These 15 electric boats powered by solar panels would come in different capacities

of passenger intake: 30, 75, and 100. The solar boats will be single fiber-built

catamarans. The cost is expected to be pegged at approximately Rs 2.5 crore. As

these solar boats would be built with fiber, these boats are expected to be will be

much lighter.

These boats, run on solar power, will be built on the yards of Pattanakad and

Panavally. The government has already tasted success with solar-powered electric

boats running along the Vaikom to Thavanakkadavu route. These boats will be the

first to enter the Muhamma to Maniyamparambu route.

A conventional boat consumes fuels worth Rs 10,000 per day for its voyages. In

comparison, a solar boat powered by solar energy will need expenses of a mere Rs

350, signifying huge profits. The Kerala government has already witnessed the

benefits of ‘Aditya’- the first solar-powered boat in India that helped Kerala save

58,450 litres of fuel in two years of its services which tendered a profit of Rs 41