Bengaluru to Get Charging Stations for Electric Cars

There is some good news for those who want to switch from petrol or diesel cars to electric vehicles (EV) in Bengaluru.

The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) has decided to put a support system in place for all the EV users. The power utility firm will launch charging stations for electric vehicles across the city starting this month.

The first station is expected to be ready for use on 15 February. If successfully launched, Bescom maintains that it will be the first government power utility in India to have done so.

Bengalureans will get to see the first charging station at the Bescom headquarters in the KR Circle area of the city. Energy Minister DK Shivakumar has said that a total of 11 such stations are in the pipeline.

Also Read: Nagpur Gets India’s First Electric Vehicle Charging Station

Cost of Refill Yet to be Decided

Though the decision to set up charging stations has been taken, the amount of money that will be charged from users remain unclear.

As of now, the power utility firm has suggested the introduction of two slabs in its proposal to the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC). However, the exact prices have not yet been finalised, said a report in The Hindu.

A ‘Time of Day tariff’ system under which electric vehicle users will be asked to shell out Rs 4.5 per unit during the day and Rs 4 at night, is being considered for implementation.

Bescom Staff to Switch to Electric Vehicles

In order to promote the usage of electric vehicles, the Bescom staff will soon replace their petrol and diesel engine vehicles with EVs.

The initiative to launch charging stations by Bescom is expected to cater to 6,246 EVs running across Bengaluru. However, this is a small number when compared to the 72 lakh plus vehicles on the streets.

Considering these statistics given out by the Transport Department, the Bescom Managing Director P Rajendra Cholan has emphasised on a phase-wise expansion. “There are only two manufacturers as of now and the vehicles give a mileage of around 140 km. Most people use EVs only to move around the city. So there is not much demand,” he told The Hindu.

The Bescom staff is planning to take a step forward to promote the usage of electric vehicles and will soon replace their petrol and diesel engine vehicles with EVs.

"We have decided to replace around 100 vehicles used for official purposes, by staff in the rank of executive engineer and above, with EVs. We will start by replacing around 10 vehicles." - P Rajendra Cholan, Managing Director, Bescom 

Also Read: Budget 2018: Crumbs For Car Buyers, None For Electric Vehicles

Bengaluru Gearing Up for Launch of EVs

Karnataka was the first state to announce subsidy on electric vehicles and the according to the government, the demand for the electric vehicles in the city are on the rise.

With several automobile firms charting out plans to launch electric cars in the coming years, Bengaluru is gearing up to provide the necessary support system and infrastructure for EV users.

The city’s move to launch charging stations has come at a time when auto-makers are stepping up their efforts to churn out more electric car models.

The Indian car maker, Mahindra, announced in November last year that they will be launching two electric vehicles by 2019 based on the existing models. Similarly, even Maruti Suzuki, is planning to launch its first EV by 2020.

Other global car makers have also shown interest in bringing electric vehicles to the Indian market next year. South Korean auto major Hyundai has plans to launch electric versions of some of their sedan and SUV models. Japanese auto-maker Honda is also expected to come out with a low-cost electric version of their hatchback model, Brio.

(With inputs from The Hindu)

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