Bengaluru, Jul 1 (PTI) Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday called upon automobile manufacturers to focus on making affordable electric vehicles to increase its usage.

The Chief Minister addressed an audience after inaugurating 152 EV charging stations and 'EV Campaign 2022', organised by Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM).

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"The cost of electric vehicles should be affordable for the common man. Then only its usage could see an increase. The manufacturers should focus more on this aspect," the Chief Minister said.

Bommai said the state government has come out with its new EV policy which has made BESCOM the nodal agency to establish charging stations at public places. Battery swapping is another important aspect of EVs and it would be given importance in the coming days, he added.

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Underlining the need for harnessing the renewable energy sources, he said fossil fuels are depleting and are harming the environment.

Stating that EVs play an important role in addressing the shortcomings of fossil fuel-based vehicles, Bommai said electric two-wheelers are hitting the roads in large numbers and soon electric cars, buses and even multi-axle trucks would come to the market.

"The state government has decided to induct more EV buses into Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC)," Bommai said.

Stressing upon more research in alternative energy sources to replace fossil fuels, the Chief Minister pointed out that Karnataka is the largest producer of solar power in the country.

Speaking about hydrogen as fuel, Bommai said his government has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with two companies for production of hydrogen fuel as it is seen as the best among the renewable energy sources.

He also informed the gathering that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought out a policy that raised ethanol blending in oil to 20 per cent as part of the overall plan to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. These initiatives would reduce our import of oil to a great extent in the coming years, Bommai said.

Similarly an MoU has been signed for production of ammonia from sea water, said Bommai adding that ammonia is being used extensively in production of diammonium phosphate (DAP) fertilisers.

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