Bengaluru, February 11: We had earlier told you how electric vehicles (EV) are a big focus and center of attraction at the Auto Expo 2018. The article also mentioned the challenges faced by EVs in India and the biggest of them was the lack of charging station facility on Indian roads. Seems the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) has taken it upon itself to find a solution to this problem. Bescom claims to be the first government power unit in India to launch fast- charging stations for electric vehicles. They have declared of opening the charging stations from February itself. According to the reports, the first station is likely to be launched on February 15.
The Bescom office is located at K.R. Circle in Bengaluru and on Wednesday, 7 February Energy Minister D.K. Shivakumar announced that the first station will be inaugurated and opened in the Bescom office at K.R. Circle. Plans are to install and provide for 11 stations in all. Bescom Managing Director P. Rajendra Cholan said the power utility was looking at expanding the utility phase-wise, as very few electric vehicles are running on the roads at present. “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 said.
There has been no specification on the tariff or how much customers will have to pay at the charging stations. The company has asked to have two slabs in its petition to the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC). KERC hasn't decided on the issue yet. According to The Hindu, Bescom has proposed a ‘Time of Day tariff’ system under which motorists can be charged ₹4.5 per unit during day time and ₹4 at night. According to the Transport Department, of the over 72 lakh vehicles on Bengaluru’s roads, only 6,246 are EVs. The corresponding numbers for the State are 1.87 crore and 11,836. Bescom has decided that its staff will start replacing their fossil fuel-based vehicles with EVs and that some have already switched to 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,” said Mr. Cholan.