By 2023-24, Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Ltd (Bescom) intends to install public electric vehicle charging stations every 500 metres throughout the city.
"At the moment, there is a charging station every 4-5 kilometres. We are now planning to provide the facility with every 500m so that EV owners do not experience range anxiety," Bescom's deputy general manager, Sreenath K, stated.
In 2018, the first public EV charging station was established in Karnataka.
According to Sreenath, Bescom charges one of the lowest tariffs in the country for EV owners. "The fixed tariff (per kWh) for AC charging is Rs 7.51; for DC charging, it is Rs 7.65-8.32. The city's charging sessions have increased from 1,500 per month in 2020 to 40,000-54,000 now. This also suggests that more people are switching to battery-powered vehicles."
Bescom has installed 334 charging stations in 148 different locations throughout the city. Thirty are direct current (DC) points, while the rest are alternating current (AC).
1.3 lakh electric vehicles are registered in Karnataka, most based in Bengaluru.
Bescom is also reaching out to city autorickshaw unions to set up AC-charging stations near auto stands. "We will install AC charging units at auto dealerships." Some auto drivers can switch to battery-powered vehicles for free, but the proposal is still in its early stages, said Sreenath, according to The Economic Times reports.
Ather Energy, rydS (owned by Baghirathi), Mahindra Electric, Lithium Urban Technologies, and others are active in Bengaluru's EV charging sector.
BESCOM has been designated the state's nodal agency for establishing EV charging infrastructure. Its responsibilities include determining the upper limit of service charges for public charging stations, developing EV charging infrastructure, selecting implementing agencies for installing, operating, and maintaining stations, and identifying cities and highways for infrastructure installation.
For EV users to use the charging services, BESCOM has also provided a dedicated mobile app, "EV MITRA" (Android and iOS). The application's distinguishing features include User Profile Management, Charging Station View with information, Charging Process User Authorization (OTP/RFID), Booking History, Station Amenities, and Charger Reservation.
According to an official, BESCOM, in collaboration with the Niti Ayog Karnataka Government and the UK Government, has created a portal "https://evjagruthi.karnataka.gov.in" to raise awareness about electric mobility. This portal serves as a one-stop site for all information related to the adoption of EVs in the state.
Karnataka EV Policy
The Karnataka Government announced the Karnataka Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Policy in 2017 to make Karnataka a preferred investment destination for electric vehicle manufacturing and Bengaluru, the Electric Vehicle Capital of India.
In collaboration with industry, the Policy aims to achieve the overarching goal of improving Karnataka's air quality and promoting a conducive manufacturing ecosystem.
To accomplish this goal, the Policy encourages auto rickshaws, cab aggregators, corporate fleets, and school buses/vans to transition to 100% electric mobility by 2030.
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