Bescom sets up 80 electric vehicle charging stations

They are likely to be inaugurated next week

February 05, 2020 07:20 pm | Updated 07:20 pm IST - Bengaluru

The electric vehicle charging station at the Bescom office in Bengaluru.

The electric vehicle charging station at the Bescom office in Bengaluru.

The city’s long wait for charging infrastructure for electric vehicles may end soon. The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) is planning to throw open 80 EV charging stations next week.

Senior Bescom officials said the proposal to inaugurate the stations has been sent to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, and the formal function may happen after the Cabinet expansion, which is on Thursday. “We have readied 80 EV charging stations which have 126 charging units,” a Bescom official told The Hindu .

“Once they are inaugurated, it will be the first-of-its-kind network of charging stations in the country run by a public utility,” Bescom officials said.

The power utility has received ₹4 crore from the State government through the Transport Department for setting up the charging infrastructure. The new charging stations are located on government office premises, such as those of the Bescom. BBMP, BDA, TTMC buildings and RTO offices.

“They are spread out evenly across the city. There are more in the pipeline, especially on important roads and national highways, and a proposal will be sent to the central government,” an official said.

The existing charging stations in the city are run by operators of electric vehicles for captive consumption, said Bescom officials.

Tariff and timings

It will cost around ₹8 per unit for charging at these stations. “These will be self-service stations. Consumers can use online wallets for payment. They will be required to have a minimum balance of ₹50. Only the 12 fast-charging stations will be manned,” officials said.

Bescom plans to keep the stations open for 16 hours, and extend the timings based on response from consumers.

Solar power

With questions being raised over how energy generated through thermal plants to power electric vehicles could be termed “clean energy”, Bescom had earlier announced that the EV charging stations would use solar power. However, they might not be economically viable.

“We may not be able to install solar plants at all locations because of cost and space constraints. But the charging station at our corporate office will be integrated with the solar rooftop plant,” said an official, adding that this will include storing solar energy as well.

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