More EV charging stations to come up in the city

Bescom calls tenders for 11 stations on its premises

September 27, 2018 10:21 pm | Updated 10:21 pm IST

A charging station in the Bescom premises at K.R. Circle.

A charging station in the Bescom premises at K.R. Circle.

Unfazed by the tepid response to its first electric vehicle (EV) charging station, the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) has called for tenders to set up 11 more stations in the city. They are set to come up in the power utility’s jurisdictional offices in Jayanagar, Indiranagar, BTM Layout, HAL Airport Road, Peenya and Yelahanka, among other places.

Bescom set up the first charging station at its headquarters in K.R. Circle earlier this year. However, the response has been far from encouraging. The power utility is now hoping that more people will utilise the stations once they are set up in various parts of the city.

Bescom offices were chosen as locations to eliminate real estate related challenges, officials said.

C.K. Sreenath, DGM, Smart-grid and EV, Bescom, said that the ease with which EV owners could charge their vehicles — at home or at the workplace — had dissuaded them from coming all the way to the Bescom headquarters to charge their vehicles.

“Demand is picking up though. Apart from Bescom, some private companies have also set up charging stations for captive usage,” added Mr. Sreenath.

The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission has fixed ₹4.85 per unit as tariff for charging electric vehicles during the tariff revision for the ongoing financial year. As an impetus for more companies to start stations, the commission ruled that those who want to start electric vehicle charging stations need not get a licence from the commission.

Employee commute

Madhu Menon, CEO, Ryds, which is a zero emission, low carbon mobility programme from the company Baghirathi, said there has been increased interest from corporates for employee commute options.

“Though we have been providing services to corporates and education institutions since 15 years, we figured out that the future is about low carbon, zero emission mobility dominated by electric. Some of our earlier clients switched to electric vehicles. Since we launched in February this year, we have 101 electric cars catering to 10 companies in the city,” he said.

The company has around 50 charging stations in Bengaluru, which includes fast charging and slow charging stations, at tech parks and other locations apart from its hub in Banaswadi.

The cost factor

“At the macro level, EVs are more expensive because the vehicles cost more. In the long run, the operating cost is nearly half that of petrol and diesel vehicles. As these are long-term contracts, we are able to match the existing diesel/petrol vehicle costs so that our clients are convinced to convert,” added Mr. Menon.

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