Bengaluru

Only 6,200 electric vehicles among Bengaluru’s 72 lakh vehicles

A battery operated autorickshaw was displayed in Bengaluru on October 28, 2015.

A battery operated autorickshaw was displayed in Bengaluru on October 28, 2015.   | Photo Credit: V Sreenivasa Murthy

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This is a far cry from India’s ambitious plans to shift completely to electric vehicles by 2030

The city's vehicle population has crossed 72 lakh, but the number of people using electric vehicles is a far cry from India’s ambitious plans to shift completely to electric vehicles by 2030.

Data available with the Transport Department shows that there are only 6,246 electric vehicles in Bengaluru, a majority of them cars and bikes. The number in the State is 11,836, while the total number of vehicles is 1.87 crore.

The factors that are cited as a challenge to make electric vehicles more popular are limited options, higher costs and the availability — or the lack — of infrastructure required for electric vehicles, such as reliable power availability and charging units.

Urban expert Ashwin Mahesh said, "The question of people buying electric cars arises when there is availability. Unfortunately, we do not find enough electric cars in the market. We are not in a position to import cars as the tariff is huge. Due to various reasons, over the years, our country could not develop the required ecosystem to manufacture electric vehicles. The central government is now taking some positive steps to promote electric vehicles. In about three years, these steps will begin to show results."

Citizens using electric vehicles are happy with the choice they have made.

J.S. Naveen, a consultant who has been using an electric car for four years, said, "Though the buying cost was high, the operation cost is far cheaper than diesel or petrol cars. The operational cost is within 80 paise per kilometre. It is a fact that electric vehicles are the future. The governments can promote the use of electric vehicles by putting in place charging infrastructure between cities, exempting electric vehicles from paying toll, and rolling out incentives to manufacturers."

Tarun Mehta, CEO of Ather Energy, a city-based startup which is into manufacturing electric scooters, says, “Consumer demand creation will need direct subsidies for purchase along with focused campaigns to build awareness. Overcoming the range anxiety will also need regulations to mandate charging infrastructure in all residential and commercial establishments. Finally, manufacturers will need to be incentivised to build high performance vehicles, which Bengalureans would love to own.”

Transport Commissioner B. Dayananda said, "To encourage people to use electric vehicles, the State government has given exemption from motor vehicle tax, which is applicable for both transport and non-transport vehicles. In addition, through the Karnataka Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Policy 2017, various programmes are being implemented to encourage people to shift to electric vehicles."

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is planning to introduce electric mobility in the city. It has already floated tender to identify an operator for 150 electric buses for a period of 10 years. It is the first State-run corporation in the country to lease 150 electric buses. A few years ago, the Corporation had operated an imported electric bus on a pilot basis. However, the Corporation did not procure the electric bus, as the cost involved was prohibitive. Authorities are also contemplating introducing e-rickshaws.

BBMP likely to provide e-bikes

With the aim of reducing air pollution and improving last-mile connectivity, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is contemplating providing e-bikes in metro stations.

Mayor R. Sampath Raj, who recently went to China to participate in a trade show, told reporters on Tuesday that the civic body would provide the e-bikes. “There are many electric vehicles in China. By making e-bikes available in metro stations, we will not just solve last-mile connectivity issues, but will also be contributing towards reducing air pollution,” he said.

The proposal would be placed before the BBMP council later this month. Once approved by the council, the BBMP will initiate talks with other stakeholders, including the Transport Department and Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Ltd.

“While the BBMP will provide the e-bikes, provision will have to be made for bike stands and charging stations by the other stakeholders,” the Mayor said.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 6:38:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/only-6200-electric-vehicles-among-bengalurus-72-lakh-vehicles/article22451602.ece

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