Even as the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSBE) claims that intensified efforts are on to set up more electric vehicle charging points, electric vehicle (EV) owners in the rural areas of Kozhikode are unhappy over the snail’s pace of setting up such units.
Of the 17 units owned by the KSEB, less than five are available in the rural areas of Kozhikode, where the number of EV owners are on the rise.
“Though EV dealers have their own independent charging points to attract customers, most of them are in urban areas. If there are sufficient charging points in rural areas, the number of EV buyers will naturally go up in line with the current trend,” said Jaison Philip, a Koodaranhi native who recently purchased an electric scooter. He added that the lack of sufficient charging points prevented several EV owners from cutting short their rides and using EVs as a substitute.
There are also complaints about the poor visibility of many pole-mounted charging points. No proper sign boards have been erected near such charging points to help motorists. Moreover, such areas are not properly lit for motorists to access them during late-night hours.
“There are several panchayats in Kozhikode without even a single charging unit. Though pollution-free ride is the priority of local bodies, there has been no initiative on their part to set up charging units,” said a former member of Kodenchery panchayat. He added that at least block panchayats or the district panchayat should initiate model projects.
Proper mapping of electric charging points is also a non-starter in Kozhikode making it difficult for EV owners to locate charging points. At present, such services are available with custom-made mobile applications of premium EV brands. Though the KSEB spends ₹2.52 lakh for a single pole-mounted charging point from the State government’s e-mobility fund, there has been no move yet for the State-level mapping of charging points.
Meanwhile, KSEB sources said there was a proposal to open 1,000 charging points across the State giving priority to rural areas. At present, charging stations are considered on the basis of the total EV vehicle population which is quite high in urban areas compared to villages, they claimed.