Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) is leading the effort to develop Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure for Karnataka’s capital city with an announcement that plans to launch 11 fast-charging stations for the city’s EVs.
This comes as welcome news for Bangalore, one of the largest cities in India. Amid deteriorating air quality, the presence of EV charging infrastructure could help encourage citizens to switch out their fossil-fueled vehicles for non-polluting and cleaner EVs.
A BESCOM official confirmed to Mercom that the distribution company will be developing 11 EV charging stations in Bangalore. As announced previously by Karnataka Power Minister D.K. Shivakumar, the first EV charging station is expected to be launched by February 15, 2018.
The BESCOM official added that the 11 charging stations are only the first in a broader program. As the use of EVs increases, BESCOM plans to add more charging stations in a phased manner to meet growing demand. BESCOM itself will add to this demand by procuring its own EVs and will start by procuring 100 EVs for now.
“Even we (BESCOM) want new avenues of revenue generation. The government has proposed the FAME program and NEMMP. Under these programs, by 2030, EVs will be the most common method to commute. So why not begin now?” the official told Mercom.
The Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME) program was announced by the Karnataka government in January 2018. Under it, the state plans to procure 640 EVs, including electric buses, three-wheelers, and four-wheelers.
Karnataka is already known for being the first Indian state to launch a specific EV policy. Through the procurement, the state government has further demonstrated its resolve to move toward clean mobility and reduce carbon emissions.
Recently, Mercom reported that the Maharashtra state government cabinet has also given its nod to the state’s Electric Vehicle Policy 2018. The policy aims at creating an enabling environment for the manufacture of 500,000 EVs in Maharashtra within the next five years.
Meanwhile, the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) was launched by the Government of India in 2013 to promote hybrids and EVs. After years of relative inaction on the plan, the EV sector now appears to be gaining momentum.
BESCOM’s EV charging station program will help the DISCOM to be ready when the expected growth in EV adoption takes hold in Karnataka’s capital city.
“We are the electricity supplier to Bangalore, it makes more sense for us to be directly involved in the EV charging business, rather than just supplying power to a vendor,” the official added.
When asked about the charge that will be levied on consumers who use the infrastructure, the BESCOM official said that no decision has been reached yet. “This matter is under consideration by KERC upon our (BESCOM) behest. Once the KERC provides us with guidance, we will make the tariff announcements,” he said.
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