BENGALURU: Administrators are eyeing global funding for their project to introduce electric vehicles in Bengaluru by March next year, even as the state government is fast-tracking its plans by prodding Bescom totosetup 38 battery-recharge stations across the city.
With Bengaluru set to join the C-40 Cities Climate Leadership Group at an event in New Delhi on Tuesday, official sources said the city is likely to get global funds for electric vehicles, especially in the public transport sector.
Mayor R SampathRaj and commissioner N Manjunath Prasad are scheduled to sign a memorandum of understanding with London mayor Sadiq Khan and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo at the meet. The group is an endeavour by global cities to join hands to work on climate change and air- quality monitoring.
Officials said the government’s roadmap for e-vehicles aims at replacing petrol pumps and gas stations with battery recharge stations. “The government has formulated a policy to replacecombustion engine vehicles with electric vehicles. The implementation is being fast-tracked and a roadmap being prepared, according to which Bescom will set up 38 recharge stations in the city,” D V Prasad, additional chief secretary, department of commerce and industries and head of a high-level committee tasked with preparing the roadmap, told TOI.
He added that the roadmap envisages introducing e-vehicles in four stages: first in public transport, then e-autorickshaws followed by getting two-wheelers and cars to go electric.
He said the policy has gained traction as companies like Ola have come up with offers. Ola will purchase 3,000 e-autorickshaws and lease them to drivers, while a school bus operator plans to purchase evehicles for its operations.
Plans are afoot to make battery-recharge points mandatory at parking bays of malls and apartments. “In the beginning, we’ll appeal to mall and apartment owners to fit battery recharge points voluntarily. Subsequently, it’ll be made compulsory,” he added.
Karnataka is showing progress in preparing to shift to EVs but experts are voicing concerns over energy issues. Lack of clarity over battery technology and its procurement may turn out to be a roadblock, they say.
“Electric vehicles are undoubtedly the future but energy supply will be a problem. However, the burgeoning solar energy and renewable energy sectors should be of help. The government’s roadmap must be pragmatic enough to effectively harness these sources and address all other concerns,” said V Ravichandar, expert in urban planning and chairman, Feedback Consulting.
“We know the supply of electricity will be a big challenge. We’re looking at various models, including China, where EVs are a big success,” said a senior official of the industries department.