BENGALURU: In the wake of soaring fuel prices, the demand for more public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations along the highways in the state is growing louder.
Currently, Bescom (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company) has installed charging stations mainly on its office premises and the government-owned lands in Bengaluru. Bescom has so far installed 136 charging units at 70 locations in the city. It is planning to add them at 140 more locations by December.
Bescom’s plan is to have a charging station for every 5km in the city. EV users can download Electree Fi app to locate the nearest charging station, reserve a slot and pay for the charging session through cashless mode.
However, Bescom’s earlier plan to set up a public charging station every 25km on both sides of the highways in the state is yet to see the light of the day. Many electric car owners said Bescom should install charging stations on highways from Bengaluru to places like Hubballi, Belagavi,Shivamogga,Tumakuru, Mysuru and Mangaluru.
“For daily commutes, one can easily charge EVs at home or office but the main constraint of EV is the battery range. If there are adequate stations on highways, then people will buy EVs,” said Kabir, an EV owner.
Shashiraj Rao, another EV owner, said: “I’ve been using an an e-car since October 2020 in Mangaluru but still not able to drive up to Bengaluru or Hubballi in the absence of a charging facility midway.
Otherwise driving an EV is an amazing experience and great saving on fuel.” Satish Chandra, another motorist, said: “I’m waiting for charging stations to be installed on Bengaluru-Hubballi highway to switch from my petrol car to electric vehicle.”
MG Motor and Tata Power have recently tied up to establish fast EV charging stations across the country.
Experts say factors like entry of new electric SUVs in the market, soaring fuel prices, environmental awareness and vehicle scrappage policy are likely to encourage more people to shift to EV. There are nearly 30,000 e-vehicles in Karnataka, including 20,000 in Bengaluru.