While Bengaluru is home to e-mobility startups like Ather Energy, SUN Mobility, NDS Eco Motors, Yulu and Mahindra Electric, experts say the state government’s move to make Karnataka the e-vehicle capital of the country has a long way to go
BENGALURU: Karnataka was the first state in India to introduce an electric vehicle policy aimed at promoting manufacture and use of battery-run green vehicles. However, Karnataka Electric Vehicle & Energy Storage Policy 2017 has made no headway so far.
While Bengaluru is home to e-mobility startups like Ather Energy, SUN Mobility, NDS Eco Motors, Yulu and Mahindra Electric, experts say the state government’s move to make Karnataka the e-vehicle capital of the country has a long way to go.
Bescom (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company) said it recently set up 126 public charging units for e-vehicles in the city. Officials said 26 are DC (direct current) fast-charging points and 100 are AC (alternate current) points. Of these, 85 are ready to use, but there are few takers. This is mainly because of poor awareness, less number of battery-operated vehicles and the Covid-19 pandemic. “These charging stations are located in various government-owned properties. But there are only around 10,000 e-vehicles in the city,” said officials.
Bescom, along with NTPC and Rajasthan Electronics & Instruments Limited, plans to set up 140 charging stations in Bengaluru. “The idea is to have a charging station every 5km,” said an official.
Meanwhile, the transport department, along with the department of industries and commerce, had planned to offer a subsidy of up to Rs 1 lakh for new electric autos, but the proposal has been dropped. Separately, the Union ministry of heavy industries and public enterprises is offering financial subsidy to state transport undertakings under Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India (FAME) scheme. However, BMTC is yet to induct electric buses (80 under FAME-I and 300 under FAME-II). BMTC officials said 90 non-AC electric buses under Smart City funds will be inducted in a few months.
A senior government official said Covid-19 has delayed everything. “We recently waived stamp duty and registration charges for manufacture and sale of electric vehicles. Other plans will also be taken up in a phased manner soon.”
Government’s many proposals
* Establish EV manufacturing cluster a KIADB ( Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board) industrial area at Harohalli in Ramanagara
* Make setting up of charging infrastructure in high-rise buildings, Metro stations, malls, IT parks and apartments mandatory
* Replace 50 per cent of all government vehicles with EV by 2020
*Set up fast-chargers along Bengaluru-Chennai and Bengaluru-Mysuru highways