Usage of EV charging stations up to 15%
The roll-out of Bangalore Electricity Supply Company’s (Bescom) electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, which gathered momentum in January this year after many delays, has since seen increased patronage despite the pandemic. This trend signals rising demand for EVs, say officials of the power utility.
C.K. Sreenath, Deputy General Manager (smart grid and electric vehicles), Bescom, said there are 136 EV charging units within the city and the response has been very good.
“Last month, 30,000 units were consumed and 5,000 sessions were recorded (each vehicle charging is considered one session). Our revenue has crossed ₹2 lakh from charging stations. By the end of December, we hope to add 140 more charging stations. Each station will have six charging units,” he explained.
With the number of options available slowly increasing, it is heralding more interest in EVs, officials added, using the response the charging stations have been getting as an example. “We are seeing 15% utilisation now. It was less than 1% when we started. More people are embracing EV vehicles now. The maintenance is less, and more manufacturers are entering the market offering wide choices. So adoption is picking up,” Mr. Sreenath said.
In July, Ola had announced that its electric scooter received a record breaking 1,00,000 reservations within the first 24 hours, making it the most pre-booked scooter in the world. Bhavish Aggarwal, Chairman and Group CEO, Ola, was quoted as saying, “The unprecedented demand is a clear indicator of shifting consumer preferences to EVs. This is a huge step forward in our mission to transition the world to sustainable mobility.” Ola Electric had, prior to this, also unveiled the Ola Hypercharger Network with “more than 100,000 charging points across 400 cities.”
More recently, Ola Electric had crossed ₹1,100 crore in combined sales for the two days when the purchase window was open, which was touted to be a record for highest sales in a day (by value) for a single product in the Indian E-Commerce history.
The focus for the State government too is on implementing the budget announcement of 1,000 EV charging stations across the State under the PPP model. Bescom has been designated as the State Nodal Agency for setting up charging infrastructure. “Apart from Bengaluru, we will be focussing on Smart Cities and major cities where 650 stations will be set up,” said Mr. Sreenath.
Bescom recently sought expression of interest from interested EV charging station/battery swapping service providers for setting up charging/battery swapping stations on the Bescom premises on a land rental basis. “The Government of Karnataka issued the Karnataka Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Policy 2017 which envisages a compelling vision of making Benguluru the electric vehicle capital of India, besides attracting investment to the tune of ₹31,000 crore and creating 55,000 new jobs by 2022. Bescom has created a skeletal electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Bengaluru,” stated the document.