Bescom pulls the plug on charging points for electric vehicles in Bengaluru
The power utility was planning to install two charging stations in Indiranagar early this year to support around 26,000 customers. But the project did not take off because the power provider could not figure out the right revenue model.
"Since many innovations are made in electric cars and bikes, Bescom wants more people to use it. However, we have dropped the smart grid project as it is too expensive," said H Nagesh, Bescom director (technical)."We found that the cost of vehicle charging units in Pondicherry is half of what it costs here. Vehicle charging units are likely to come back only after the utility finds out the right revenue model, perhaps a public/private partnership," he added.
Bescom floated the tenders for the project in March. The cost for each unit, the utility found, came up to Rs 25,000, adding to the total smart grid project cost of Rs 38 crore. The entire smart grid pilot was eventually dropped.
Bescom is presently exploring various models to make charging units a possibility. One plan being floated is handing over the responsibility to electric vehicle companies to set up the units with Bescom providing support.
India's electric car pioneer Chetan Maini, founder of Reva, called for efficient charging stations in public places. He suggested that the government come up with a PPP model for installing fast-charging points. The Centre also working on a policy in this regard. Some private firms in Bengaluru are also working on building faster charging points, he said.
"Instead of setting up the charging points by itself, the state government can engage private companies or opt for a PPP model which will result in a much less cost. If it is handed over to entrepreneurs, they can do a better job and attract more customers. There are a lot of innovations on reducing the charging time which will encourage more people to buy electric vehicles," said Tarun Mehta, CEO of city-based electric two-wheeler startup Ather Energy, which has received funding from Flipkart founders Sachin and Binny Bansal.
"More people want to buy electric vehicles but they have this anxiety that the charge may get over if they travel an extra mile and there are no charging points (to bank upon). This is a major reason that many do not come forward to buy electric vehicles. The setting up of charging points does not cost much to the state government," said a spokesperson of Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles.
(Sourced from tech.economictimes.indiatimes.com)