Bescom joins central scheme to set up EV charging stations across city

Bescom joins central scheme to set up EV charging stations across city

Despite the lukewarm response to the Electric Vehicle charging centre recently installed at the Bescom head office, the energy department is working to get central funding to replicate it across the city.

A senior official told DH that Bescom has accepted the Union power ministry's skeleton infrastructure for the EV charging scheme in the second week of May.

"We received a letter from the ministry, seeking opinion (on the scheme) and responded positively. We told them that we are equipped to supply the required power to all the EV charging stations," the official said.

The proposal entails the Union government investing Rs 25 crore on 83 EV charging stations in Bengaluru, 20 on the Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway and 10 on the Bengaluru-Chennai highway.

Bescom would install the EV stations till Mandya along the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway, thereafter the CESC will take over, while the stations will be put up on the Bengaluru-Chennai highway till the Karnataka border.

The Union government picked the cities with a population above four million for the project, where there will be an EV station in three to five kilometres. On the highways, there will be one in 25 kilometres.

"People on electric vehicles find the Bescom charging station too far to warrant a drive. This project would help us get the stations to all places," the official said.

The power company is currently working to set up 11 EV stations in the city. Officials said the model poll code and run-ins with other departments had delayed the process. The Bescom management claims it would take Rs 25 lakh to set up each charging station.

"It'd take two months to finish the process of receiving expression of interests and tendering, but start-ups are already in touch," the official said.

While Bescom does not maintain a record of people stopping by to charge their vehicles at its station, it said no vehicle was seen after the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) fixed Rs 4.50 per unit as tariff. When KERC waived licence requirements to set up EV charging stations, the power company claims it received 10 inquiries from agencies about installing the stations.