EV-users want quick infra upgrade

The state government might have taken baby steps towards achieving an electric future by passing the Karnataka Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Policy 2017. But electric vehicle users in the city continue to be plagued by initial hiccups.

Says Sagar H M, an auto enthusiast from Hebbal: “There continues to be a lack of charging infrastructure in the city and even if there is a point, only one person is able to charge at one time. If we are to move to an electric only future this is definitely going to be insufficient.”

Many users suffer from range anxiety and are scared to take their electric cars out on long drives.
For many it is not just about charging infrastructure but also about the depreciation of battery life.

Abharana Amith, a Malleswaram resident, drove the country’s first electric car, Reva, for three years. “I mainly purchased it because it was the only car in the market at that time with automatic transition. I faced an issue with the battery as it would lose it’s capacity,” he recalls.

Initially, he could drive only around 60 kms in one charge. “After two years it came down to just 20 in one charge. It was stressful after a while because I wasn’t able to gauge the capacity. So now I have shifted to a petrol car,” she says.

People prefer to take their vehicles on long road trips. However, electric vehicles cannot run for such long journeys. “I enjoyed driving my electric car for six years. But I couldn’t drive for more than 30-40 kms in one charge. I would definitely like to switch back to an EV if I can drive up to 150 kms on a single charge,” says Shanthi S, a Jalahalli resident.

The shift to electric vehicles is not restricted to private vehicles. Public transport should also take the lead in switching to electricity. Vinit Bansal, Founder, EV Motors India, a startup which actively works in the public bus domain, feels that a coordinated effort is required by the industry and the government to promote electric buses for mass transit.

“In the coming years, there will be a definite increase in electric buses. We need coordinated efforts for that. We cannot have vehicles without charging infrastructure or even vice versa. In the entire country Bengaluru has seen the most amount of traction in this front,” he says. The city still struggles with last mile connectivity. Bansal suggests that electric-mobility could be a possible solution.

Auto rickshaws are known to be one of the most polluting vehicles on the road. With the introduction of electric auto-rickshaws that could be taken care of. Many e-rickshaws have emerged on Delhi roads but they are yet to be introduced on Bengaluru roads.

However Bansal says the ones seen in the northern parts of the country are more damaging. “These are Chinese vehicles and run on lead-acid battery. They need to be replaced often and how can we dispose them? Lithium Ion batteries need to be developed for these rocks,” he says.

Bengaluru seems destined to wait long to fulfil former Chief Minister Sidaramaiah’s dream of becoming ‘The Electric Vehicle Capital of India.’

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EV-users want quick infra upgrade

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