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Few takers for electric vehicle charging stations in Bengaluru; Bescom to add 140

BENGALURU: While diesel and petrol prices were a record high in Bengaluru on Tuesday — Rs 86.21 and Rs 93.98, respectively — Bescom’s public electric vehicle charging stations in 70 locations across the city have only a few takers.

Only 800-1,000 charging sessions are recorded in these stations every month. However, Bescom officials are hoping the number of users will increase in the near future.

Experts say factors like entry of new electric SUVs in the market, soaring fuel prices, environmental awareness, availability of charging infrastructure and vehicle scrappage policy are likely to encourage more people to shift to e-vehicles. There are nearly 27,000 e-vehicles in Karnataka, including 17,000 in Bengaluru.

Bescom has so far installed 136 charging units at 70 locations. It has decided to add 140 charging stations. While NTPC Limited will install 103, the remaining 37 will be set up by Rajasthan Electronics & Instruments Limited. Each station will have at least four charging units (around 560). This will take the number of charging units in the city to around 700.

Bescom probably has the highest network of charging stations among electricity supply corporations in the country. It’s charging between Rs 7.28 and Rs 8.90 per unit from EV owners. “Our plan is to have a station for every 5km in the city. We are charging among the lowest rates in the country,” said CK Sreenath, Deputy General Manager, Smart Grid and Electric Vehicles, Bescom.

Karnataka was the first to introduce an e-vehicle policy in the country and is planning to bring global EV maker Tesla to Bengaluru. The city is home to several mobility firms like Mahindra Electric, Ather Energy, Ola Electric, Bosch and Sun Mobility.

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