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Bescom To Set Up Fast Charging Stations For EVs On Bengaluru-Pune Highway

  • In another push to bolster electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in Karnataka, Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (Bescom) reportedly plans to set up fast charging stations at various toll plazas on NH-48, that connects Bengaluru with Pune, in the state.

  • As per a report by Moneycontrol, Bescom officials have submitted a proposal to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for setting up charging stations at 10 toll plazas at locations including Tumakuru, Chitradurga, Hiriyur, Belagavi, and Davanagere.

  • The electricity supply authority plans to install two charging stations equipped with 120 KW CCS2 EV fast chargers at each of the toll plazas, Sreenath K, deputy general manager (electric vehicles) of Bescom, told the publication.

  • The state government aims to make it easier for EV owners to charge their vehicles during intercity and interstate travel while providing safer places to charge the vehicles.

  • Bescom would begin setting up the charging stations on receiving the approval from the NHAI.

  • Bescom has been trying to ease the charging process for EVs in Bengaluru and across Karnataka for a few years now. The first public EV charging station in the state was established in 2018. Last year, there were reports about Karnataka setting up 1,000 EV charging stations across the state in a private-public (PPP) model.

  • In March this year, Karnataka had 704 operational public EV charging stations, the second-highest in the country, after Delhi.

  • Earlier this year, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) launched six EV fast-charging corridors in the state at 33 fuel stations.

  • Meanwhile, Bescom has also developed a dedicated mobile app called EV MITRA for EV users to find and track the nearest EV charging stations.

  • However, the development has been faster in Bengaluru while highways continue to see shortage of EV chargers, making range anxiety a persisting problem.

  • Sreenath told the publication that given the Bengaluru-Mysuru section has an expressway, it might not require more charging stations. With most electric cars having a battery range of approximately 250 km-300 km when fully charged, more charging stations are required on highways.

  • Under Bescom, the tariff for per kWh of AC charging is INR 7.62, INR 8.31 for DC charging and INR 8.07 for Combined Charging System (CCS).

  • The central government has also been pushing to establish more public charging stations across the country. Under its FAME-II scheme, the government-sanctioned 2,877 EV charging stations for 68 cities across 25 states/UTs, in addition to 1,576 charging stations for nine expressways and 16 highways with a total outlay of INR 1,000 Cr.

  • In that, the Mumbai-Bengaluru highway was supposed to get 100 charging stations, while the Bengaluru-Mysore expressway got sanctioned for 14 stations and the Bengaluru-Chennai expressway for 30 stations. Overall, Karnataka was given sanction for 172 EV charging stations. In March last year, not a single station of the 172 charging stations was installed. The updated data on the implementation of these proposals is not available.

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