BENGALURU: With the entire world working towards reducing carbon footprint, the Karnataka transport and energy department are also trying to address the issue by giving a boost to electric vehicles. The lack of charging stations and cost have been a cause for concern.
An assessment by the transport department showed that people were not satisfied with charging facilities because each company has a different battery, which requires a separate pin at charging stations. Besides, the cost of a spare battery and vehicle also deters people.
“An EV two-wheeler costs around Rs 1.25 lakh, but a battery costs Rs 30,000-40,000. This is despite waiving registration fee and tax,” said a senior transport official. An energy department official added that despite all efforts, including the PPP model, setting up charging stations has been a hassle. There are just 136 charging stations in Karnataka.
Government and private buildings are yet to take the initiative to set up charging stations. “Companies say that stations will be set up when vehicles are purchased. But citizens point out that when there is no facility to charge, how can they purchase vehicles. Despite issuing orders, shopping complexes, malls, apartment complexes and government buildings have not set up charging units,” the official added.
Energy Minister V Sunil Kumar told The New Indian Express that he has called for a meeting of all EV manufacturers and stakeholders on September 18, to list out their problems.
“A target of setting up 500 EV charging stations in Karnataka has been set. A rally was held on Thursday morning on the occasion of World Electric Vehicle Day to make people aware, but more needs to be done. The problems will be resolved at the meeting, and targets set,” he said.
Transport officials said the biggest target is two-wheelers, as over 75 per cent of vehicles on the road are two-wheelers. Also, the charge lasts 200km for a four-wheeler, so setting up charging stations on highways is a must.