Electric-vehicle charging station on Bescom premises finds few takers

BENGALURU: Over a month after its launch, the public electric vehicle charging station, set up in the city by the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom), has found very few takers.
On February 19, Bescom set up the first charging station at its corporate head office at KR Circle to encourage people to use battery-run vehicles. However, the response has been lukewarm, with only 15-odd private car owners having used the facility so far.

Currently, Bescom’s five electric vehicles at the corporate head office are using the facility. “There haven’t been many takers for the facility so far,” admitted a senior Bescom official.

Asked about the poor response, he added: “Owners usually charge their e-vehicles at home or office. That’s why they may not be coming to this station. Another reason could be that there aren’t many evehicles in areas around this station. We hope more e-vehicle owners will use the facility in the coming months.”

“The idea is to create awareness and to encourage more people to use e-vehicles. The number of these vehicles in the head office will be increased to 50 in another six months. The five e-vehicles that we have now are being used by senior officials and each vehicle covers about 100km a day,” said another official.

According to the transport department, there are 6,275 registered e-vehicles in the city, including 3,696 light motor vehicles, 2,160 twowheelers, 351 light passenger vehicles and 68 light goods vehicles. The city has over 73 lakh vehicles.

Another reason for the tepid response could be the location of the station — inside the Bescom office premises — and hence it could often go unnoticed. Also, those who want to use the facility at night have to submit an application in advance. Officials, however, said they have adequately publicized the facility.

“We don’t have much expertise in managing charging stations. We are the first government utility in India to set up such a station because of the increasing demand for electric vehicles,” the official added.

Times View

The sole e-vehicle charging station in Bengaluru may not have caught the fancy of vehicle owners yet, but this doesn’t mean the project will not take off. Bescom officials have themselves pointed out the possible reasons behind the tepid response. Addressing each of those in a structured manner could hold the key to driving desired change. A persistent effort at further publicizing the facility, setting up more charging stations, and ensuring easy access will benefit not just the 6,275-odd existing electric vehicles, but also inspire others to switch to this alternative mode of refuelling.

About Nino Plevnik

I am an electric cars lover. I love our planet and want to leave it in good condition to our children. One of the good ways to do this is to reduce harmful emissions into the atmosphere. As a technical person I worked on computers, hardware maintenance and programming. Otherwise I like advanced technologies, music, books, movies, life and nice weather.

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