The state government is ready with a plan of setting up 241 charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) in Kolkata Metropolitan Area, the project cost for which has been pegged at Rs 125 crore. The authorities are making this move because of a rising fossil fuel prices and the budgetary benefits for having EVs.
“TERI is working with the government of West Bengal in identifying suitable locations for public charging stations,” said A N Biswas, power department commissioner and nodal officer for the state’s EV policy, at a symposium on ‘Future Mobility: E vehicles in India’ organised by the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
Significantly, WBSEDCL is the nodal agency for establishing public charging stations in the state along with fixing tariff and service charges for public vehicles. The tariff and service charges will soon be published. But the running cost of EVs will be between Rs 1 and Rs 2 per kilometre.
To encourage electric vehicles, the Centre has announced an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore for the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric-2 (FAME-2) scheme to boost the number of EVs in India. A source said Rs 1000 crore has been earmarked for EV charging stations in India. Bengal has made its plan ready to optimise the infrastructure for e-vehicle charging stations.
“Power minister Shobhandeb Chattopadhyay mandated that the city must have one charging station in every 3 square kilometres and one at every 25 kilometres on state and national highways. This infrastructure will enable EV motorists to roam around without having tension of running out of charge,” said Biswas.
“We have planned 115 power charging stations in 3kmX3km area at Kolkata core, while 60 such stations are being considered for state and national highways. Ten of them will be for heavy vehicles,” said Alekhya Datta, Fellow and Area Convenor of Electricity and Fuels Division, TERI. Because of the slow charging of EVs — 2-3 hours for fast chargers (DC) and 7-9 hours for slow chargers (AC) — many experts had opined that it’s better to bank on hybrid vehicles, which can run both on fossil fuel and battery, too.
Earlier, MD (distribution), CESC, Debasissh Banerjee said, “CESC is working with KMC and CREDAI to set up public charging stations below flyovers like Maa and AJC Bose, at Dhakuria and at residential complexes and parking lots. Chairman, WBERC, Sutirtha Bhattacharya, said: “Kolkata had led electric fleet long ago through trams and Metro.”
Source: Times of India