At over one lakh in 8 months, EV numbers zoom in Karnataka

For the first time, the number of electric vehicles (EVs) registered in Karnataka has crossed the one lakh mark within a year. According to data from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH), Rs. 1.02 lakh EVs were registered in the state between January 1, 2023, and September 7, 2023. While 95,929 EVs were registered in 2022. Experts attribute this to increased awareness among people and expansion of the market, which has led to an increase in options and models.

Over the past few years, customer confidence in the EV market has increased. Due to technological advancements, the performance and comfort provided by EVs has also improved. Cost parity is another important factor, said Pawan Mulukutla, director (integrated transport, electric mobility and hydrogen), World Resources Institute (WRI).

Experts said that although the number of EVs has increased significantly in the last few years, the number of charging stations has not increased in proportion. To match the increasing demand, we need to increase the number of charging stations. While public charging stations are important for buses, cars and larger vehicles, it is important to encourage private charging spaces in apartments, Mulukutla said.

In 2018, only three public EV stations were installed across the state, while 70 stations were installed in 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no new charging stations were installed in 2020. However, 53 new stations were established in 2021 440 more in 2022.

Currently, there are 584 public charging stations in Karnataka, of which 265 have been installed by various ESCOMs, 19 by other government agencies and 300 by private companies.

The energy department has ambitious plans to set up 1,270 more charging stations this year, a senior department official said.

There are plans to set up 1,190 stations on the public-private partnership (PPP) model. Besides, Bescom has proposed to set up 50 stations, the official said.

Considering that there is a need to provide charging stations for those traveling long distances, the department is also in talks with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to set up a charging station at each toll plaza.

As a pilot project, we will start setting up the stations at 10-12 toll plazas on the Bengaluru-Pune highway till Belagavi, the official said. Ten charging stations are also being proposed at RTO locations.

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