To encourage electric mobility in Bengaluru, as many as 100 electric vehicle (EV) battery-swapping stations will be set up in the city as part of a joint initiative by different private firms and the Karnataka government.
Four such ‘swap points’ were launched on Tuesday by electric vehicle solutions and services start-up Sun Mobility, in partnership with the Indian Oil Corporation, at the latter’s fuel stations.
Gracing the launch event, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said, “Consumers are ready to adopt EVs and now there is a need to ensure that the supporting infrastructure is in place. The indigenous solution and commercial model of battery-swapping with quick interchange stations launched today is a welcome measure.”
The CM added, “With the government encouraging the use of EVs, these battery-swapping units, besides cutting down charging time, will also help reduce the weight of vehicles, increase mileage, and make it possible to drive for longer hours.”
A fleet of Piaggio Ape E-City three-wheelers run by MetroRide will begin using the new facility. “Our commitment is to increase adoption of EVs in the shared mobility sector, in Bengaluru, by making refuelling faster, cheaper, more accessible and convenient,” Chetan Maini, co-founder, and vice-chairman, Sun Mobility said.
He added that through the partnership with other stakeholders, the firm aims to develop a similar supporting ecosystem by opening 100 swap points by the end of next year which can power and support all forms of shared mobility in the city, including two-wheelers, three-wheelers and last-mile delivery trucks.
A day before the launch, the state government announced its approval of investments to the tune of Rs 22,419 crores for three different proposals involving EV and lithium-ion battery manufacturing. The proposals were cleared by the State High-Level Clearance Committee led by the Chief Minister, claiming the same has the potential to create nearly 5,000 new jobs.
Karnataka was the first Indian state to introduce an electric vehicle policy three years back. Named Karnataka Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Policy 2017, it was part of the government’s plan to reduce pollution, encourage shared mobility and boost last-mile connectivity using eco-friendly vehicles.
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