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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

No charging points, Bengaluru e-bike owner uses fifth-floor kitchen for recharge

"My apartment community in the so-called EV capital of India (Bangalore) wouldn't let me install an EV charging point....," lamented Vish Ganti and triggered a debate on the viability of electric vehicles in the country.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
Updated: September 9, 2021 7:37:06 am
The incident occurred amid BESCOM's plans to install 140 electric vehicle charging stations across Bengaluru in the next six months. (Representational image)

An electric scooter owner in Bengaluru had to take his e-scooter to the fifth floor of his apartment complex to recharge it in his kitchen due to a lack of charging points at the building.

Vish Ganti, vice president (product management and GM) with AutoGrid India, posted his woes on LinkedIn where he stated, “My apartment community in the so-called EV capital of India (Bangalore) wouldn’t let me install an EV charging point, after trying to educate them and fighting an uphill battle for 4 months. So I decided to load up my scooter in the elevator and bring it up to my unit on (the) 5th floor to charge it in the kitchen, as a sign of protest and to create awareness of this ground reality.”

Ganti advised others not to repeat what he did as there were risks from shock and fire. “Everyone needs to be educated about the importance of EV charging infrastructure. We recently rolled out the EV charging handbook for India…but the question still remains how do residential communities and common people understand the intricacies living with an EV (sic),” his post read.

The incident occurred amid plans announced by the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) to install 140 electric vehicle charging stations across Bengaluru in the next six months.

Commenting on the incident, the deputy general manager of Smart Grid and Electric Vehicles, BESCOM, CK Sreenath said they are working with resident welfare associations to provide technical assistance and installation of charging points.

“We are open to the RWAs approaching us. RWAs should encourage apartment owners to shift to electric vehicles (EV). Till then the EV owners should charge their vehicles by using individual power connections to set up charging points,” he added.

General secretary of Bangalore Apartments Federation (BAF) Vikram Rai called it an isolated incident. “We are clear that EV adoption should be encouraged, and to that extent, support infrastructure like community charging stations should be supported. We will continue to evangelise that but are clear that it cannot happen overnight or in a hurry when there are so many related issues,” he said.

He reiterated that in a residents association setting, investments on infrastructure like community charging stations is still tough to get the entire community’s approval when there are only a few takers for EVs.

BAF will present a proposal to the Karnataka government’s department of commerce and industries to evaluate incentives for buyers of electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Minister for Energy, Kannada and Culture V Sunil Kumar said recharge centres will be opened across the state as the number of electric vehicles will go up down the line.

“We have given the responsibility to various electricity supply companies (ESCOMs) to open recharge centres at the district centres and tourist centres,” Kumar said.

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