Millennium Post

Proposal to set up 241 electric vehicle-charging stations in Bengal

Kolkata: West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (WBSEDCL) has forwarded a proposal to the Power ministry for setting up 241 electric vehicle-charging stations in Bengal, which will entail an investment of cost of Rs 125 crore.

According to the proposal, almost 50 percent of these charging stations, 116 to be precise, will come up in the state and national highways at a distance of around 25 km each.

"A reasonable investment is required for setting up charging stations. Space identification is required and putting one charging station with five to six chargers including fast chargers involve an investment in the range of Rs 30 to 50 lakh. We are doing a study with The Energy Resources Institute for determining the exact location for EV charging infrastructure," said A.N. Biswas, commissioner of state Power department at a seminar on "Future Mobility " organized by The Institution of Engineering and Technology.

A charging station not only requires chargers but also putting up of infrastructure like arrangement of space, cabling work, civil work and safety measures. The Centre is ready to provide 100 percent subsidy for the chargers but the second aspect that is infrastructure that is borne by the state is almost half the total cost of the charging station. It is not easy for the distribution companies to infuse funds. "We have to take into account the fact that setting up of charging stations initially will be loss making and will pick up only when more and more electric vehicles will come into play," a senior official in the state Power department said.

A senior TERI official suggested that the Electricity Regulatory Commission has to come up with differential tariff in peak and off peak hours to manage the impact on the grid as more and more electric vehicles will come into fray in the days to come. In the next one year, some noted car manufactures in the country are all set to roll out electric vehicles at an affordable cost and it is expected that people will opt for more such vehicles.

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