CESC looking at feasibility of setting up electric vehicle charging stations in Kolkata

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on October 04, 2018 Published on October 04, 2018

Power utility CESC Ltd is evaluating the possibility of setting up electric vehicle charging stations in the city. According to Debasish Banerjee, Managing Director, Distribution, CESC, the company is currently trying to understand the mechanism behind setting up and running such power stations.

“The West Bengal government is contemplating electric ferries, then there are electric buses. Moving forward cab service providers such as Ola and Uber may also go electric……We are looking to come up with a business model,” Banerjee said at a seminar on sustainable development jointly organised by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry and The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI) here on Thursday.

While there are very few electric vehicles plying on Indian roads at present, the numbers are likely to go up as it is more economical and would also help bring down pollution. “While the upfront cost of an electric vehicle is high, in the long run it is more economical,” he said.

Electric mobility

Interacting with newspersons post the seminar, Ajay Mathur, Director-General, TERI, said a lot has been happening on electric mobility in the last couple of years across the country. The tender for electric buses conducted across 10 towns under the FAME 1 scheme has led to better price discovery.

Under the FAME-1 scheme, the Department of Heavy Industries had selected 11 cities for providing subsidy for procurement of electric vehicles on a pilot basis. The cities could either go for outright purchase of such vehicles or opt for gross cost contracts, under which buses would be operated and maintained by the supplier at a fixed cost per km.

While Indore, Lucknow, Kolkata, Jammu and Guwahati released tenders under the outright purchase model, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, and Jaipur opted for the gross cost contract route.

“Electric mobility is certainly the way forward, but at what speed this happens is something that needs to be seen. The two major bottlenecks are the charging infrastructure and more manufacturers to ensure the supply of such vehicles. Majority of the contracts under FAME 1 were won by Tata Motors and a Chinese company – BYD,” he said.

Published on October 04, 2018
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