To boost the use of electric vehicles (EVs) in Mumbai, Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) is planning to set up 55 charging stations at bus depots and stops. This comes at a time when the undertaking intends to procure 1900 air-conditioned e-buses by March, 2023. “These can be accessed by private EVs as well,” confirmed Lokesh Chandra, general manager, BEST.
Currently, not all BEST depots have charging stations for e-buses. The undertaking has 386 of them in its fleet. The charging stations will provide fast and slow charging. Vehicles can be charged in an hour or even four hours.
The biggest hurdle in the purchase of EVs is the availability and accessibility of charging stations. “Unless there are more charging stations, the sale of EVs and its demand would not shoot upwards,” said a transport expert.
Currently, BEST buses take up to 6 hours to get fully charged. The improvement of technology and the proposed battery swapping centers may cut down the charging time. According to Vahan website, since January, the total number of EVs registered in the four regional transport offices (RTOs) of Mumbai is 2,143. Of these, Tardeo RTO registered 789 EVs, followed by Andheri RTO at 557, Borivali RTO at 458, and Wadala RTO at 339 EVs.