The electric vehicle sector in the state is going to get a major boost as MSEDCLhas decided to set up 500 electric vehicle charging stations across the state.
One of the biggest problems for electric vehicle owners is the lack of charging stations. At present, there are only two charging stations in the city—airport and RBI Square—and both belong to taxi operator Ola Cabs. There are around 80 electric cars here.

A source in MSEDCL said that an electric car takes around eight hours to get fully charged if it is done at home. “We will provide advanced equipment that will charge the vehicle in 25 to 30 minutes,” he added.

The discom plans to start all the 500 stations phase-wise by 2020 under National Mobility Mission. “In the first phase, we will set up charging stations in big cities like Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nagpur and Nasik. Stations will also come up on Mumbai-Pune expressway, national highways and Mumbai-Nagpur super expressway. In the second phase, tier 2 cities like Aurangabad, Amravati, Jalgaon, etc will be covered,” said the source.

According to the source, MSEDCL will make use of existing substations and offices spread across the state for these stations. “Sufficient land is available with us for starting 500 stations. Some locations are in close vicinity of highways. The stations will be operated by franchisees on lines of petrol stations,” he further said.

MSEDCL will equip the charging station with multi-purpose facilities like washroom, restaurants, shops, convenience stores, etc in a phased manner.

The discom also plans to introduce a mobile application for charging stations. “By using the mobile app, you can known the current status of the station (available, in use, out or order, waiting, etc). The user can know the station specifications – plug type, power (AC or DC), opening times, charges, etc. Other than this, distance from the current location, alternate station if the nearest one is busy or not in service, average waiting time, all proximal stations en route, etc can be known,” said the source.

Electric car owner Vishnu Manohar said that the charging stations would only succeed if their location can be known to the car drivers through global positioning system (GPS). “I feel that the charging stations should be run by private parties because they will do a professional job,” he added.

Manohar demanded that Maharashtra government do away with heavy duty on electric vehicles. “Five years ago I had purchased an electric vehicle from Delhi for Rs3 lakh. The state government levied Rs2 lakh duty on it. I could have bought a petrol or diesel vehicle for Rs5 lakh,” he said.

Electric taxi owner Shahid Sayeed said that more charging stations in the city would encourage people to buy electric cars and also benefit the existing vehicle owners.

News Source : Times of India