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Electric vehicle owners in Kozhikode are demanding more charging stations at accessible places

Even as the district witnesses a boom in electric vehicle sales, a proportionate increase in the number of easily accessible charging points is yet to materialize. Electric vehicle owners in urban and rural suburbs say there is a lack of convenient charging points during long distance journeys.

“We are heavily dependent on pole-mounted charging points from the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), which are still in limited numbers. The promise of setting up charging stations for electric vehicles is yet to materialize in our district,” said Punathil Rajeev, an e-auto rickshaw driver from Puthuppadi. He says the number of e-vehicle buyers will double if the number of charging points along rural roads is expanded.

The poor visibility of many pole charging points also remains a problem. There are currently very few mobile applications in use to support the proper navigation of approximately 26 mapped charging points in the district. About 15 of these are in the urban area. Many of the roadside charging points are rarely used by motorists due to poor visibility.

EK Saju, driver of an electric taxi vehicle, said signs indicating the presence of charging points are not yet a reality in the district. “Such signs are an immediate requirement as the number of long-distance electric vehicle drivers is increasing and they could face problems if such signs are missing in public places,” he added.

Leaders of motorists’ unions also point out that the number of public charging points will need to be expanded in line with the increasing number of e-taxi vehicles. According to them, the launch of more e-vehicles with attractive offers is pushing several conventional taxi companies to make the switch.

It is often said that unavailability of affordable land is one of the reasons for the delay in opening such stations that can be accessed by multiple vehicles at a time. KSEB officials said the process of engaging agencies for setting up charging stations is still progressing in the state, apart from deploying nodal officials for the eMobility app developed by the board for easy payments. They said that while setting up charging points in the first phase of work, equal attention has been paid to all Assembly constituencies and business areas.

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