RWA cites infrastructure constraints and risk of fire as reasons against installation of EV charging point in parking bay
A Bengaluru resident and owner of an Ather electric scooter has filed a petition against the Resident’s Welfare Association (RWA) in the civil court and received an interim injunction. The reason for this is that the RWA did not allow installation of an EV charging point in the society parking bay.
Left with no other recourse, Vish Ganti, Vice-President (Product Management and GM) of AutoGrid India, took to LinkedIn citing the difficulties he was facing in connection with charging his e-scooter. In protest, he hauled the e-scooter up to his 5th floor apartment kitchen in his apartment complex at Hulimavu on Bannerghatta Road to charge it.
Vish Ganti also shared a photo on LinkedIn showing his Ather electric scooter parked inside his apartment while charging it from a point in his kitchen. He cautions users that no one should imitate this act as there is a risk of both fire and shock. He has only shared this picture to generate awareness among the EV community.
Facing such constraints, Ganti has filed a petition against RWA at the Thubarahalli, Kundalahalli in the city civil court. He has also received an interim injunction for the same. However RWA members hold their ground citing various reasons for taking this stand.
Ramesh MS, a manager at the housing complex states that out of 300 members in the society, only 3 have electric scooters. 2 of these owners have swappable batteries which can be taken up to their homes for charging. It is hence not feasible for setting up charging infrastructure for only 1 person. However, he also states that the association is on the process of providing charging infrastructure for its residents once a proper survey is done.
Karnataka was the first state to launch an e-vehicle policy in 2017. It is also the hub of electric vehicle manufacture with companies such as Mahindra Electric, Ather Energy, Ola Electric, Bosch, Simple Energy and Sun Mobility having set up base in the state. Bengaluru has seen widespread adoption e-scooters and even as more people are being encouraged to switch from fossil fuel-based to electric vehicles as a new mode of travel, setting up of charging infrastructure in housing complexes remains a major issue.
BESCOM (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company) has started to create awareness on matter, however, the cost involved is something to be taken into account. A charger costs Rs 2,000 while cost involved to wire it to a BESCOM meter is around Rs 11,000. The issues being faced is who will bear cost of installation when only a few EV users reside in the housing complex. Distribution of billing amount among users is also a matter to be contended with along with responsibility of maintenance of the units, safety to other vehicles and whether access to such charging facilities should be extended to visitors or not.
With the use of electric vehicles still in its nascent stage, C K Sreenath, Deputy General Manager, Smart Grid and Electric Vehicles, Bescom has stated that RWAs could approach them for a common charging point and receive power at a fixed rate of Rs 5 per unit.
Vikram Rai, General Secretary, Bangalore Apartments’ Federation also states that EV users is still limited in housing complexes. While they are in the process of planning community charging infrastructure in 3-4 housing complexes on a pilot basis, there are other safety constraints that should be taken into account.