BESCOM Must Encourage EV Charging at Home at Night to Manage Overloads, finds Study

A new report by India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF) analyses the challenges involved in the installation and maintenance of EV charging infrastructure in Bengaluru city and suggests that authorities should encourage charging of vehicles at home during the night, among several other recommendations. The full study can be accessed here.

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The government of Karnataka had issued the Karnataka Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Policy in 2017 (first state in the country), with the vision of making Karnataka a preferred destination for electric mobility ecosystem through special initiatives for EV manufacturing, support for charging infrastructure, support for research and development, skill development, incentives and concessions.

Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Ltd (BESCOM) is the State Nodal Agency for setting up EV charging infrastructure in Karnataka. BESCOM distributes electricity to over 12 million customers in Bengaluru City and adjacent districts of Kolar, Tumakur, Ramanagara, Chikkaballapur, Chitradurga and Davanagere covering an area of 41,092 sq km. BESCOM is owned by the GoK and is one of the advanced electricity distribution companies (DISCOMs) in India and has always been a front runner in implementing new technologies.

BESCOM has developed a plan for installing 678 charging stations across Karnataka, out of which, 162 have been proposed in Bengaluru City. As part of this, BESCOM has already installed 136 charging stations at 74 locations (32 DC fast-chargers at 15 locations and 104 AC chargers at 74 locations) in Bengaluru City.

In the process of this pilot implementation, BESCOM realized the need for assessing the capacity of the distribution grid to accommodate the EV load. In many locations, the grid may require an upgrade for accommodating the EV load.

This upgrade requires detailed modelling studies. BESCOM availed the professional services of India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF) to assist them in preparing the detailed plan for the deployment of EV charging infrastructure and associated grid upgrades wherever required. ISGF undertook this study, entitled “Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Planning and Rollout for Bengaluru City, Karnataka, Report 2021″ to prepare the plan for EV charging infrastructure for Bengaluru City. The primary outcomes of the study are as follows:

  • Detailed modelling studies are conducted on 12 of 11 kV feeders in Bengaluru City with different scenarios of EV load and solar rooftop photovoltaic (SRTPV) penetration in the years 2020, 2022 and 2025
  • Recommendations for network upgradations to accommodate EV loads in different scenarios
  • Identification of ideal locations in Bengaluru City for establishing EV Charging Stations (EVCS)
  • Evaluation of the business models and recommendations
  • Recommendations on the infrastructure requirements (Software/Hardware) for managing the EV charging stations

The study makes the following recommendation to enhance the e-mobility ecosystem in Bengaluru:

  • Providing thought leadership on charging use-cases, including needs, applications, proper valuation, testing, and validation
  • Participating in the charging communication standards development process
  • Collaborating with industry to adopt standards and best practices
  • Providing a testbed or pilot effort for new solutions
  • Developing solutions to integrate EV charging into demand response systems
  • Providing EV education and awareness to their consumers
  • Develop a holistic EV strategic plan that accurately recognises the dynamics of the EV market
  • Create a transportation electrification team that operates cross-functionally, preferably to exploit other internal departments’ abilities to enhance programme effectiveness and customer interaction
  • Incorporate best practices defined for EV charging infrastructure initiatives led by the utility. The areas of planning, customer engagement, appraisal, design and development and customer and regulatory follow-up are covered by these best practices.
  • Incorporate best practices identified for third-party EV charging infrastructure projects. These best practices address the areas of internal planning, customer engagement, and design and construction
  • Consider services and process enhancements that can use EVs to help low-income and unreserved consumers and encourage transit and health equity

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.