Karnataka was the first state in India to introduce electric vehicle (EV) legislation in 2017, and it now has the highest number of public charging stations, according to statistics from the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), which is part of the Union Ministry of Power. Maharashtra (3,079), Delhi (1,886), Tamil Nadu (643), Kerala (958), Uttar Pradesh (583), and Rajasthan (500) are the next states in order of importance. These public charging stations are a combination of private company and public sector installations.

Uttar Pradesh leads the country with 7.45 lakh electric vehicles (EVs), followed by Maharashtra (4.15 lakh) and Karnataka (3.31 lakh). With 4,281 public charging stations, the Bengaluru Urban district in Karnataka has the most of any district—85 percent of the state’s total charging infrastructure.

The use of EVs has increased, according to Bengaluru Electricity Supply Company Limited (Bescom), the key body for EV charging infrastructure in Karnataka. The state saw a growth in the number of registered electric vehicles (EVs) from 9,703 in 2020 to 33,306 in 2021, 95,892 in 2022, and 1.52 lakh in 2023.

According to Bescom officials, they installed charging stations as part of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) program of the Union government. They did this by utilizing funds from the state transport department’s green cess fund, Bescom’s capital expenditure, the public-private partnership model, and other sources.

The Karnataka government has unveiled EV Policy 2023–28, which aims to bring in Rs 50,000 crore in investment and create 1 lakh employment.

A high-ranking Bescom official told Moneycontrol, “We are planning to set up an additional 2,560 charging locations including 140 under Bescom’s planned capital expenditure, 20 funded through green cess funds, and 2,380 under the PPP model.” Twenty rapid charging stations would be installed at toll booths along NH-48 (Bengaluru-Pune) in Karnataka, he continued.

Bescom intends to establish 1,190 stations in regions such as Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural, Mysuru, Shivamogga, Belagavi, Dakshina Kannada, Hassan, Chikkamagaluru, and Haveri districts under the first phase of the PPP model. “The work on 585 stations will shortly commence after the tenders were awarded. Soon, tenders will be released for the remaining 605 locations,” he stated.

“The largest EV charging hub constructed by Bescom at Kempegowda International Airport is almost finished. In a few months, the rooftop solar charging station will be completed and operational, enabling 24 EVs to be rapidly charged simultaneously,” he continued.

The current cost of AC charging from Bescom is Rs 6.57 per kWh, while the cost of DC charging is Rs 7.38 per kWh. Nevertheless, EV owners are paying private operators between Rs 20 and Rs 25 per unit.

Most charging stations are installed by the private sector.

There are 80 charge point operators and 16,271 functioning public charging stations in the nation.

Public sector enterprises have erected 4,994 charging stations, according to BEE figures. With 1,984 stations, Indian Oil Corporation is the largest, followed by Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments (216), Bharat Petroleum Corporation (693), Kerala State Electricity Board (564), Convergence Energy Services (212), Bescom (187), and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (831).

Nonetheless, private sector organizations have installed 11,277 charging stations nationwide, surpassing their state-owned counterparts. The company with the most charging stations is Ujoy Technology (7,176), followed by Tata Power (1,356), Ather Energy (1,019), and Kazam EV Tech (595).

According to experts, there are several reasons why EV adoption is increasing, such as the large number of e-rickshaws in states like Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, the presence of e-mobility companies and startups in states like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the rise in the use of battery-powered vehicles by delivery workers, rising fuel prices, an increase in the number of charging stations, and the introduction of a more varied and affordable selection of battery-powered vehicle models.