BHEL starts rolling out solar EV chargers along Delhi-Chandigarh highway

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, which makes heavy electrical equipment, said has started rolling out a network of electric vehicle charges on the Delhi-Chandigarh Highway.

The first such charger was inaugurated today at Ethnic India Resort in Rai in Sonepat district of Haryana.

The chargers will be powered entirely by solar technology and will cover entire 250 kms stretch between Delhi and Chandigarh, the public sector company said. Each station will be equipped with a rooftop solar power plant.

It is aimed at allaying “range-anxiety among the electric vehicle users and bolstering their confidence for inter-city travel,” it said.

The company did not clarify how much it will charge commuters for using the facility.

Charging stations provide a back-up for vehicle owners who may run out of charge before reaching their destination.

In countries such as the US, such stations are usually set up next to food courts, so that customers can charge their cars while they have food.

BHEL said it is also executing another commercial order for installation of DC chargers across various locations in the country.

New technology has also emerged to charge a car by up to 50% in 20 minutes. Mahindra & Mahindra’s e-Verito electric sedan travels around 110-140 km per single charge.

BHEL is trying to pivot to renewable technology. The company typically focuses on large-scale electric projects, such as power plants, but has been shifting its attention due to changes in the market in recent years.

It said it is setting up facilities to manufacture EV chargers, electric buses and related critical components.

It is believed that the availability of cheap solar energy, at around Rs 2.50 per unit, has hurt the viability of new coal-fired power plants — which contributes most of BHEL’s revenues.

“As part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government of India, in-house development of EV motors, propulsion systems and fast chargers has also been undertaken by the company,” it added.

The company has also installed DC chargers at government of India’s Udyog Bhawan in New Delhi.

The Delhi-Chandigarh charger project is covered under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) & Electric Vehicles, or FAME, project of the Department of Heavy Industry, Government of India.

Under FAME, electric vehicle makers get various production-related subsidies.