The Central Railway (CR) is all set to start an electric vehicle (EV) charging hub outside the Kalyan railway station. “The commissioning work at Kalyan West is almost completed. It will start functioning in the coming week,” said a railway official.
Currently, the CR has three EV charging stations; one outside CSMT’s platform no 18 on P D’mello Road, and one each at the Byculla and Parel stations. Coming next, five charging stations will be set up at Bhandup, Kurla, Panvel, LTT and Dadar East stations.
The upcoming EV facility at Kalyan will be built and operated by Sahakar Global Ltd for five years. The firm, which will pay Rs 2.07 lakh per year to the railway as license fee, has also won the contracts for managing facilities at Bhandup, Kurla and LTT.
According to the official, the charging time varies with cars. For instance, a Tata Nixon or Hyundai get fully-charged in 40-45 minutes, after which they can run for 300-400 km.
However, operators of charging stations said they are struggling to recover the cost as of now, while staying hopeful for a future EV surge. “Our rates are affordable; we charge just Rs 18 per kWh,” said an operator.
On an average, the existing charging stations at CSMT, Parel and Byculla stations see six to seven vehicles daily. “The contractors need to pay Rs 2.05 lakh per year for the Parel charging station and Rs 1.76 lakh per year for the one at Byculla. Both these facilities are being operated by M/s Magenta, while Tata Power runs the CSMT charging point at a license fee of Rs 1 lakh per year.”
Asserting that such facilities will give additional convenience to passengers, a CR official, who is monitoring the project, said, “E-mobility is a critical step towards environmental sustainability since it cuts carbon emissions and enhances quality of life while also requiring less maintenance.” This “significant step” will also provide additional income to the railway, the official added.