E-bus passengers stranded in Telangana due to power outage at EV charging station

E-bus passengers stranded in Telangana due to power outage at EV charging station


Passengers of an electric bus traveling from Hyderabad to Warangal had a harrowing experience on Monday when the bus ran out of charge midway and had to wait for over two hours at an EV charging station that had no power supply.

The bus, operated by TSRTC, had left Hyderabad at 9.30 a.m. and was supposed to reach Warangal by 12.30 p.m. However, around 11 a.m., the bus driver noticed that the battery level was low and decided to stop at an EV charging station near Jangaon, about 80 km from Hyderabad.

To his dismay, he found that the charging station had no power supply due to a technical glitch. He contacted the TSRTC officials and requested them to arrange for an alternative power source or another bus to ferry the passengers.

Meanwhile, the passengers, who were mostly students and office-goers, started losing their patience and complained about the lack of facilities and communication at the charging station. Some of them even got down from the bus and walked to nearby shops and restaurants to buy water and snacks.

The situation was finally resolved around 1.30 p.m. when the power supply was restored and the bus was charged enough to resume its journey. The bus reached Warangal at 3 p.m., two and a half hours behind schedule.

The TSRTC officials apologized to the passengers for the inconvenience caused and assured them that such incidents would not recur in the future. They said that they were working on improving the EV charging infrastructure and backup systems in the State. They also said that they would refund the fare of the passengers as a goodwill gesture.


Lack of reliable power supply in India in 2023 and its impact on EV charging


The power outage has a direct impact on EV charging infrastructure, which is critical for EV acceptance and growth in India. According to a LocalCircles survey, two out of every three households in the country have experienced power disruptions. Every day, one in every three households experiences outages lasting more than two hours. As a result, many EV owners may be unable to charge their vehicles at home or public charging stations, limiting their mobility and convenience.

Furthermore, the power crisis has an impact on the quality and stability of the power supply, which could harm EV batteries and other components. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), India’s power sector faces several challenges, including a lack of reliable electricity supply for many consumers, financially ailing electricity distribution companies, and air quality that has made Indian cities among the most polluted in the world. According to the IEA, India should invest more in renewable energy sources like solar and wind, which can offer clean and stable power for EV charging.

The Indian government has taken various initiatives to address the country’s power crisis and encourage e-mobility. It has, for example, launched the Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS), which aims to improve DISCOMs’ operational efficiency and financial viability; it has notified the Late Payment Surcharge Rules 2022, which penalize power generators for DISCOMs’ late payments; it has implemented the Fuel and Power Purchase Cost Adjustment (FPPCA), which allows DISCOMs to pass on increases in fuel and power purchase costs to consumers; and it has encouraged the infusion of funds.

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