Range anxiety is one of the major concerns that riddle a potential electric vehicle buyer and even more so, when we take remote places into consideration. Ladakh, the land of high passes, is among the most sought-after destinations for a motorhead but what if you decide to take your EV to fulfil your dreams of getting Leh’d and you get stuck right in the middle of nowhere without any charging station in sight? That is exactly what Bangalore-based startup Lithium Urban Technologies and Fourth Partner energy had in mind. They formed PowerBank and the company has now installed the world’s highest EV chargers.
18, to be precise which are neatly placed on the Manali-Leh route with five of them in the highest drivable passes in the world. The charging stations have been installed along 1,800-kms in 10 days, of which 15 of them were set-up at locations with a height of 10,000 feet – 14,000 feet above mean sea level. The chargers installed were a mix of Type-I and Type- II AC chargers catering to electric two, three and four-wheelers. The installation team drove around in a fleet of MG ZS EVs. With the rise of travellers and tourists along this scenic Himalayan route, pollution caused by fuel combustion has increased significantly, leading to severe environmental degradation.
“Through this initiative, PowerBank’s primary goal is to ensure that we convert at least 50% of the vehicular traffic to EVs and significantly reduce tailpipe emissions in the Ladakh regions in the next 36-48 months. We also seek to bring about a paradigm shift in how people perceive EVs – by addressing apprehensions around the availability of energy for long hauls and overnight road trips,” said Sanjay Krishnan, founder of Lithium Urban Technologies.
His partner Vivek Subramaniam who is the co-founder and executive director of fourth partner energy added, “India is making significant strides on the EV manufacturing front, but there is a lot of ground to cover on the infrastructure front. Through PowerBank, we are looking to cover the length and breadth of the country with accessible, affordable EV charging points that are easy to use.
Our chargers are integrated with an app that enhances the customer’s EV experience. Eventually, the goal is to power these chargers using renewable energy from the grid. For the PowerBank team, the successful installation of these chargers reflects our execution expertise – if we can electrify India’s toughest terrain, the rest of the country is just work-in-progress.”