You can now drive your EVs to Leh Ladakh, here is why
EVs are picking up the pace in our country, but for now, their use is only limited to city commutes or on intercity highways that are well equipped with EV chargers. And thinking of taking an electric vehicle to the Himalayas — which is currently dominated by combustion-engined vehicles — would be just silly. Well, with a vision to replace half of this vehicular traffic to EVs and thereby cleaning the fragile environment that our mountains have, Fourth Partner and Lithium Urban Technologies have teamed up to set up 18 Type-I and Type-II AC charging stations along the Manali-Leh route.
With this, the Manali-Leh NH4, including five of the highest motorable passes in the world, will be the longest passage with EV connectivity and 15 out of these 18 chargers are installed at locations above 10,000 feet. These chargers were installed in only 10 days with the support of the Indian Army.
Where can you charge your EV?
The charging stations have been placed in strategic areas using the important halt areas for travellers along the route using Urvashi’s retreat, Ride Inn Cafe and resort, and the Ambika HP fuel outlet in Manali. The Unicorn Hotel and The Royal Enfield Showroom in Khangsar, and Hotel Ibex and Padma Lodge in Jispa. Along with Hemis Monastery and the Lato Guesthouse in Lato. The HP fuel outlets of Buddha Filling centre and LAHDC (Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council) in Leh have also received the infrastructure, with the Abduz and Grand Dragon hotel in Leh. And finally, the points chosen in Kargil are Hotel Kargil, Nubra Organic Retreat and Cafe-wala Chai. So that the travellers can charge their electric vehicles overnight at these facilities. And to prove their reliability, their team has even done a road trip on EVs on the said route with their cars charged solely on these chargers.
Commenting on the success of the endeavour, Sanjay Krishnan, Founder, Lithium Urban Technologies said; “Shuchi Anant Virya, through its flagship brand PowerBank is proud to be a catalyst in accelerating green mobility transformation across the country. We set out on this journey with the aim of protecting the most fragile ecosystems in India, starting with Himachal and Lakdak, and as part of the endeavour, we installed 18 AC electric vehicle chargers along the route of Manali – Leh – Kargil – Nubra – Turtuk – Pangong - Siachen Base Camp: home to not just India’s but some of the world’s highest motorable roads including the Khardung La, Chang La and Taglang La passes. This would not have been possible without the support of the Indian Army and the people of Ladakh, and we would like to express our deepest gratitude to them.”
People are still sceptical about EVs in India and still prefer the ever-so-trusted IC engine for their long hauls or adventure touring. Especially to Leh, which demands high endurance capabilities from both the man and the machine. Projects like these will enable EVs to prove themselves in rugged conditions. And certainly, people who own them will make them work.