Richard Pieris group finance arm, Richard Pieris Arpico Finance Limited (Arpico Finance) yesterday announced the setting up of charging centres at all Arpico Super Centre outlets, starting August 2014, to cater the growing number of electric cars on local roads.
The first such rapid charger will be installed at the Arpico Super Centre at Hydepark Corner next month. Based on the response, the company will set up rapid chargers in all its 39 super centre outlets within a span of six months.
It was only last week, a research paper by JB Securities highlighted the gaining momentum of electric cars in Sri Lanka due to the absence of fuel cost, cheaper operating and maintenance costs and overall reduction of carbon foot-print.
According to statistics, at least 100 electric cars have been registered in 2013. Further 50 cars have been registered year-to-date.
At present, the only electrical vehicle imported to Sri Lanka is the ‘Nissan Leaf’. Nissan Leaf’s market value ranges from Rs.3.5 million to Rs.4.3 million (depending on the options) and its battery is estimated to last eight years.
Arpico Finance alone has provided finance facilities for 10 such cars during last month.
Nissan Leaf is offered for the low to middle range market. Besides Nissan, there are electric vehicles from Toyota, Mitsubishi, BMW while American Tesla offers luxury models for prices starting from Rs.25 million.
According to Arpico Finance CEO K.M.M Jabir, his company is already in discussions with many other parties, including the filling stations and also with the authorities of the two highways, to set up similar charging stations.
Rapid charger can charge an electric car in 20 minutes and once fully charged, the car can run up to 150 kilometers. However, the same car takes 4 hours to be charged at home.
According to Manager Arpico Finance, Suranga Silva, the car will consume 15 units of electricity for which the customer will be charged Rs.25 a unit. The company is planning to import these rapid chargers and is currently negotiating with suppliers in Korea and China for bulk discounts.
“The investment per unit is Rs.4.0 million,” Jabir noted. Jabir further said they were also in talks with the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to purchase electricity required for the rapid chargers at a rate below the prevailing market rate.
The CEB’s current commercial rate is Rs.25 a unit, while the industrial rate is Rs.13.
However Jabir is looking at investing on rapid chargers which will function with solar power alone so that the company will have no running cost but only the initial investment.
The company is rapidly promoting leasing facilities for electric vehicles at below average interest rates.
“The country will earn carbon credit for each electric car you buy,” Jabir noted. (DK)