Some of the world’s highest drivable roads just got 18 EV charging stations

The Ladakh region in northern India is part of the larger disputed Kashmir region. It’s also a tourist destination, with its stunning scenery, Buddhist sites, and ecotourism. And now, electric vehicle drivers can tour on its dramatic, high-altitude roads surrounded by mountains, because a network of EV charging stations has been installed along the Manali-Leh route, which includes five of some of the highest drivable passes in the world.

EV charging solutions brand PowerBank installed the charging points. PowerBank is owned by Shuchi Anant Virya, a joint venture between Bangalore-based Lithium Urban Technologies, India’s largest EV-based mobility solutions provider, and Hyderabad-based solar company Fourth Partner Energy.

Eighteen type 1 and type 2 EV chargers were installed along 1,118 miles (1,800 km) in 10 days. Fifteen of the EV charging stations were installed at locations at an altitude above 10,000 feet.

The PowerBank team in Leh

The installation team drove electric cars to install the charging points and then used them to charge up their cars along the way (above).

As the number of travelers and tourists has increased along the scenic Himalayan routes, pollution caused by fossil fuels has increased significantly, causing environmental damage.

Sanjay Krishnan, founder of Lithium Urban Technologies, said [via Saur Energy]:

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.

Vivek Subramanian, cofounder and executive director of Fourth Partner Energy, said:

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.

The charging stations have been installed at the following locations:

  • Urvashi’s retreat in Manali
  • Ride Inn Cafe and resort in Manali
  • The Ambika HP fuel outlet in Manali
  • The Unicorn Hotel in Khangsar
  • The Royal Enfield Showroom in Khangsar
  • Hotel Ibex and Padma Lodge in Jispa
  • Hermis Monastery
  • The Lato Guest house in Lato
  • The HP fuel outlets of Buddha Filling center and LAHDC in Leh
  • The Abduz and the Grand Dragon hotel in Leh
  • Hotel Kargil at Kargil
  • Nubra Organic Retreat at Nubra
  • Cafe-wala Chai at Nubra

Read more: Camouflaged Tesla Model 3s spotted testing in India

Photo: “Nubra Valley” by Fulvio Spada is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.