Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has announced that it is setting up a network of solar-based electric vehicle charging stations on the Delhi-Chandigarh highway.
BHEL’s scope of work in the project includes the design, engineering, manufacturing, supply and installation of the EV charging stations along with a central monitoring system. Every EV charging station will be equipped with a rooftop solar power system to supply energy to fast and slow chargers.
The project will be developed under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles (FAME) program of Department of Heavy Industry (DHI), Government of India.
FAME India is a part of National Electricity Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) and the government launched the FAME I scheme to provide a push for early adoption and market creation for both hybrids and EVs. In October 2018, the government decided to extend the duration of the FAME program aimed at facilitating the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. The government extended the program for a duration of six months or until the second phase of the program is implemented, whichever is earlier. Mercom reported previously that the central government has already approved a subsidy corpus of ₹55 billion (~$0.78 billion) to be disbursed under the second phase of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles (FAME) program. The FAME II program will be in force for five years.
“The establishment of EV chargers at regular intervals over the entire 250 kms stretch between Delhi and Chandigarh would allay range-anxiety among the EV users and bolster their confidence for inter-city travel”, BHEL said in its press release.
This is a part of BHEL’s diversification initiative to expand its business into e-mobility sector, apart from its traditional role of manufacturing electrical equipment. Now, it has entered into manufacturing of EV chargers, electric buses and related critical components along with in-house development of EV motors, propulsion systems, and fast chargers under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Earlier, Mercom reported that EV sales so far have been inconsistent under the FAME program due to issues such as skyrocketing price of lithium batteries, lack of innovation, funding crunch, scarce testing facilities, and lack of charging stations.
Recently, the Ministry of Power (MoP) has announced guidelines and standards for the development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in India.
These guidelines are expected to bring clarity to consumers and businesses such as EV charging station providers and equipment manufacturers in creating their respective development strategies.