With the goal to facilitate the widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EV) in the country, the Ministry of Power (MoP) has announced guidelines and standards for the development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in India.
Through these guidelines, the government aims to enable faster adoption of EVs, promote an affordable tariff rate, and support the development of EV charging business throughout the country.
To achieve these goals, the following measures have been announced:
- Private charging stations will be permitted at residences, and distribution companies (DISCOMs) are to facilitate the same.
- Setting up public charging stations (PCS) will be a de-licensed activity and any individual is free to set up public charging stations, provided that, such stations meet government’s technical as well and performance standards.
- Prioritizing provision of connectivity by the DISCOM licensee to supply power in the area in case an individual applies for permission to set up a public charging station.
- Any charging station may also obtain electricity from any generation company through open access protocols
The guidelines also provide a list of minimum infrastructure requirements for a charging station for both light as well as heavy vehicles that may require charging infrastructure for long distance travel. Currently, most vehicle manufacturers use the internationally approved CCS and CHAdeMO standards. Japan’s CHAdeMO currently has the most installations globally while CCS is supported by many large auto global automakers.
The government plans to deploy charging in a grid pattern of 3 km X 3 km. Further, one charging station will be set up at 25 km intervals on both sides of selected roads. According to the guidelines, the tariff for the supply of electricity to EV charging stations will be determined by the appropriate commission, provided that the tariff is not more than the 15% above the average cost of supply. The state nodal agency will be responsible to fix the ceiling of the service charges levied by the PCS.
As per the new guidelines, the government plans to roll out the development of EV charging infrastructure in two phases. In the first phase, EV charging stations are to be developed over the next 1 to 3 years in mega cities with populations of 4 million and above. In the second phase, cities such as state capitals and union territory headquarters will be covered for distributed and demonstrative effect. Further, important highways connected with each of these mega cities will be taken up for coverage in the next 3 to 5 years.
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. In October 2018, Mercom published a brief on electric vehicles to be the next big clean tech opportunity. Companies such as Tata Power, NTPC, Hero Future Energies, ABB, Bosch and Acme have already entered the EV charging domain.
This new move by the government is in line with the previous policies that have been framed for the EV sector. The Ministry of Power recently issued a clarification stating that no license is required to operate EV charging stations in India. This is expected to boost the participation of additional private players to create a nationwide EV charging station infrastructure.
To propel the growth of EVs in India, the government recently slashed the applicable rate of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries.
Many states have also geared up for the uptake of EVs as a means of mainstream mobility. Recently, in a report published by Mercom, various EV hotspots of the country were analysed.
To speed up India’s EV revolution, the government recently announced that it is planning to subsidize its EV charging infrastructure.