The Ministry of Power (MoP) has issued the revised ‘Charging Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles (EVs) Guidelines’ to accelerate the e-mobility transition in the country.
The guidelines aim to enable faster adoption of EVs in India by ensuring safe, reliable, accessible, and affordable charging infrastructure and ecosystem. Another objective is to provide affordable tariffs for charging station operators/owners and EV owners and proactively support the creation of EV charging infrastructure. The new guidelines also aim to promote energy security and reduce the emission intensity in the country.
Public charging stations
As per the new guidelines, owners may charge their EVs at their residences and offices using their existing electricity connections. An entity will be free to set up public charging stations provided such stations meet the technical, safety, and performance standards and protocols laid down by the Ministry of Power, Bureau of Energy Efficiency, and Central Electricity Authority.
The public charging station may apply for electricity connection. The distribution licensee will provide the connection for EV public charging station according to the timelines stated in the Electricity (Right of Consumers) Rules, 2020.
As per the new guidelines, public charging stations will be provided with connectivity within seven days in metro cities, 15 days in other municipal areas, and 30 days in rural areas.
The public charging station will be required to have a tie-up with at least one network service provider to enable advanced remote/online booking for charging slots by EV owners. EV owners will have access to information regarding location, types, the number of chargers installed/available, and service charges of EV charging on the booking platform.
Also, the EV Supply Equipment (EVSE) should have been tested by an agency or lab accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL). Captive charging infrastructure for 100% internal use for a company’s own or leased fleet will not require installing all types of chargers and having network service provider tie-ups.
Open access power for public charging stations
According to the new guidelines, the public charging stations can procure power from any generating company through open access. Open access will be provided for this purpose within 15 days of receipt of the application. They will be required to pay the applicable surcharge – equal to the current level of cross-subsidy (not more than 20 percent, as per the Tariff Policy Guidelines), transmission charges, and wheeling charges.
Public charging infrastructure for long-range EVs and heavy-duty EVs
Fast charging stations for long-range EVs and heavy-duty EVs (like trucks and buses) will have at least two chargers of a minimum of 100 kW (200-750 V or higher), each of different specifications (CCS/CHAdeMO for above capacity or BIS standards for bus charging station) with single gun connector each. The charging stations will also have appropriate liquid-cooled cables for a high-speed charging facility for onboard fluid-cooled batteries (for long-range EVs).
Fast charging stations for 100% in-house and captive utilization would be free to decide the charging specifications between two charging points.
Location of public charging stations
At least one charging station will be available in a grid of 3*3km. Further, one charging station will be set up at every 25 km on both sides of the highways.
There will be at least one fast-charging station with charging infrastructure at every 100 km, one on each side of the highways for long-range and heavy-duty EVs.
Also, the central and state governments may prioritize existing retail outlets of oil marketing companies to install public charging stations to meet the listed requirements.
Tariff for the supply of electricity to EV public charging stations
The tariff for electricity supply to public charging stations will be a single part tariff and will not exceed the average cost of supply until March 31, 2025. The same tariff will be applicable for battery charging stations.
Also, the tariff applicable for domestic consumption will be applicable for domestic charging. There will be a separate metering arrangement for public charging stations so that the consumption may be recorded and billed as per the tariffs for EV charging stations.
The DISCOMs may leverage funding from the revamped distribution sector program for the general upstream network augmentation necessitated due to the upcoming charging infrastructure in various areas.
State governments to fix the ceiling of service charges
As electricity is being provided at concessional rates and the central or state governments are giving subsidies for setting up public charging stations, the state government will fix the ceiling of service charges to be levied by such charging stations.
Provision of land for public charging stations
As per the new guidelines, land available with the government or public entities will be provided to install public charging stations to a government or public entity on a revenue-sharing basis at the fixed rate of ₹1 (~$0.0135)/kWh.
Priority for the rollout of EV charging stations
The public charging stations will be rolled out in the following phased manner:
Phase I (1 to 3 years): In all megacities with a population of more than four million, all existing expressways connected to these megacities and important highways connected with each of these megacities will be taken up for coverage.
Phase-II (3-5 years): Big cities, state capitals, and headquarters of union territories will be covered for distributed and demonstrative effect. Highways connected with these megacities will be taken up for coverage.
Implementation mechanism for rollout
The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) will be the central nodal agency for EV public charging infrastructure rollout. All relevant agencies, including CEA, will support the central nodal agency.
Every state government will nominate its own nodal agency for setting up the charging infrastructure. The state DISCOM will be the nodal agency for such a purpose.
Earlier in 2020, the Ministry of Power had issued an amendment to its guidelines and standards for the charging infrastructure of electric vehicles (EVs). The Ministry of Power issued the guidelines in 2018, and it was revised in October 2019.
Rakesh Ranjan is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). More articles from Rakesh Ranjan.