Ministry of Power Says No License Required for Operating EV Charging Stations

The Ministry of Power has issued a clarification stating that no license is required to operate electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in India.

This is a positive news for the sector and is expected to boost the participation of more private players in the creation of EV charging station infrastructure across the country.

Mercom recently reported that India’s EV sector is progressing steadily, thanks to government efforts to procure EVs for various departments and efforts by city transportation corporations to procure e-buses for public transportation. The current order is a result of the government’s foresight for the EV sector of India.

Initially, the industry and stakeholders were of the opinion that a license is needed to develop and operate an EV charging station in India. Under the Electricity Act of 2003, a distribution license from each respective state electricity regulatory commissions (SERCs) is required in order to distribute power.  According to the Act, the sale of electric power is an activity that can only be performed by licensed distribution companies (DISCOMs), and their licensees or franchisees.

The Ministry of Power has issued this clarification in consultation with the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

“It was found that, during the charging of battery of an EV, the EV charging station is not indulging in transmission or distribution of electricity. The electricity is being consumed at the EV charging station premises. This, demerits the requirement of a license to operate an EV charging station,” the report noted.

This decision to remove the requirement of a license for EV charging station will help in faster acceptance of EVs by the public in India. As of now, select offices and select cities have EV charging stations. This move will make it easy to set up EV charging infrastructure across the country as there is no requirement to be a trader of power to construct an EV charging station.

The government is currently targeting sales of 6-7 million new hybrid and electric vehicles by 2020 under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP). The government has also launched the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles (FAME) program with an initial outlay of ₹750 million (~$11.56 million) to provide a major push for the early adoption and the creation of a market for both hybrid and electric vehicles.

Now, the period of the FAME India Scheme has been further extended by six months, up to September 30, 2018 or till the Phase-II of FAME-India Scheme is launched. The extension took effect on April 1, 2018.

Image credit: By Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz) [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Saumy Prateek Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.