In the push for 30% electric vehicle and green mobility by 2030, the government of India has approved amendments in the electric vehicle charging guidelines and specifications. Approved by Union Minister of State for Power and New and Renewable Energy (IC) and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship RK Singh, the new guidelines shall supersede the earlier guidelines and standards issued by the Ministry of Power on December 12, 2018.
Minister RK Singh said that revised guidelines are more consumer-friendly as they incorporate a number of suggestions received from various stakeholders. “We have tried to address the concerns of EV owners in new guidelines,” he said. He hopes that the revised guidelines will encourage faster adoption of EVs in India.
Under the new guidelines, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), a statutory body under Ministry of Power has been nominated as the Central Nodal Agency. Also, a provision for State Nodal Agency for the respective states has been provided for in the guidelines.
These nodal agencies will act as the key facilitator in installation of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles throughout the country. In order to address the range of issues of the electric vehicle owners, a phase-wise installation of an appropriate network of charging infrastructure throughout the country has been envisaged in the guidelines.
Here’s a brief of the guidelines issued for charging infrastructure:
- at least one charging station should be available in a grid of 3 Km X 3 Km in the cities
- One charging station at every 25 Km on both sides of highways/roads
- In the first phase (i.e. 1-3 years) for all mega cities with a population of over 4 Mn, all existing expressways connected to these mega cities and important highways connected may be taken up for coverage
- In the second phase (3-5 years) big cities like state capitals, UT headquarters may be covered for distributed and demonstrative effect
- Fast charging station for long range and/or heavy duty EVs like buses/trucks etc., shall be installed at every 100 Kms, shall be installed one on each side of the highways/road located preferably within/alongside the Public Charging Station (PCS)
- It has been clarified in the guidelines that private charging at residences/offices shall be permitted and DISCOMs may facilitate the same
- Setting up of PCS shall be a de-licensed activity and any individual/entity is free to set up public charging stations
- Domestic charging shall be akin to domestic consumption of electricity and shall be charged as such
- In the case of PCS, it has been provided that tariff for the supply of electricity to PCS shall be determined by the appropriate commission in accordance with the tariff policy issued under section 3 of Electricity Act 2003
It has been clarified that charging of EVs is a service as far as the service chargers at PCS are concerned. Even then, to ensure that the incentives (financial or otherwise) provided to public charging station owners to install charging stations are transferred to the EV owners. It has been provided that the appropriate agency/commission shall fix the ceiling of service charges in such cases.
Due to the lack of a robust EV charging infrastructure and the low domestic EV parts manufacturing capacity, companies in this space had to invest heavily in setting up their own charging infrastructure and spending huge amounts on importing key EV components.
Tata Power is also planning to set up and expansive network of electric vehicle charging stations across India. At present, the company is said to have 85 charging stations spread in 15 Indian cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Indore, Vijayawada, and Hosur.