Government policy think tank NITI Aayog has directed the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to set up electric vehicle charging infrastructure at nearly 1K fuel stations across India.
Citing sources, an ET report said that this move may be difficult for the industry players as they will need to redesign the stations and create new business models to comply with the directive.
While India is moving towards achieving its emobility goals, some of the major setbacks to this initiative are lack of proper infrastructure, lack of adequate technology and shortage of people working in the electric vehicle space.
However, NITI Aayog has been maintaining an optimistic approach and has been suggesting ways to boost the electric vehicle sector in India.
In order to eliminate fears related to range anxiety, the central government has proposed setting up of 2,700 EV charging stations, with the availability of at least one EV charging station in a 3km x 3km grid, as a part of the FAME II scheme.
Apart from the central government, states are also looking to develop charging infrastructure to ensure higher adaptation of electric vehicles in India. Most recently, the Karnataka government has proposed setting up of EV charging stations at 10 metro stations across the city, as part of the state government’s comprehensive mobility scheme.
Govt Initiative To Develop EV Charging Infrastructure
In January, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs had released new guidelines directing residential and commercial buildings to allot about 20% of their parking space for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Last year, the Ministry of Power also directed that companies setting up charging infrastructure for electric vehicles do not require any separate license for electricity transmission, distribution or trading.
In November 2018, the government was also mulling over allowing individuals to set up their own public EV charging stations without the need for a license.
NITI Aayog Positive Towards EV Development In India
While the industry players continue to remain sceptic about the second phase of FAME policy, in a report titled India’s Electric Mobility Transformation: Progress to Date and Future Opportunities, NITI Aayog has said that the registration of EV vehicles could reach 80% in case of two-wheelers and 30% for private cars by 2030.
In a bid to boost the demand for electric vehicles, NITI Aayog has recommended the government to accelerate the depreciation benefit for cab operators in order to help them change nearly one-fifth of their fleet into electric vehicles.
Last year, it was also reported that Niti Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar had urged the state governments to comes up with their own alternative electric vehicles policy and also share their perspective and suggestions to develop the emobility sector in India.
However, industry bodies have pointed out loopholes in government plans for developing electric vehicles in India.
While Indian emobility dreams are being realised on electric two-wheelers, industry players have pointed it out that the second phase of FAME is expected to affect the two-wheeler segment the most due to reduced incentives.
On April 8, in a letter addressed to NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, the electric vehicle association Society Of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicle (SMEV) had said that the city-speed electric two-wheelers have become costlier by INR 10K- INR 12K. This is because the government reduced incentives to INR 10K per kWh of battery capacity from INR 22K per kWh, given under the first phase.
They also pointed out that the 50% localisation norm under FAME II is a major issue as Indian component suppliers are not yet ready to manufacture components for the current low volume of EV. This makes it impossible for almost all electric vehicle manufacturers to avail the scheme.
Similarly, analytical company Crisil in its impact note said that the electric two-wheeler industry may experience turbulence in the initial phase of the FAME-II. It also predicted that almost 95% of the electric two-wheeler models which are being produced now will not be eligible for incentives under FAME II.