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Addressing the confusions regarding electric vehicle charging infrastructure in India, the ministry of power has finally issued its statement. As stated, companies setting up charging infrastructure for electric vehicles do not require any separate license for electricity transmission, distribution or trading.

The statement reads, “Recently, the issue of charging of batteries of electric vehicles has been deliberated at various forums as to whether or not charging stations would be required to obtain a license under the Act. The charging of battery essentially involves utilisation of electrical energy for its conversion to chemical energy, which gets stored in the battery.”

“Thus, the charging of the battery of an electric vehicle by a charging station involves a service requiring consumption of electricity by the charging station and earning revenue for this purpose from the owner of the vehicle,” the power ministry further stated.

However, this activity does not in any way “include the sale of electricity to any person as the electricity is consumed within the premises owned by the charging station, which may be connected to the distribution system or otherwise for receiving electricity. By the same logic, the activity does not involve further distribution or transmission of electricity.”

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The clarifications came citing the provisions of the Electricity Act 2003, which was brought into force with effect from June 10, 2003. As per section 12 of the act, a license is required for the activities of transmission, distribution or trading in electricity.

The matter has been examined in detail in consultation with various stakeholders including the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

The development comes after the Union Power Minister R. K. Singh, during the launch of the National E-Mobility Programme last month, said that new norms were in the making to facilitate the establishment of charging stations across the country. At the time, Singh stated that the government would view EV charging infrastructure solutions as service providers and not power sellers.

Additionally, reports surfaced that the CEA was also considering introducing special pricing for charging of electric vehicles, in a bid to promote the adoption of EVs in India.

As per earlier reports, once electric vehicles become more mainstream, an area of 3 Km will need nearly 300 charging stations with four to five charging slots each. The cost of setting up a rapid-charging outlet is said to be around $38.2 K (INR 25 Lakh), while that of a slow charging station will be around $1.6 K (INR 1 Lakh).

With India aiming electric vehicle mobility at the earliest, the electric vehicle charging infrastructure plays a pivotal role in the success of the model.

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