Electric Vehicles have gone past their pilot stage to now become a reality in everyday mobility. Being the 4th largest producer of automotives in the world, this push not only deeply impacts India’s automobile industry, but also generates potential for a lucrative national revenue stream to boost the economy.
The recently revised Guidelines & Standards for Charging Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles (EV) for EV charging infrastructure announced by the power ministry aims to enable safe, reliable, accessible and affordable charging infrastructure. As per the new norms, EV owners can charge their vehicles at their own residences or offices. The de-licensing of EV charging infra is another progressive step. The guidelines also include a model revenue sharing agreement to support the installation of Public Charging Stations. So what does this mean for the consumer?
Commenting on the impact of the policy in improving accessibility to charging stations, Mr. Madan Padaki, Chair – Rural Mobility, IET Future of Mobility and Transport Focus and CEO of 1Bridge says, “These revised norms will go a long way in the scaling up the availability of public charging infrastructure in rural areas and will truly unlock the potential of EVs in these areas. This will also create better incentives for entrepreneurs to jump into the fray and set-up these facilities to generate reasonable incomes”
Aside from improving accessibility, the new policy also helps bring down the total cost of EV ownership and thus incentivises the same. According to Dr Jaijit Bhattacharya, Chair – Policy Panel, IET Future of Mobility and Transport Focus and Professor at IIT Centre for Digital Economy Policy Research, “The de-licensing and liberalisation of setting up of EV charging infrastructure is a very welcome and timely step. EV owners can now freely charge their electric vehicles from home or office without cumbersome licensing process. It would lead to an explosion in the number of EV chargers available for charging electric vehicles and contribute to bringing down the total cost of ownership of EV’s“
The extension of Phase II of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicle (FAME) scheme till 2024 and an increase in subsidy incentives from subsidy incentives from Rs 10000 per kWh to Rs 15000 per kWh definitely serves to incentivise EV adoption. However, the need for robust power infrastructure to support EV charging has constantly been a challenge in upscaling demand and use for EVs in India.
Speaking on the clarity created by the announcement, Mr. Devendranath AM, Vice Chair – Urban Mobility Panel, IET Future of Mobility and Transport Focus and COO – Feedback Consulting Ltd says, “The recent Power Ministry’s notification is a right step towards faster rollout of EV Charging Network in the country and is in alignment with the overall push for creating a robust EV ecosystem in the country. The positive news is the clarity which has come in several areas such as stipulated timelines for power connection from DISCOMs, clarity on Open access, Tariffs alignment with Average Power Purchase Cost, appointing BEE as a central agency for PCS database generation etc. and the only step backwards is the introduction of Service Charges by state governments which amounts to taking back some of the encouragement given earlier.”
Mr. Mustafa Wajid, Chair – Steering Committee, IET Future of Mobility and Transport Focus and MD of Meher Group highlights the need for close coordination to achieve intended result, and says “The revised norms for EV Charging Infrastructure are comprehensive & should enable acceleration in the growth of e-mobility across urban & intercity sectors. While many issues have been addressed in these revised norms, it is important for all stakeholders to closely coordinate & review matters on an ongoing basis to ensure smooth implementation. I am confident that, with the continued support & guidance from the power ministry and active participation by Charging Network Operators, we should see very positive & all round progress in the adoption of EV’s in our country.“ The Institution of Engineering and Technology has created a Future of Mobility and Transport (FoMT) Focus (under the aegis of the Transport sector focus of the IET) in India to bring together the diverse and multidisciplinary stakeholders on to a neutral platform that can facilitate a variety of actions, developments and provide a well-balanced advisory on policy interventions needed.