November 26, 2018

India: EV charging stations - a new business venture



The dawn of industrialization has replaced the human labour with machines. Facilitating travel by the incorporation of technological advancements has made a significant contribution towards elevating human life. Reducing the time for transportation, it has fostered the connectivity between the people separated over distant places in terms of social and economic relations between them. Automobile industry has seen a vast improvement with the passage of years due to skills of the innovators allowing a wide range of vehicles with fascinating features such as speed which build interest of their customers. However, the fuel used to run them often depends of the usage of depleting non-renewable sources of energy such as petrol and diesel which are one of the major sources of pollution.

Pollution issue

The indiscriminate, reckless and irresponsible dependence on burning of fuel for automobiles has resulted in high degree of contaminating the air, water, soil and the overall surrounding environment hampering the health of living organisms of all forms. With the raising levels of emissions being recorded and the concerns thereof, Environment Protection Act, 1986 has been enforced with the aim of conservation and improvement of environment was introduced along with legislations working such as Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. Handling the menace of pollution, more environment conducive options such as usage of Electric Vehicles (hereinafter referred to as “EV”) have been popularized. The Government is aiming to provide an impetus to the entire e-mobility ecosystem including vehicle manufacturers, charging infrastructure companies, fleet operators, service providers, etc under the objectives of its National E-Mobility Programme.

EV Charging

Efforts are consistently being made to encourage the adoption of EVs and thus the setting up of the stations equipped with facilities to ensure proper charging thereof. Planning of EV charging infrastructure needs to consider multiple issues such as number of charging stations needed and their locations, availability of sites for the charging stations, type of charging station needed at each location, rules and regulations relevant for the deployment, availability of electrical grid capacity, timing of the rollout, dealing with possible changes in the plan, etc.

The Government is planning to provide INR 1,000 crore as subsidy for building a nationwide charging infrastructure for electric vehicles as it seeks to expedite the roll-out of India’s ambitious EV programme[1] and is also working to modify the existing legal framework to incorporate the EV charging stations in residential as well as commercial complexes including parking lots.[2]

Steps further…

Focussing on promoting the EVs, the Government is working to permit the individuals to open public electric vehicle charging stations without applying for licences. [3] Not set any qualification criteria have been released in the said regard although compliance to the specifications and performance standards to be issued by the Government would be required.

State electricity regulatory commissions shall fix tariffs for electricity supply from distribution companies to the charging stations at a ceiling of 15% over the average cost of supply. The tariff charged by charging stations from electric vehicle owners will also be capped by the state Government.

In order to make EVs a preferred choice of a substantial segment of the population of the country presently relying on polluting vehicles, the Government is easing the procedures for setting up of the charging stations not only enabling more and more businesspersons to establish such infrastructure but help greater number of such units shall help people to opt for an eco-friendly travel option.

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