Electric Car Charging

With the rise in the demand for electric vehicles and with the government pushing for the same, there was a need for the ease of access to the resources required for electric vehicles.

In line with this, a new set of guidelines from the power ministry suggests that the owners of the electric cars and scooters will be able to charge vehicles at their homes, with priority access to electricity from power utilities.

The rules also says that establishing a public charging station (PCS) will not require a licence and it can be set up by individuals or entities, provided they meet the standards drawn up by the power ministry and the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

The power ministry’s final guidelines and standards for charging infrastructure for EVs were issued by Anoop Singh Bisht, under secretary in the power ministry, to all Union ministries and departments and the chief secretaries of states and Union territories.

It mentions that power tariffs for charging EVs will be determined by the appropriate commission, provided these do not exceed the average cost of supply plus 15 percent. For residential users, the tariffs for charging will be the same as for domestic consumption of electricity. It adds that a PCS can levy a service charge, with a ceiling fixed by a nodal agency in each state.

The guidelines also recommend that any person seeking to set up a PCS should be provided connectivity on priority by the discom licensee in the area. It adds that the person may also obtain electricity from any generation firm through open access.

This new rules will be proved helpful in bolstering the government’s efforts for the rollout of the second phase of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles (FAME) scheme. It is widely expected to provide financial incentives of around ₹5,500 crore to EV buyers over five years.

While not yet confirmed, media reports indicate that the government might provide a ₹1,000 crore subsidy to build a nationwide charging infrastructure as part of FAME 2. However, the ministry has not referred to any subsidy figure or a target for setting up charging stations in the document.

The rollout of the scheme will take place in two phases. The first phase will be for three years and will cover all nine megacities — Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Surat, and Pune. Phase 2 will roll out over the following three-five years, which will cover state capitals, Union territory headquarters.

As for the manufacturing, companies such as Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, Hyundai Motor Co., Volvo Cars and Kia Motors India have already announced plans to introduce hybrid or electric cars. On the other hand, Tata Motors Ltd and Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd are already supplying their electric cars to the Union government.

India’s shift towards the electric vehicles is a part of the strategy to fulfil its climate change commitments. As part of India’s commitments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, it has to cut its carbon footprint by 33-35% from its 2005 levels by 2030.

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