Electric Vehicle in India: Policy And Challenges

Electronic Vehicle (“EV”) is a new technology that may curb the pollution problem in India and act as a substitute for the fuel-based mode of transport

Electronic Vehicle (“EV”) is a new technology that may curb the pollution problem in India and act as a substitute for the fuel-based mode of transport. However, there are various obstacles to bring the EV in India. One of the significant impediment is the lack of EV Charging Infrastructure in India. The Ministry of Power has issued revised guidelines on Charging Infrastructure for EV, released on October 01, 2019 (“CI Guidelines”). This CI Guideline brings clarity on the setting up Charging Infrastructure for EV in India.

In this article, we will analyse the CI Guideline and the obstacles in setting up Charging Infrastructure and deployment of EV in India.

  1. The regulatory framework to set up the Charging Infrastructure in India


As per the Diagram No.1, the following are the regulatory framework to set up the Charging Infrastructure in India:-

  • Central Nodal Agency: Bureau of Energy Efficiency (“BEE”) shall be the Central Nodal Agency for the implementation of EV Public Charging Infrastructure. All the relevant agency, including the Central Electricity Authority, shall provide the necessary support to the Central Nodal Agency.
  • State Nodal Agency: Every State Government shall nominate a nodal agency for setting up the Charging Infrastructure. The State DISCOM shall be the nodal agency for the State Government. However, the State Government is free to select a Center/State Public Sector Undertaking (PSU), including Urban Local bodies, Urban/Area Development Authorities as its nodal agency.
  • Implementation Agency: The Implementation Agency will act as an aggregator between the Central and State nodal agency. The Implementation Agency shall be responsible for the installation, operation and maintenance of Public Charging Station (“PCS”)/Fast Charging Station (“FCS”).

  1. CATEGORY OF CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE: As per the CI Guideline.
    • Public Charging Station: As per the CI Guidelines, setting up of a public charging station is a de-licensed activity[2]. Further, any individual/entity is free to set up public charging stations provided that, such PCS meet the technical, safety as well as performance standards and protocols laid down in the CI Guideline. An individual/entity can set up the PCS of the following category
      • Fast-charging station for long-range or heavy-duty EVs or
      • Moderate or Slow charging station
  • Private Charging Station: The CI Guidelines permit the setting up of private charging points in residences or offices. These charging points are for self-use. The person who wants to set up a private charging station can approach the state nodal agency for setting up the private charging station.
  • Restricted Public Use: The charging stations can be set up in housing societies, malls, office complexes, restaurants, hotels and other public places. However, only permitted visitors are allowed to use such charging points.
  1. ROLL OUT PLAN FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE

                                                                         

 

  1. OBSTACLES ON SETTING UP CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE IN INDIA

Following are the key obstacles in setting up the Charging Infrastructure and deploying EV in India:-

  • Tariff of Charging EV: The state DISCOM will decide the tariff price for charging the EV. Therefore, the tariff price for charging EV will vary from state to state and it will lack uniformity. In order to successfully implement the CI Guideline, the tariff price must be low and uniform.
  • Open access and captive consumption: The CI Guideline allowed the drawing of the electricity from any DISCOM; however, the CI Guideline does not provide the price policy for drawing such electricity. Further, the CI Guidelines does not stipulate the ambit of internal use in case of captive consumption usage of internal usage of any Company’s own or leased fleet.
  • Additional Electricity load: India is the 3rd largest electricity producer in the world. However, complicated electricity tariff leads to a higher per-unit cost of electricity. Therefore to successfully implement the CI Guideline, how the government will manage to provide cheap electricity and manage the additional electricity load is a question of great concern.
  • Service Provider Network: As per the CI Guideline, there is a Service Provider Network through which a public charging station operator will provide information to the Client regarding the availability of charging points and then after the Client may online book the slot for charging its EV. It is also worth noting that the client data stored at the Service Provider Network and there may be a possibility of data leakage. Therefore the CI Guideline could have also laid down the provisions for data protection.
  • Battery swapping: The CI Guideline didn’t provide the methodology of Battery swapping. Battery swapping is one of the elegant concepts to save time on the charging of the EV battery. However, a proper method requires to implement in battery swapping considering the quality of the battery, depreciation of battery and cost of the battery.

  1. CONCLUSION

The CI Guidelines is a good initiative by the Ministry of Power, which provides clarity and its a step forward to improve Charging Infrastructure in India. However, for successful implementation, the above issues should be addressed appropriately.