India to have liberal norms for electric vehicle charging stations

The norms under preparation will not require government and private institutions that set up charging stations for captive use to possess an electricity retailing licence

NEW DELHI: Indian Govt. is set to put in place liberal rules for charging stations to power electric vehicles, seeking to facilitate rapid expansion of the infrastructure required to support its ambition of an all-electric fleet on roads by 2030.

The idea of liberal framework for charging stations will accelerate the use of electric vehicles, which could bring economies of scale and prices down.

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission is developing the norms.

For instance, the norms under preparation will not require Govt. and private firms that will set up charging stations for captive use to possess an electricity retailing licence.

Only entities that get into the business of charging stations and retail electricity to third-party vehicles will require such a licence, persons familiar with the development informed.

The government is procuring 10,000 electric vehicles, the competitive bids for which resulted in a 25% reduction in the price of the contracted vehicles from their prevailing market price.

Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), which is procuring these vehicles, follows a business model of making upfront investments in energy-efficient equipment, which it recovers from customers over a period from the savings they make in energy consumption.

“In the case of government vehicles (which EESL is procuring), charging stations are used for captive consumption of electricity. There is no sale of electricity. Hence it is a good idea not to require such infrastructure to have a power distribution licence. The same rationale would hold true for a charging station set up by a private institution for captive use as well,” said Saurabh Kumar, Managing Director, EESL.

Tata Motors Ltd won the EESL contract for supplying 10,000 vehicles, the power ministry said in a statement on 29 September.

“The industry is eagerly waiting for an integrated electric mobility policy, which would include a policy on charging stations,” said Vishnu Mathur, director general of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.

India has a target of making a complete shift to electric mobility by 2030. The promotion of electric vehicles is a strategic goal, which aims to cut oil imports. A ministerial panel working on evolving a detailed plan that could help achieve this goal. India has climate change goal of reducing the carbon emissions intensity of its gross domestic product by 33-35% by 2030 from 2005 levels.