Electric vehicle policy and infrastructure

I’m pleasantly surprised at the building out of EV infra and policy. I did some casual digging around after reading what the PM said at a ‘Global Mobility Summit’ in Delhi yesterday.

From his speech:

“We want to drive investments across the value chain from batteries to smart charging to electric vehicle manufacturing. We will soon put in place a stable policy framework for electric and alternate fuel powered vehicles.”

I’m glad to read this after the government dropped its 2030 target to phase out sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles.

Then licensing clarification, from the Power Ministry in April 2018:

Setting up charging stations for electric vehicles does not need a separate licence under the Electricity Act of 2003, the government has said, giving a big boost to ambitious EV plans…

The clarification sets aside monopoly licensing in favour of an open and competitive development.

Essentially, charging an EV doesn’t involve generation, transmission or distribution of electricity in the traditional sense of the terms.

In May 2018, some target numbers on charging point infrastructure:

“It is expected that 30,000 slowcharging and 15,000 fast-charging stations will be required to be put up in a phase-wise manner in the next 3-5 years. There should be at least two high-charge points and one fast-charging point at every three kilometres in cities. Similarly, there should be electric vehicle charging station every 50 km on highways,” a senior government official said.

The government’s ‘Energy Efficiency Services Limited’ called for a bid for 4000+ EV charging stations in October 2017. No news on what came of it, though.

And surprise – oil PSUs have made at least token gestures to set up EV charging points: Indian Oil in July 2018 in Hyderabad, Indian Oil and HPCL in Nov 2017 in Nagpur. Tata Power also set up some token charging points in malls in Bombay in Jan 2018.

It’s about time for a country wide map of EV charging locations and points. With live info on how many are actually available/in use.

Finally, policy that makes it easier to set up electric vehicle infrastructure is a lot harder, but also vastly more useful, than throwing money at it via sops, such as those as part of the FAME India programme:

The scheme offers sops on electric and hybrid vehicles of up to Rs 29,000 for bikes and Rs 1.38 lakh for cars, thereby lowering their price for buyers.