According to new guidelines by the Power Ministry, owners of electric cars and scooters will now be able to charge their vehicles at their homes, with priority access to electricity from power utilities.
According to a new set of guidelines issued by the undersecretary in the power ministry, Anoop Singh Bisht, to all union ministries and departments and the chief secretaries of states and union territories at the end of last week, owners of electric cars and scooters will now be able to charge their vehicles at their homes, with priority access to electricity from power utilities.
The new rules formulated with the objective of promoting the adoption of electric vehicles in the country, also cleared that establishing a public charging station (PCS) will not require a license, and 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).
According to the power ministry’s final guidelines and standards for charging infrastructure for EVs, power tariffs for charging EVs will be determined by the appropriate commission, provided these do not exceed the average cost of supply (plus 15%). For residential users, the tariffs for charging will be the same as for domestic consumption of electricity. A PCS irrespective of being operated or owned by an individual or company will be permitted to levy a service charge, inside the limit set by a designated nodal agency in each state.
As per the guidelines issued, the scheme will be implemented in two phases. In the first phase, expected to last for three years, all the nine major cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Surat and Pune, and expressways and important highways connected to them will be covered. This includes corridors such as the Mumbai-Pune expressway, Ahmedabad-Vadodara, Delhi-Agra Yamuna Expressway, Delhi-Jaipur, Bengaluru-Mysuru, and Bengaluru-Chennai. In Phase 2, which will roll out over the following three-five years, will cover state capitals, Union territory headquarters, and highways connected to them. The ministry will designate a central nodal agency to facilitate this rollout, while states can have their own nodal agencies, most likely the state discom.
The guidelines recommend that any person seeking to set up a PCS be provided connectivity on priority by the discom licensee in the area. The person may also obtain electricity from any generation firm through open access.
The guidelines also lay out technical requirements for a PCS: it should have an exclusive transformer with all related substation equipment including safety appliance, a 33/11KV line/cables with associated equipment including as needed for line termination/metering, adequate space for charging and entry/exit of vehicles, one or more electric kiosk/boards with installation of all the charger models and a tie-up with at least one online network service provider to enable advanced remote/online booking of charging slots by EV owners. If a fast charging facility is also planned, the PCS should also have appropriate liquid-cooled cables for onboard charging of fluid-cooled batteries and appropriate climate control equipment for fast charging of batteries to be used for swapping. These conditions do not apply to private charging points owned by individuals or captive charging infrastructure set up by a firm for its own fleet of EVs.
CEA should maintain an online database of all PCSes set up in the country. The guidelines recommend setting up at least one PCS in a grid of 3km or one every 25km on both sides of roads and highways. There should be at least one fast charging station every 100km for long-range EVs or heavy-duty EVs such as trucks and buses. Existing fuel retail outlets run by public sector oil marketing firms (Indian Oil Corp. Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd, and Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd) can be given priority status to set up PCSes on their premises.
The new set of guidelines have been released with the aim to complement the government’s efforts to roll out the second phase of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles (FAME) scheme in April next year, after an initial delay which in March will complete 2 years. FAME 2 is widely expected to provide financial incentives of around ₹5,500 crore to EV buyers over five years.