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India approves new EV charging guidelines to boost EV adoption

The Minister of State for Power and New & Renewable Energy, RK Singh, recently approved amendments in the Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Guidelines and Specifications to boost the country’s EV sector.

The government hopes that the move will encourage the faster adoption of EVs in the country.

According to a press release, the amended guidelines and specifications will supersede the earlier standards issued by the Ministry of Power last year.

The guidelines are more consumer-friendly as they incorporate suggestions received from various stakeholders.

The government plans for a phase-wise installation of a network of charging infrastructure throughout the country. It will ensure that at least one charging station will be available in a 3km x 3km grid in every city and one charging station at every 25km on both sides of highways/roads.

Also, during the first phase (1-3 years) all megacities, with a population of over 4 million, and all existing expressways connected to them will be taken up for coverage. In the second phase (3-5 years), the state capital and union territory (UT) headquarters will be covered for distributed and demonstrative effect, the release said.

To address the concerns about inter-city travel and long-range and/or heavy-duty EVs, the government will provide fast-charging stations at every 100km on each side of the highway/road located. Preferably alongside the public charging stations (PCS) mentioned above.

As far as the PCSs are concerned, it has already been clarified by the Ministry that the setting up of PCS shall be a de-licensed activity and any individual or entity is free to set up PCSs.

Further, the guidelines specify the type of chargers of different standards (CCS, CHAdeMO, Type-2 AC, Bharat AC 001), ensuring that the PCS owners have the freedom to install the chargers as per the market requirement.

It has been provided that any other fast/slow/moderate charger as approved by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) whenever notified can also be installed at the PCSs.

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), a statutory body under the Ministry of Power, has been nominated as the Central Nodal Agency.

Further, a provision for a State Nodal Agency for every state has been provided for in the guidelines. And the role of the respective nodal agencies have been specified. These agencies will act as a facilitator in the installation of charging infrastructure for EVs throughout the country.

The guidelines also specify the tariff to be charged, from PCSs and domestic consumers for domestic charging, by the DISCOMs (distribution company). Also, the service charges to be charged by these PCSs from EV users.

It has been provided that the domestic charging shall be akin to domestic consumption of electricity and shall be charged as such. However, in the case of PCSs, tariffs for the supply of electricity to PCS shall be determined by the appropriate commission following the tariff policy issued under Section 3 of the Electricity Act 2003.

While it has been clarified that the charging of EVs is a service, to ensure that the incentives (financial or otherwise) provided to PCS owners are transferred to the EV owners, the appropriate agency or commission shall fix the ceiling of service charges in these cases.

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