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India Sanctions 2,877 EV Charging Stations to Boost Electric Mobility

Under phase II of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME-India) scheme, the Ministry of Heavy Industries (MHI) has sanctioned 2,877 electric vehicles (EV) charging stations in 68 cities across 25 states. 1,576 charging stations have been sanctioned across 9 expressways and 16 highways.

FAME was launched in 2015 to improve the infrastructure required for the large-scale use of EVs. Phase II is the current phase and will last five years. It began in April 2019. Around US$ 125.3 million has been allocated to develop charging infrastructure under phase II. According to a press release, as of this month, under phase II, 470,000 EVs have been supported through demand incentives. Further, MHI has sanctioned 6,315 e-buses to 65 cities and state government entities for intracity and intercity operations across 26 states and union territories.

The challenges faced in the widespread adoption of electric mobility have mainly been the high upfront cost of EVs, compared to corresponding internal combustion engines (ICE) and customer anxiety about the range of EVs, the release explained. The government has taken the following steps to address these challenges:

  • In June 2021, the demand incentive under phase-II was increased from US$ 125/KWh to US$188/KWh, with an increase in cap from 20% to 40% of the cost of the vehicle. Further, phase II was extended till 31 March 2024.
  • In May 2021, the government approved the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for the manufacturing of advanced chemistry cells (ACC) to bring down the prices of batteries in the country. The drop in battery prices will result in cost reduction for EVs.
  • EVs are covered under the PLI scheme for automobile and auto components, which was approved last September, with a budgetary outlay of Rs. 25,938 crores for five years.
  • The GST on EVs has been reduced from 12% to 5%. The GST on chargers and charging stations has been reduced from 18% to 5%.
  • The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) announced that battery-operated vehicles will be given green license plates and be exempted from permit requirements.
  • MoRTH issued a notification advising states to waive road tax on EVs, which in turn will help reduce the initial cost of EVs.
  • The Ministry of Power (MoP) released a notification on charging infrastructure standards permitting private charging at residences and offices. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) amended the Model Building Byelaws 2016 to establish charging stations and infrastructure in private and commercial buildings.

Earlier this month, the country’s think tank, the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) launched the Accelerated e-Mobility Revolution for India’s Transportation (E-AMRIT) mobile application to raise awareness about electric mobility in India. It offers users key information and engagement tools that enable them to assess the benefits of electric vehicles, determine savings, and receive information on developments in the Indian electric vehicle market and industry. T

NITI Aayog also announced plans to launch a US $5 billion fund to support the adoption of EVs by reducing the high upfront capital expenditure for EV ownership. According to reports, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) will provide technical assistance in setting up the fund. It will work with the industry and financial institutions to formulate a conceptual framework for EV financing and create a carbon asset development methodology, taking advantage of carbon credits and monetisation.

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