BW Auto World, 24 May 2022
For decades, fossil fuel-based vehicles have driven the reigns of mobility around the globe. But as the world searches for climate-friendly transportation solutions, the need for EVs has grown stronger than ever. They possess the potential to become the future of mobility while aiming for a decarbonized society. However, most countries (including India) are experiencing a delay in the electric mobility transition due to a lack of robust charging infrastructure.
To bring this technological transformation into the mainstream mobility systems, a reliable and easily accessible network of EV charging is pivotal. This can be achieved via a collaborative partnership between the government and private players across the EV sector to develop a roadmap for the rollout of EV charging at scale. Let’s know more about how the Government and private players can achieve this transformation.
How Government & Private Sectors Can Develop Charging Infrastructure?
The Government of India (GoI) and private players can take into account the following measures for building adequate charging infrastructure for the EV sector:
1. De-Regulation & De-Licensing Of EV Charging Installations: Setting up a Public Charging Station (PCS) can be promoted as a de-regulated and de-licensed activity, an initiative already taken by the Indian government. Here, any individual or entity can set up PCS, provided that the stations meet all technical, performance, and safety standards. Steps in this direction have already been taken by GoI.
2. Linking Electric Vehicle Usage with Power Bills: The Government can explore introduction of a scheme linking electric vehicle use with rebates on electricity bills. These rebates can be linked to the CO2 emission reduction achieved from EV charging every time the vehicle is charged and made available by utility providers / charging operators to the EV users.
3. Incentives on EV Charging: Another effective method for the Government and private players to promote the transition to EV is offering incentives on electricity rates. If the EV owner uses the charging stations (personal/public) at the local city/state levels, (s)he should be awarded effective inducements. This would ultimately reduce the upfront electricity cost for EV charging stations, serving as an incentive to entice vehicle owners to switch to EVs.
4. Co-Development of EV Charging Standards: This initiative is already taking place between the Government (Department of Science and Technology) and industry players (mainly EV manufacturers and EV charging point operators) in India. Setting proper EV charging standards help harness interoperability and compatibility – whether for plug-in charging or with battery swapping. This allows universal accessibility and the widespread acceptance of EVs as a viable alternative to traditional vehicles.
Things To Consider While Developing EV Charging Infrastructure
The Government and private players should keep an eye on the following things while developing a reliable EV charging infrastructure:
1. There should be an optimum ratio of EV charging stations to the number of EVs on the road
2. While deploying an EV charger, easy visibility and proximity to power sources are essential factors
3. The brand of charging stations should ensure durability and longevity
4. The concept of network flexibility should be taken into account so that individuals have the freedom to choose and change networks
The charging infrastructure is the foundation of electric mobility, but it is also one of India’s most significant perceived hurdles to EV adoption. However, the challenges around it can be overcome considerably through the Government’s action and collaboration with private players. Besides rolling out innovative policy incentives and regulations, its continued support to the private players can empower them to prepare a clear, robust roadmap to set up EV charging infrastructure, leading to a successful transition of electric mobility.