New Delhi: The Central government has announced a package of ₹800 crore for the public sector oil companies for setting up 7,432 public fast charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) across the country. Union heavy industries minister Mahendra Nath Pandey announced this on Tuesday.
The committee headed by the director general of Bureau of Energy Efficiency (DG BEE) recommended certain changes to improve the viability of the development of public charging infrastructure. It includes supporting the upstream infrastructure (such as distribution transformer, LT & HT cables, alternative current (AC) distribution boxes, circuit breakers/isolators, protection equipment, tubular or PCC mounting structures, fencing and civil work), which generally cost up to 60% of overall cost for setting up a public EV charging station.
The upstream infrastructure comprises of the money that is to be paid by charge point operators to the Discoms to obtain electricity connection. Based on the recommendation of committee, ministry of heavy industries (MHI) approved financial assistance for setting up upstream infrastructure of up to 80% upstream infrastructure.
This will make installation of charging stations easier by reducing the upfront cost. In addition, the earlier subsidy of 70% on EV supply equipment will continue as before.
While installing EV charging infrastructure, charge point operators (CPOs) face the issue of unavailability of sufficient land. Considering this difficulty, MHI took up the matter with MoPNG (ministry of petroleum and natural gas) to explore the possibility of establishing charging stations at the retail outlets (ROs) of the oil marketing companies (OMCs). The OMCs have sufficient land in the premises of their ROs which can be utilized for the setting up of the charging stations.
The installation is expected to be completed by March 2024. At present, there are about 6,586 charging stations across the country. The addition of the new 7,432 public charging stations will be a significant push to EV charging ecosystem. The above charging capacity shall be used for charging of electric 2 wheelers, 4 wheelers, light commercial vehicles, mini buses.
Pandey said this move will give a boost to the electric vehicle ecosystem in India and encourage more people to switch to cleaner modes of transportation. He also added that the government is committed to promoting sustainable green mobility solutions and reducing the country’s carbon emissions, working towards country’s commitment of Net Zero mission. This move will create a robust charging infrastructure network in India that is more accessible to the public.
The MHI has on Tuesday released 70% of this sum, i.e., ₹560 crores, to OMCs (BPCL, IOCL, and HPCL) as the 1st instalment of the total amount of ₹800 crores, which sanctioned for the installation and commissioning of upstream infrastructure and charging equipment of EV public charging stations at respective retail outlets in the country.
In a major boost towards EV adoption in the country, these fast-charging stations will be set up in all the metros, million plus cities, smart cities notified by ministry of housing and urban affairs (MoHUA), cities of hilly states across the country, highways and expressways across the country. This will provide EV owners a seamless and convenient charging experience that would greatly reduce the anxieties of EV owners regarding range and charging time during their intra-city and, more importantly, their inter-city, long distance travels. The wide network of conveniently located OMC retail outlets is in the natural travel route of motorists and also offers a host of amenities, viz., safety, good illumination, extended working hours, washrooms, emergency assistance, etc., for customer comfort.