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India to frame indigenous EV charging station norms

Livemint:  May 17, 2019

New Delhi: In a first, India plans to come up with its own standards for charging stations for its emerging electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem. To start with, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) are working on an indigenous charging standard that will also help reduce the cost of establishing charging stations for EVs in the country.

There are currently three acceptable global standards-Japanese, Chinese and European. A pan-India EV charging grid holds the key to the success story of EV’s in the country as lack of charging stations is proving to be the biggest hurdle to adoption of electric mobility.

Currently, companies who set up charging stations in India need to buy the license from the authorities, either in Japan, China or others, which makes the whole process of establishing the charging station significantly expensive. The government is pushing automakers to develop electric vehicles and their parts locally to avail incentives under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid vehicles scheme.

Now, the government also wants to reduce the cost of setting up charging stations which may prove to be the biggest push the industry needs.

According to the minutes of a 29 April meeting of a joint working group formed by officials in the BIS and DST, the Indian Standards would facilitate the activities of the government under the FAME-scheme by Department of Heavy Industries and the Phased Manufacturing Programme by NITI Aayog.

“Establishing charging stations in India is very expensive at the moment as one needs to pay for the license, if there is a particular standard for India, then the cost will drastically come down. BIS and DST have been given the mandate to develop the standards and hope they will come with something significant in the near future," said a person aware of the development.

According to the minutes of the meeting mentioned above, the standards under development will cater to three types of electric vehicles—light, medium and heavy.

“The planned rollout of two-wheeled personal transport and a variety of public transport EVs represent distinct use cases, and the BIS will develop standards for charging systems for these EVs also," the documents show.

The government has already earmarked «¤??1,000 crore towards setting up charging stations under the FAME scheme. It has also proposed to provide one slow-charging unit for every electric bus and one fast-charging station for 10 electric buses. Projects for charging infrastructure will include those needed to extend electrification for running vehicles such as pantograph charging and flash charging.

The meeting of the joint working group was chaired by Surina Rajan, director general, Bureau of Indian Standards.

Emails sent to BIS and DST on Friday did not elicit any response till press time.

According to Suvranil Majumder, project lead, electric mobility, International Finance Corp., there are still some questions regarding the economic viability of setting up charging stations in India.

“For charging stations to make a business case, interoperability will be the key factor where all kind of vehicles can be charged. Now that cab services are also actively looking for EVs, setting charging infra will be commercially viable," he said.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.