MoHI sanctions Rs 800 crore to OMCs to set up 7,432 fast charging stations
Last week, the Ministry of Heavy Industries released 70 percent of this sum, or Rs 560 crore, to OMC (BPCL, IOCL, and HPCL) as the first installment of the total amount of Rs 800 crore which was 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 bid to boost the eco-system for the adoption of electric vehicles, the Ministry of Heavy Industries has sanctioned Rs 800 crore under FAME India Scheme Phase II to the PSU Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) - Indian Oil (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum (BPCL), and Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) - for setting up 7432 public fast charging stations across the country.
Last week, the Ministry of Heavy Industries released 70 percent of this sum, or Rs 560 crore, to OMCs (BPCL, IOCL, and HPCL) as the first installment of the total amount of Rs 800 crore which was sanctioned for the installation and commissioning of upstream infrastructure and charging equipment of EV public charging stations at respective retail outlets in the country.
These OMCs are planning to set up 5,662 stations, which will have chargers of 50/60 KW capacity, and 1,770 stations, which will have chargers of 100/120 KW capacity. 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 the EV charging ecosystem, said the Union Minister of Heavy Industries, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey.
The above charging capacity shall be used for charging electric 2-wheelers, 4- wheelers, light commercial vehicles, and mini buses.
These fast-charging stations will be set up in all the metros, million-plus cities, smart cities notified by MoHUA, cities of hilly states across the country, and highways and expressways across the country. This will provide EV owners with 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.
Among the current challenges in EV adoption is the time taken for charging vehicles. These EV charging stations from OMCs will be of the CCS-II type with a capacity of 50 KW and above, offering efficient and fast charging for EV owners, especially for those looking for on-the-go top-up charging.
The development comes on the backdrop of a Committee, headed by DG BEE (Director General - Bureau of Energy Efficiency) recommending 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, AC distribution boxes, circuit breakers/isolators, protection equipment, tubular or PCC mounting structures, fencing, and civil work) which generally cost up to 60 percent of the overall cost for setting up a Public EV charging station.
The upstream infrastructure comprises the money that is to be paid by ChargePoint Operators to the DISCOMs to obtain electricity connection. Based on the recommendation of the committee, MHI approved financial assistance for setting up upstream infrastructure of up to 80 percent upstream infrastructure.
This will make the installation of charging stations easier by reducing the upfront cost. In addition, the earlier subsidy of 70 percent on EV Supply Equipment will continue as before.
While installing EV charging infrastructure, Charge Point Operators (CPOs) face the issue of the 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 OMCs. The OMCs have sufficient land in the premises of their ROs which can be utilised for the setting up of the charging stations.
The committee also recommended relaxations in the number of charging guns will help to increase utilisation of charging capacity and reduce the cost of setting up charging stations.
Dr. 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 Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Net Zero mission. This move will create a robust charging infrastructure network in India that is more accessible to the public. It aligns with the government's goal of reducing carbon emissions and promoting sustainable transportation options, while also supporting the growth of the Indian automotive industry.
3 schemes to boost EV adoption
The Ministry of Heavy Industries has launched three schemes to promote electric and hybrid vehicles production in the country.
The Government notified Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India Phase II (FAME India Phase II) Scheme with a budgetary outlay of Rs 10,000 crore for a period of five years commencing from April 1, 2019 to promote hybrid/ electric technology in transportation so as to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and to address issues of vehicular emissions. As far as e-Buses, electric three-wheelers (e-3W), and electric four-wheelers (e-4W) are concerned, the scheme provides a subsidy to those vehicles which are used in public transportation or for commercial use. For electric two-wheelers (e-2W), privately owned vehicles are also provided with subsidies.
FAME II intends to support 7,090 e-Buses, 5 lakh e-3 Wheelers, 55,000 e-4 Wheeler Passenger Cars (including Strong Hybrid) and 10 lakh e-2 Wheelers.
Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Automobile and Auto component industry with a budgetary outlay of Rs 25,938 crore, provides financial incentives to boost domestic manufacturing of Advanced Automotive Technology products including electric vehicles and their components. The scheme provides incentives up to 18 percent of eligible sales of electric vehicles and their components.
Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC): The Government has approved PLI Scheme for the manufacturing of ACC in the country with a budgetary outlay of Rs 18,100 crore. The scheme incentivises the establishment of Giga scale ACC manufacturing facilities in the country for 50 Giga Watt hour (GWh). These ACCs will be used in batteries which are aimed to promote the widespread adoption of EVs.
Further, following steps have been taken by the Government to promote adoption of electric vehicles in the country:
The demand incentive for electric two-wheelers has been increased to Rs.15,000/KWh from Rs.10,000/KWh along with an increase in cap from 20 percent to 40 percent of the cost of electric vehicles, with effect from 11 June 2021, thus enabling the cost of Electric two-wheelers at a par with that of Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) two-wheeler vehicles.
GST on electric vehicles has been reduced from 12 percent to 5 percent; GST on chargers/ charging stations for electric vehicles has been reduced from 18 percent to 5 percent.
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 for carrying passengers or goods.
MoRTH issued a notification advising states to waive road tax on EVs, which in turn will help reduce the initial cost of the electric vehicles.
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Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra lead the charging infrastructure manufacturing.