Govt announces revised EV charging guidelines

The Government of India has started addressing the ecosystem of electric vehicles (EVs) and the country's infrastructure (or rather, the lack of it) to support them.

To make further progress towards setting up charging infrastructure, Union Minister of State for Power and New and Renewable Energy (IC) and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship R.K Singh has announced revised guidelines that the government says will address the concerns of EV owners.

The ministry says the revised guidelines and specifications for charging infrastructure shall supersede the earlier guidelines and standards issued by the Ministry of Power on December 14, 2018.

R.K Singh said that the new guidelines are more consumer-friendly as they incorporate a number of suggestions received from various stakeholders. “We have tried to address the concerns of EV owners in new guidelines.”

The government aims to have at least one charging station to be available in every 3 sq km grid in cities; and one charging station every 25km on both sides of intra-city highways.

All major cities (and expressways connected to these cities) are to be taken up for coverage in first phase; other big cities are to be taken up in second phase. For inter-city travel, fast-charging stations will be installed at every 100km and the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has been nominated as the Central nodal agency to facilitate installation of charging infrastructure.

Furthermore, the ministry says assuming that most EV charging would take place at homes or at offices – where the decision of using fast or slow chargers would rest on the consumers – the guidelines clarify that private charging at residences/offices shall be permitted and distribution companies (DISCOMs) may facilitate the same.

As far as public charging stations (PCS) are concerned, it has already been clarified by the Ministry of Power that setting up of PCS shall be a de-licensed activity and any individual/entity is free to set up public charging stations, which has also been reiterated in the guidelines, subject to the conditions as specified in the guidelines.