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The Indian automobile industry is on the cusp of transformation right now. To begin with, the government is pushing for new norms which will limit the release of air pollutants from vehicles powered by fossil fuels. Come April 1, 2020, the world’s fourth-largest auto market will stop selling Bharat Stage IV (Euro 4) cars in favor of Bharat Stage VI (Euro 6) vehicles, radically bringing down the concentration of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, particulate matter (PM) and sulphur oxides in the air India breathes.
However, the nation does realize that upgrading the technology of internal combustion engines alone is not enough to tackle emissions and curb pollution. This is why the government has its sight set on electrifying 15% of its auto fleet in the next five years and achieving 30% auto electrification goals by 2030. To that end, the country has released its first policy on electric vehicle charging infrastructure this week. Here’s how India plans to push for EV adoption in the near future:
- Nine megacities and several important highways and expressways have been identified as the benefactors of the first wave of EV charging infrastructure in the country. In these areas, one EV charging station has to be installed in every 9 square kilometer Phase 2 of the scheme will cover all state capitals, union territories, and highways.
- Establishing a public charging station (PCS) will not require a license under the new directive. Any individual or entity can contribute to the public EV charging infrastructure, provided they meet the technical and performance standards laid down by the Ministry of Power and the Central Electricity Authority. Since the setting up of an adequate charging infrastructure is one of the major requisites for a robust EV ecosystem in any country, de-licensing this activity is sure to reap rewards for India.
- Electricity tariffs for commercial EV chargers will not exceed the average cost of power supply plus 15%. Meanwhile, for residential users, the tariff for a home-use EV charging station will remain the same as the domestic electricity consumption tariff.
- Under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles (FAME) scheme, the government will provide financial incentives to the tune of ₹5,500 crore ($55 billion) to EV buyers over the next five years.
As per its commitment to the United Nations in the Paris climate change accord, India needs to reduce its carbon footprint by 33-35% from its 2005 levels by 2030. Here’s hoping these lucrative policies for EV vehicles and charging infrastructure establishment sets the country on the fast-track to success.