In 2019, Department of Heavy Industry (DHI) launched Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India, phase-II (FAME India Phase-II) with an outlay of INR 10,000 crore. FAME II gives special focus to the establishment of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in selected cities with a fund allocation of INR 1,000 crore.EVs in the category of two and three-wheelers and buses have been given top-most priority for demand incentives, along-with the 4-wheeler segment. The government has also introduced several financial incentives for the adoption of electric vehicles. Effective 1st August 2019, several changes were made to the GST requirements for electric vehicles and EV charging stations. GST rates on electric vehicles and charging stations/chargers have been marked at 5% while GST on hiring of electric buses with a carrying capacity of more than 12 people has been eliminated. Income tax deductions have been provided and customs duties exempted on certain parts. Various other financial incentives are also under consideration. Guidelines have been formulated by the government to accelerate faster deployment of EVs and eliminate ‘range-anxiety’. These guidelines, titled ‘Guidelines & Standards for Electric Vehicles Charging Infrastructure’ stress upon the establishment of Public Charging Station (PCS) in selected cities and highway corridors.All available global standards for electric vehicles are covered by the guidelines in-order to serve more vehicles types. Other incentives and legal amendments have also been put in place to facilitate electric vehicle charging infrastructure deployment in the country.
Focus on Public Fleets
A major focus has also been given towards the electrification of public transport such as electric buses under FAME II.In January 2019,NITI Aayog issued a model concession agreement for public private partnership (PPP) aimed at the operation and maintenance of electric buses in cities across the country.11 citieswith one million-plus population (Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, and few others) were also selected by DHI under FAME Ifor the procurement of a total of 390 electric buses, and funds to the tune of INR 10 million (US$ 150,000) per bus were provided.
Initiatives at State-level
Apart from federal policies, several states including Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu have also issued their individual draft/ final electric vehicle policies focusing mainly on manufacturing and deployment of electric vehicles. Till date, 12 State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) have also issued tariffs for EV charging (ranging from INR 4 to 7 per Unit). These are Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh. The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission for Union Territories and Goa has also issued an electricity tariff for EVs in Chandigarh
Issues for Electricity Distribution Companies
The push towards electrification of transport sector both at central as well as state-level will have wide-ranging operational impacts on the electricity distribution network (especially in the metropolitan cities).The EV travel patterns will determine the EV charging station location, load and the anticipated impacts due to bulk charging on the distribution network. Apart from these, the Discoms also apprehend issues regarding overall grid management including metering and billing, network congestion, and power quality. In a few states, DISCOMs have been identified as nodal agencies for taking forward their EV programmes, especially the charging infrastructure. This will require DISCOMs to adopt a more holistic approach towards electric vehicle charging.
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