Is India Ready for the Global Electric Vehicle Wave? 

Can India’s electricity grid and infrastructure suit electric vehicles? 

By Lone Shahid 

ENVIRONMENTAL pollution is currently a global concern. The rate of toxic emissions coming out from Internal Combustion (IC) Engines are suddenly increasing at dangerous levels, leading to Global warming and health related issues.The increasing cost of fuel is also giving researchers a think about India’s Go-Green campaign. This has forced scientists, researchers and policymakers to start thinking of using green technology. Additionally, at the recently concluded COP26, India has pledged to reduce its carbon emission to net zero before the year 2070.

Hence, the 21st century is set to become the century for the evolution of various technologies with the main focus on the Automobile Sector. Electric vehicles, for example, are one among the many options being considered.

India is gearing up to attain 30% market penetration of Electric vehicles by 2030.

From 2035 onwards, no new petrol or diesel engine cars will be sold in the UK and similarly the US is aiming for half of all new vehicles sold to be electric.But there are a number of concerns about EVs that are still making people think twice before buying them. The output potential of India’s electricity grid is one among them.

According to a report submitted by the Brooking Institution of India, electric vehicles will account for the most significant load capacity in the country compared to industries like steel.

As everything has its positive and negative impact,the demand for electricity to power EVs is projected to increase almost 640 Twh by 2030 and 1,110 Twh in order to meet the [email protected]% goal.

The erratic and unreasonable power cuts across the country sets apart India’s EV challenge compared to the international market.

Only 1% to 2% of the total supply demand of electricity which is currently 200-300 Ghw will be required to charge expected 1-2 Lakh electric vehicles by 2030.

Power quality is no longer a question as almost every electronic device today has built-in features to cope with power cut offs but reliability plays a role especially from infrastructure perspective.To ensure efficiency and optimisation of power, all the edifices of Electric vehicles must work shoulder to shoulder with electricity service providers.

To include the provisions of electric vehicle charging in buildings, the ministry of housing and urban affairs (MOHOA) also  amended Model building bylaws (MBBL)2016.

The push of the Indian government to generate power through renewable sources will help India’s electricity grid to survive in the face of the EV challenge.

The 84 GW of grid-connected renewable electricity out of the total 366 Gw of power generation in 2019 is proof of India’s push to generate power from renawable sources.

Infrastructure has miles covered yet miles to go

The growing demand of EVs will not only reduce emission levels but also the love affair between cars and oil is losing its spark too.

The study done by Accelerated e-Mobility Revolution for India’s Transportation (e-merit) portal in India reveals that only 7,96,000 EVs have been registered till December 2021 and the installation of 1,800 charging stations on public places.It shows that the country needs to push the accelerator to achieve recommended ratio.

For the location of public charging stations, Ministry of Power (MOP) provides minimum requirements which include at least one charging station in a grid of 3*3 Km. After  every 25km, one charging station is to be setup on both sides of highways/roads.

With the roll out of Phase-ll of FAME (Faster Adaptation and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles ) India scheme , Department of heavy industries allocated Rs 1,0000 cr for the development of charging infrastructure.

India currently has around 1,827 operational  public electric vehicle charging stations out of which 940 Ev charging stations are spread across the metro cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, surat, Ahmadabad, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Government of India is taking measures to increase the public charging infrastructure further.

However, the EV charging infrastructure business is capital intensive. As per estimates the initial up front cost is approximately Rs 29 Lakh without subsidy , excluding land adding operating cost of Rs 10 lakh per year which makes asset utilization critical.

The EVs are not priced at par with ICE vehicles.This impacts the purchase decision of buyers. It is the rising price of batteries which is one of the reasons for the high price of EVs. The need of the hour is to manufacture batteries domestically which will help reduce the cost of EVs in India.

India oil corporation and Bharat petroleum have given a call of setting up of 22,000 EV charging stations across cities and on national highways. The IOCL has taken charge of 10,000 Ev charging stations,BPCL taken responsibility of another 7,000 while the remaining will be installed by Hindustan petroleum corporation.

As of now, IOCL has installed 439 Ev charging stations and devise to install 2,000 more over the next year ,BPCL has established 52 charging stations while HPCL has already inaugurated 382 Charging stations so far.

To multiple adaption of EVs and easy range anxiety of end users, India has an Ev super app comming. The government is working on launching a master application that will provide information on location and availability of vehicle charging station.

State run CESL is in the process of collating information from the private sector for the super app schedule to go live in 4-6 weeks.

The details app will provide include availability,charger type and charging tariffs. The app will also allow the customer  to make and change reservations at nearby charging stations.

  • Views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the editorial stance of Kashmir Observer 


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