Ministries, PSUs, power firms gear up to charge India's electric vehicles

At least half-a-dozen public sector firms, the railways and various ministries are in the process of creating infrastructure and manufacturing components for electric vehicles (EVs).

By one estimate, the size of the EV market in 2030 would be Rs 42,000 crore. Hence, significant investment is being mobilised, in the private sector, too, to manufacture and install EV supply equipment infrastructure. This includes charging and battery swapping technologies, says the NITI Aayog.

Plans are underway to fuel EVs with clean power. Industry players are also exploring solar-plus-EV technology. Indian Railways has decided to allocate space for EV charging places at their station parking lots, with private sector participation.

BSES Rajdhani Power (BRPL), a joint venture of Reliance Infrastructure and the city government in Delhi, plans to convert its entire service delivery fleet to an electric-fuelled one by 2030. BRPL is also investing in testing models for its facilities to support stabilising the electricity grid for EV charging, beside experimental projects to integrate renewable electricity into its grid.

Indian Oil Corporation has partnered with clean energy firm Fortum India for EV charging stations; in intends to start with Nagpur, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Delhi. The company also signed agreements with NTPC, Powergrid and Rajasthan Electric to install EV charging stations in cities. On the anvil is an energy storage product for EVs. The idea is to go beyond lithium ion batteries.

Hindustan Petroleum says it will set up charging stations across its networks, tying up with Tata Power to create the infrastructure.

National Aluminium Company plans a production line for lithium ion cells. The company has signed a pact with Indian Space Research Organisation for transfer of the technology. India imported lithium ion batteries worth $150 million in 2017.

As part of diversification, Bharat Heavy Electricals has been expanding in the e-mobility business. It is now executing commercial orders for installation of DC chargers across locations in the country. It is also to get into the manufacturing of EV chargers, electric buses and related components. As part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government of India (GoI), in-house development of EV motors, propulsion systems and fast chargers has also been undertaken, said a spokesperson.

Energy Efficiency Services (EESL), a GoI company, has ventured into demand aggregation for EVs, which could help develop better charging infrastructure. However, deliveries under EESL’s first tender for 10,000 vehicles has been delayed; the first 500 cars were to earlier be rolled out by November 2017 and the rest by June 2018, according to reports. EESL has pushed the deadline for the rollout to September 2019.

The Union housing ministry has issued an amendment of the building code and town planning rules, for provisioning of EV charging stations in private and commercial buildings.

The Centre has pledged to ensure 30 per cent of all vehicles on the road are electric by 2030. The national budget 2019-20 had an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore for Phase-II of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles scheme to boost electric mobility and increase the number of EVs in commercial fleets.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel