It Would Be Great If West Bengal Gets Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Industry: Mamata Banerjee
On July 28, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met with Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi and reviewed numerous infrastructure projects in an attempt to attract global investors.
She expressed to the Union Minister her support for West Bengal developing an electric car manufacturing industry. Additionally, the Chief Minister stated that the State needed adequate highways because to its proximity to Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and northeastern states.
West Bengal's Electric Policy
West Bengal's Power Department has released the state's Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy 2021, with the goal of establishing the state as a sustainable transportation infrastructure centre. The state administration is encouraging electric transportation in the state with this action. The policy will be in effect for a period of five years following its publication in the official gazette.
The government intends to have one million EVs across all sectors throughout the implementation term of the new policy. Additionally, the government intends to build 100,000 charging stations throughout this time period.
West Bengal's direction said that it aspires to be among the top three states in India in terms of electric mobility penetration by the end of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME)-II implementation year in 2022. To encourage electric transportation, FAME-II, a three-year initiative with a budget of $100 billion ($1.41 billion), was established. The federal government had accepted the program's plan to begin in April 2019.
Accelerator cell for electric vehicles
An EV acceleration cell will be established as the state's nodal entity for implementing the state's electric mobility initiative. The unit will aid in inter-departmental cooperation regarding the development of regulatory mechanisms and progressive strategies to increase uptake. Additionally, the body will aid in the phase-out of internal combustion engine cars.
Infrastructure for charging
The state's transition strategy will involve the establishment of two- and three-wheeler switching facilities in the form of kiosks. Existing private structures, such as shopping malls and other commercial areas, would be rewarded for installing charging and battery switching facilities.
Installations of charging stations
Additionally, the government will allow charge-point providers to establish EV charging infrastructure and battery swapping stations around the state in phases via 'concessional charging sites.' These charging station sites will be carved out of existing public parking zones and other areas at cheap leasing rates. The development of an open, publicly owned database driven by big data analytics will give real-time information about public charging infrastructure.
Charges via DISCOMs
The government will encourage distribution firms (DISCOMs) to install public electric vehicle charging stations inside their licencing regions.
The EV charging rate will be about $6 ($0.082)/kWh to maintain the cost of public charging stations affordable for EV owners and end users.
Sale of energy
The new policy says that for the next two years, a promotional single component tariff will regulate public charging at high tension (HT) and low tension (LT) points, with a limit of $6 ($0.082)/kVAh. Third-party providers of EV charging infrastructure will be permitted to purchase electricity from DISCOMs at a rate established by the regulator and to provide charging services to EVs.
Additionally, the government will promote cloud pricing capabilities that will enable all metering and transactions to be conducted digitally while being flexible and customer-friendly.
The government will establish the first hydrogen production and refuelling stations. Additionally, private developers will be permitted to build hydrogen stations.
Cities with electric mobility
Kolkata, Asansol, Darjeeling, and Howrah would be designated as model electric mobility cities, with the objective of adopting EVs, charging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, as well as new EV-enabling construction regulations, under the new strategy. New Town in Kolkata will serve as the hub for all new activities in this area.
These cities will establish precise targets for the density of charging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure within a certain timeframe tied to the aim for EV deployment.
Green pathways for intercity electrification would be designated to encourage the use of electric mobility on the Kolkata-Asansol and Kolkata-Digha routes. Rapid chargers will be placed every 25 kilometres on average to service electric buses and heavy-duty trucks.
To promote research and development in the mobility sector, the government intends to announce a research award to support the most innovative mobility solutions. Land and office space will be offered to public and private research laboratories, incubators, and start-ups that work on electric transportation goods and solutions.
The government will establish an EV Innovation Centre focused on industry-driven research in the areas of battery technology development, battery recycling and reuse, battery management systems, charging infrastructure, efficient controllers, and powertrains.
The strategy appears to be timely in terms of reviving the EV sector, since the country's EV sales fell by 20% in fiscal year (FY) 2020-21, to 236,802 units, compared to the FY 2019-20 figures.
Previously, the Meghalaya government released the Meghalaya Electric Vehicle Policy, 2021, which intends to have electric cars account for 15% of the state's total vehicle fleet by 2025. According to the policy, continuous economic development and growing road networks have resulted in a significant rise in the state's motorised vehicle population.
The state's most recent EV policy also addresses other facets of electric transportation.
Considering the future:
To promote electric vehicles and minimise reliance on traditional fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, the West Bengal government has suggested special inter-city lanes for electric vehicles alone, with charging stations every 25 kilometres.
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