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The Ministry of Power has amended its criteria and standards for installing electric vehicle charging stations
Simran Kaur
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The Ministry Of Power Has Amended Its Criteria And Standards For Installing Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Charge infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs) guidelines have been updated by the Ministry of Power (MoP), in an effort to hasten the national move toward electric mobility. EV adoption in India will be accelerated by providing safe, reliable, accessible and affordable charging infrastructure. Other goals include promoting the development of EV charging infrastructure and providing charging station operators/owners with affordable tariffs. As a result of these revisions, the country's emissions intensity and energy security will both be improved.

The New Criteria Explained In A Nutshell

1. Any individual or entity may establish public charging stations without obtaining a licence, provided that such stations comply with applicable technical, safety, and performance standards and protocols.

2. Additionally, an exhaustive list of public charging station (PCS) compliance requirements has been included. These include standards for "adequate" infrastructure in order to meet civil, electrical, and safety requirements.

3. The guidelines have been made even more technology agnostic by including not only the currently available international charging standards, but also the new Indian charging standards.

4. To address the challenge of making a charging station financially viable during the period of rapid growth of EVs, a revenue sharing model for land used for the same has been implemented.

5. Land held by the government/public entities shall be made available for the installation of PCS on a revenue sharing basis, with the land-owning agency receiving a fixed rate of Re 1/kWh (used for charging) from such PCS business on a quarterly basis. The guidelines also include a sample revenue sharing agreement.

6. Parties may initially enter into such revenue-sharing agreements for a period of ten years. The revenue-sharing model may also be used by a public land-owning agency to sell land to a private entity for the purpose of installing Public Charging Stations on a competitive basis with a floor price of Re 1 per kWh.

7. Timelines have been established in accordance with the Electricity Act (Rights of Consumers). PCS shall be connected within seven days in metropolitan areas, fifteen days in other municipal areas, and thirty days in rural areas, respectively. Within these timeframes, distribution licensees are required to establish new connections or modify existing ones.

8. Tariff for electricity supply to EV Public Charging Stations: Until March 31, 2025, the tariff for electricity supply to EV Public Charging Stations shall be a single part tariff and shall not exceed the "Average Cost of Supply." BCS shall be subject to the same tariff. Domestic charging shall be governed by the tariff applicable to domestic consumption.

9. The revised standards provide that, because electricity is provided at a discounted rate and because the central/state governments frequently provide subsidy for the establishment of public charging stations, the state government shall set a ceiling on the service charges levied by such charging stations.

10. Additionally, the new standards provide that any public charging station/chain of charging stations may obtain electricity through open access from any generation company. Within 15 days of receipt of a complete application, open access shall be granted for this purpose.

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In Depth

Open power for public chargers

According to the new guidelines, public charging stations can obtain electricity through open access from any generating company. Within 15 days of receipt of the application, open access will be granted for this purpose. They will be required to pay the applicable surcharge – equal to the current level of cross-subsidy (not to exceed 20%, as specified in the Tariff Policy Guidelines), transmission and wheeling charges.

Infrastructure for public charging of long-range EVs and heavy-duty EVs

Fast charging stations for long-range EVs and heavy-duty EVs (such as trucks and buses) will have at least two chargers of at least 100 kW (200-750 V or higher), each with a single gun connector and meeting different specifications (CCS/CHAdeMO for above-capacity chargers or BIS standards for bus charging stations). Additionally, the charging stations will be equipped with liquid-cooled cables to enable high-speed charging of onboard fluid-cooled batteries (for long-range EVs). Fast charging stations for 100% in-house and captive use would be able to choose their charging specifications independently of the other charging points.

Public charging stations are located throughout the city

A minimum of one charging station will be available in a 3*3km grid. Additionally, one charging station will be installed every 25 kilometres on both sides of highways. There will be at least one fast-charging station with charging infrastructure every 100 kilometres for long-range and heavy-duty EVs, one on each side of the highways. Additionally, the federal and state governments may prioritise the installation of public charging stations at existing retail locations of oil marketing companies to meet the aforementioned requirements.

Tariff for electricity supply to public EV charging stations

Until March 31, 2025, the tariff for electricity supplied to public charging stations will be a single part tariff that will not exceed the average cost of supply. Battery charging stations will be subject to the same tariff. Additionally, the domestic consumption tariff will apply to domestic charging. There will be a distinct metering arrangement for public charging stations, allowing consumption to be tracked and billed in accordance with the EV charging station tariffs. The DISCOMs may be able to use funds from the restructured distribution sector programme to augment the general upstream network required by the upcoming charging infrastructure in various areas.

State governments should establish a cap on service charges

Due to the fact that electricity is provided at a reduced rate and the federal or state governments provide subsidies for the establishment of public charging stations, the state government will set a cap on the service charges levied by such charging stations.

Provision of land for the establishment of public charging stations

According to the new guidelines, government or public entities will provide land for the installation of public charging stations on a revenue-sharing basis at a fixed rate of 1 ($0.0135)/kWh.

Priority for the deployment of electric vehicle charging stations

The public charging stations will be phased in as follows:

Phase I (between one and three years): All existing expressways and major highways connecting megacities with populations greater than four million will be covered. Phase II (three to five years): For distributed and demonstrative effect, major cities, state capitals, and union territory headquarters will be covered. Highways connecting these megacities will be covered.

Rollout mechanism

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) will serve as the lead agency for the rollout of EV public charging infrastructure. The central nodal agency will receive support from all relevant agencies, including CEA. Each state government will appoint a nodal agency to oversee the charging infrastructure's installation. The state DISCOM will serve as the nodal agency in this regard. Earlier in 2020, the Ministry of Power amended its guidelines and standards for electric vehicle charging infrastructure (EVs). The guidelines were published by the Ministry of Power in 2018, and were revised in October 2019.

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