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EV Charging Stations

Focus: GS Paper 3: Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.

Why in News?

As per the information received from Ministry of Power, 12,146 nos. of public EV charging stations are operational across the country.

  • The FAME-II scheme inter-alia included financial support in the form of subsidy for setting up of Public Charging Infrastructure to instill confidence among the EV users.

About Electric Vehicles:

  • The earlier guidelines and standards were issued by the Ministry of Power in December 2018 and will be superseded by the new guidelines.
  • Lack of charging infrastructure is one of the main reasons behind poor adoption of electric mobility in India.
  • According to a survey by the Economic Times in May 2019, with appropriate infrastructure is in place, 90% car owners in India are willing to switch to EVs.
  • Under the NEMMP 2020, there is an ambitious target to achieve 6-7 million sales of hybrid and electric vehicles by the year 2020.
  • At present, EV market penetration is only 1% of total vehicle sales in India, and of that, 95% of sales are electric two-wheelers.

National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020:

  • It is a National Mission document by Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises providing the vision and the roadmap for the faster adoption of electric vehicles and their manufacturing in the country.
  • As part of the NEMMP 2020, Scheme named Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME) was launched in the year 2015 to promote manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicle technology and to ensure sustainable growth of the same.
  • The Phase-I of this Scheme (FAME I) was initially launched for a period of 2 years and was implemented through four focus areas:
    • Demand Creation,
    • Technology Platform,
    • Pilot Project
    • Charging Infrastructure.
    • It was launched in March 2019 for a period of 3 years.
    • The main objective of the scheme is to encourage faster adoption of electric and hybrid vehicle by way of offering upfront incentive on purchase of electric vehicles and also by establishing the necessary charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

Challenges in setting Effective Charging Infrastructure in India

  • Lack of Crucial Resources: India has very little known reserves of lithium; other crucial components such as nickel, cobalt and battery- grade graphite are also imported.
  • Lack of Skill: We still lack sufficient technical know-how in lithium battery manufacturing.
  • Time consuming: It still takes longer to charge an electric vehicle than it does to refuel a conventional car at the pump.
  • Sector Suitability: Heavy-duty truck transportation and aviation, will remain difficult to electrify without drastic advances in battery technology.
  • Disposal of Lithium ion batteries the policy mandate to have 30% of all vehicles as EVs by 2030, the demand for batteries will continue to rise. This translates to an exponentially growing stock pile of discarded batteries. Safe and environment friendly recycling of these batteries remains a challenge.
  • Power supply India will need reliable excess power supply to feed the charging stations. This is a big challenge considering the frequent power outages experienced in many parts of the country, especially during summer.

March 2024