New Charging Infrastructure Guidelines Aim at Faster Adoption of EVs

The Ministry of Power (MOP) has released draft guidelines for electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, aiming to accelerate the adoption of EVs and create a robust charging ecosystem across the country.

The ministry has invited stakeholders’ comments on the guidelines.

The “Guidelines for Installation and Operation of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure-2024” supersede all previous versions issued between 2018 and 2023 and provide a comprehensive framework for developing charging stations in various settings.

The guidelines apply to EV charging infrastructure located in privately-owned parking spaces, semi-restricted areas like office buildings, educational institutions, hospitals, group housing societies, e-bus depots, public places such as commercial complexes, railway stations, petrol pumps, airports, metro stations, shopping arcades, municipal parking, and highways and expressways.

Electricity Connection Timelines

Some of the key general provisions include allowing any individual or entity to set up EV charging stations.

Distribution companies (DISCOMs) must provide electricity connections for charging stations within specified timelines, ranging from three days in metropolitan areas to up to 90 days if new distribution infrastructure is required.

DISCOMs must create online single-window systems to expedite electricity connections.

Charging stations must comply with safety and operational requirements like proper cabling, fire protection, rain protection, adequate space, and trained personnel. They must offer prepaid/postpaid options with time-of-day rates and solar hour discounts.

Tariffs and Infrastructure

A single-part tariff not exceeding the average cost of supply (ACoS) will be applicable until March 31, 2026.

During solar hours (9 AM – 4 PM), the tariff will be 0.7 times ACoS, while during non-solar hours, it will be 1.3 times ACoS. Separate metering for EV charging stations is mandated.

The guidelines specify minimum infrastructure requirements for public charging stations (PCS).

These include at least one charging station in a 1 km x 1 km grid in urban areas by 2030, one charging station every 20 km on both sides of highways/roads, and for long-range EVs and heavy-duty vehicles, at least one fast charging station with specified capabilities every 100 km on highways. Additional PCS/FCS can be installed even if the required density exists.

Public charging stations should have one or more electric kiosks/boards with chargers per specified specifications.

These include Light EV AC Charge Points (up to 7 kW), Light EV DC Charge Points (up to 12 kW), Parkbay AC Charge Points (11/22 kW), Parkbay DC Charge Points (11/22 kW), DC Charging for 4W, Buses, and Trucks (50-250 kW), and High-power DC charging for e-buses/trucks (250-500 kW).

Charging stations must meet safety and operational requirements, including appropriate cabling and electrical protection systems, fire protection equipment, and protection from rain for electrical equipment.

They should also comply with Central Electricity Authority (CEA) regulations, type testing of charging equipment by accredited labs, visual aids for users to navigate the charging process, trained personnel for stations with more than four chargers, clearly demarcated and encroachment-free parking spaces, systems for usage tracking, billing, and payments, display of customer care numbers and emergency contacts, and CCTV with monthly data storage capability.

For residential and community charging, EV owners can charge at residences using existing connections, with additional load applications if required.

Domestic tariffs are applicable for home charging. Group Housing Societies can set up community charging stations and must allow flat owners to install private charging points in allotted parking.

Workplace charging provisions allow office premises to use existing connections for EV charging, with the option to apply for enhanced power loads if required.

Commercial building owners, in consultation with the distribution licensee, must ensure the installation of appropriate workplace chargers.

For e-bus depot charging, operators can apply for electricity connections as per general provisions, with the option to obtain electricity through open access. A minimum of 250 kW capacity chargers or 500 kW dual-gun chargers is recommended.

BEE to be Nodal Agency

The implementation mechanism designates the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) as the Central Nodal Agency, with State Nodal Agencies facilitating electricity connections for public charging infrastructure.

A steering committee under the Additional Secretary, Ministry of Power, will review implementation progress quarterly.

Government and public entities are to provide land at promotional rates to encourage public charging station development. A revenue-sharing model with a fixed rate of ₹1 (~$0.01)/kWh to be paid to the land-owning agency is proposed, with initial agreements for 10-year periods.

Public land-owning agencies can also offer land through bidding with ₹1 (~$0.01)/kWh as the floor price.

The guidelines also address database and information sharing, with BEE creating and maintaining a national online database of public charging stations.

A web portal/mobile app will be developed for information access, and charging station operators must register data with the Central Nodal Agency and share quarterly data on charger-wise energy sales, downtime, and service charges.

State governments must fix a ceiling on service charges for public charging stations. A committee under the CEA will periodically recommend ceiling limits.

The recommended ceiling limits (excluding GST) until March 31, 2026, are ₹3.72 (~$)/unit (solar hours) and ₹4.37(~$)/unit (non-solar) for AC Slow Charging and ₹11.94 (~$)/unit (solar hours) and ₹14.05 (~$)/unit (non-solar) for DC Fast Charging.

For interoperability and protocols, public charging stations must adopt open protocols such as Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP), Open Charge Point Interface (OCPI), and optionally Open Automated Demand Response (OpenADR).

India is aiming for a nine-fold jump in public charging stations by 2030. As of last June, India had a network of 8,738 operational stations.


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