To promote electric vehicles, the government plans to start test trials and set up accompanying infrastructure across the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh, by December, industry officials familiar with the development told FE. “The infrastructure will be set up in coordination with manufacturing of e-vehicles and their roll-out by fleet operators and aggregators. We expect a lot of penetration of e-vehicles and charging infrastructure by the end of year,” a senior official involved in the development of infrastructure said. The infrastructure would take into consideration three-wheelers, four-wheelers and buses with three types of charging features. “Drivers can drive through and swap batteries, put them on fast charging mode that would take not more than 3-5 minutes, or on slow chargers that would take 6-8 and 8-10 hours depending on the range and type of vehicles,” the official said.
The frequency of charging would depend on the type of vehicles. An auto would have a 50 ampere/hour battery, a four-wheeler would have 60-90 ampere/hour battery, while the buses would have around 130-140 ampere/hour battery capacity.
The Power Grid Corporation, with experience of setting up transformers and substations, would be setting up the infrastructure in coordination with fleet operators and aggregators in the next few months.
States like Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have already invited tenders for around 50-100 electric buses, which would require the infrastructure within the cities in coming months.
“We have the expertise for all the three types of charging infrastructure, as it is our core activity. It basically involves the establishment of transformers, control and relay panels, charging modules and the control mechanism. However, all this would depend on the availability of electrical vehicles, which we expect will catch up now with the government’s focus on electric and hybrid vehicles,” Subir Sen, general manager, smartgrids at Power Grid Corporation, said.
Anil Chaudhry, president and MD of Schenider Electric India, which is working closely with the government on the project, said: “We expect the government to establish infrastructure in parts at parking lots, garages, and other such public transits that would have requirement for charging. It would gradually move to cover inter-state traffic movements. However, that would be the most challenging part.”
As of now the government is fine-tuning the Central Electricity Agency’s demand projections for electric vehicles and tariffs for charging the batteries, Chaudhry said.