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BW Businessworld

With EV Infra Getting Govt Thrust, Industry Stakeholders Want More Support

BW Businessworld organized an e-summit based on the theme ‘Charging Infrastructure: Challenges & Opportunities on World Environment Day.

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The Phase-II of FAME India Scheme, which was implemented for 3 years commencing from 1st April 2019 with the sole aim of the electrification of public & shared transportation, has given a huge firepower to the fledgling Electric vehicle industry.  To further catalyze its vision, the central government kicked off the commencement of its Expression of Interest (EOI) Inviting Proposals for availing incentives for deployment of EV charging infrastructure on highways and expressways.

While EV sales are yet to take off in a gigantic fashion, charging station players are already reaping fruits of the government’s moves. However, many of them are looking for some additional measures which can make charging business a lucrative proposition. This was discussed at one of the sessions, themed Charging Infrastructure: Challenges & Opportunities’, of an e-summit organised by BW Businessworld on the occasion of World Environment Day. 

While addressing the occasion, Sandeep Bangia, Head — EV, HA & ESCO Business, Tata Power reveals, “For a lot of these initiatives, there are private sector participations and if the government discerns anything worthwhile, they will jump into it.  This is a very interesting initiative which is driven by the government first unlike telecom or other sectors. In EV and EV charging domains, the government is taking progressive steps to leapfrog the country into the EV ecosystem and this ties in with the overall Paris Agreement.”  However, he maintained that it is not that smooth sailing as in his views, “There could be instances in which we could have a requirement for a structured policy by having a consistent state-wide approach or if we can have a central umbrella policy.” 

It is to be mentioned that Tata Power, India’s largest integrated power company, is aggressively expanding its EV charging network and has deployed EV charging solutions in over 40 cities across India so far including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, etc.  

During the same session, Akilur Rahman, Chief Technology Officer, Hitachi ABB Power Grids India feels that when it comes to Charging infrastructure, there are a lot of stakeholders such as the transport utility, electric utility, operator, technology, chargers, etc., involved and hence there is no universal solution. According to him, there will be multiple charging solutions for EVs which need to coexist for EV revolution.  

“The public-private partnership happens when we come together and take some model areas where we want to put some integrated charging infrastructure and see how the economics can be achieved. Here we will evolve charging as a service and this has to be done very dynamically wherein you incorporate technologies like AI, IoT, and then how it is delivered it to different users of a particular vehicle, “avers Rahman.  

It is to be mentioned that Hitachi ABB Power Grids is a global technology major which serves utility, industry and infrastructure customers across the value chain, and emerging areas like sustainable mobility, smart cities, energy storage and data centres.  

During the same session, while sounding optimistic about e-mobility, Maxson Lewis. Managing Director at Magenta Power & EV Solutions Private Limited states, “A huge portion of India is going to be electrified, if I were to say, through charging stations. We are also setting up 2,900 chargers this year under the FAME2 scheme. The govt is doing a brilliant job in the PPP scheme. From a charger’s point of view, money is on the table under the FAME2 scheme.” It is to be mentioned Magenta Power specialises in Solar PV based systems, Solar water heaters, Wind Turbine systems and Bioenergy. Magenta has evolved from a high elevation system fabricators and solar water heaters to green energy solutions provider. 

Seconding his thoughts is Anmol Jaggi, Co-founder, BluSmart Mobility, India's first and leading all-electric ride-hailing service provider that aims to build a holistic and comprehensive electric on-demand mobility platform.  While expressing his concern, he reveals, “Setting up of charging infrastructure is a once in a lifetime or probably a 5-year activity. How to sustain it on a daily basis is to have a competitive tariff, which is something which will catapult this sector much faster because of the prevailing attractive rates. The only thing which worries me is how long these good EV tariffs rates will continue.  So, we need to watch out if the tariff policy is for a couple of years or is it there for a long term.”   

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world environment day 2021