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Plug-in electric vehicles in India

The electric vehicle industry in India is slowly growing. The central and state governments have implemented schemes and incentives to promote electric mobility, and have introduced regulations and standards. Although India would benefit from converting its transport from internal combustion (IC) engines to electric motors, challenges include a lack of charging infrastructure, high initial cost and a lack of renewable energy. E-commerce companies, car manufacturers, app-based transport network companies and mobility-solution providers have entered the sector, however, and are slowly building electric-car capacity and visibility.[1][2]

Electric vehicle manufacturers in India

Standards

Charging

Three car-charging plugs
From left to right: CHAdeMO (IEC 62196-3 configuration AA, DC), Combo2 (IEC 62196-3 configuration FF, DC), and Type 2 (IEC 62196–2, AC). A common socket can be used for Type 2 (AC) and Combo 2 (DC)
Electric vehicle standards and specifications[13]
Charging station Maximum Supported
Level Type Voltage (V) Current (A) Power (kW) Vehicles Connector(s)
(preferred)
1 AC 240 16 3.5 Light EV
4w, 3w, 2w
Type 1, Bharat AC-001
DC 48–120 100 15 Bharat DC-001
2 AC 380–400 63 () / 70 () 22 4w, 3w, 2w Type 1, Type 2, GB/T, Bharat AC-001
3 200–1000 4.3–22 Cars and SUVs
4w
Type 2
4 DC 400 Type 2, CHAdeMO, CCS1, CCS2

Indian Standard 17017 (IS 17017) is the governing standard in India, with parts and sections largely compatible with IEC 61851 and IEC 62196:[14][15]

  • Part 1 has basic features and general requirements
  • Part 2 has connector standards:
    • Part 2 § 1 is adapted from IEC 62196-1
    • Part 2 § 2 is adapted from IEC 62196-2 for India
    • Part 2 § 3 is adapted from IEC 62196-3
  • Part 3 is adapted from IEC 61851-3 for light EVs
  • Part 21, adapted from IEC 61851-21, has electromagnetic compatibility standards for charging units
  • Part 23, adapted from IEC 61851-23, has requirements for DC EVSEs
  • Part 24, adapted from IEC 61851-24, has communication requirements for DC EVSEs

Charging stations in India are classified as distributed or high-power, depending on the maximum power which can be supplied. Within these classifications are distinctions based on the current (alternating or direct current) and intended use:[14]: 12–13 

Charging infrastructure[16]
Type Power (kW) Level Connector standard Notes
Distributed charge points
AC Light EV 7 1 IS-60309 Includes low-cost AC charge points with a maximum of 3 kW using 220 VAC / 15 A supply line, target price ₹3,500 for two- and three-wheeled light vehicles
DC Light EV IS-17017-2-6 Unique to India due to use of low-voltage (≤120V) traction batteries
AC Parkbay 11 (max 22) 2 IS-17017-2-2
DC Parkbay IS-17017-2-3
High-power charge points
DC 50–250 3 IS-17017-2-3
Dual-gun 250–500 4 IS-17017-2-3 Uses dual CCS2 connectors
Automated pantograph IS-17017-3-2 Based on SAE J3105-1

AC

IS:17017 specifies Bharat EV Charging standard AC001 for Level 1. It uses 15A, 230V, 3.3 kW, and an IEC 60309 connector. Electric vehicles can be charged with a regular 220V – 15A household supply that delivers about 2.5 kW of power. There is no policy or standard for at-home EV charging. Bharat EV specifications recommend the installation of a residual current circuit breaker to ensure safety and using an IEC 60309 industrial connector, but a three-pin 15A plug could also be used.[17] For higher power AC charging (Levels 2 and 3, ~22 kW), Type 2 connectors are specified.[18] The advantage of Type 2 connectors is their ability to use three-phase electric power.

DC

The public DC charging standard is DC 001 for Level 1, using custom GB/T for EV-EVSE communication over a CAN bus.[17] It uses 200A, 15 kW, and a GB/T 20234.3 connector. Maximum DC output voltage is 100V. Cars using this standard include the Mahindra e-Varito, Mahindra e20 and Tata Moters e-Tigor.

IS:17017-1, published by the BIS in August 2018, recommends CCS-2 (Combined Charging System Combo 2) and CHAdeMO protocols for high-power Level 4 fast charging.[17][19] The advantage of CCS over CHAdeMO and GB/T is that it uses power-line communication (PLC) for EV-EVSE communication; CHAdeMO and GB/T use CAN. PLC allows secure, encrypted communications, and the link can support a higher data rate than CAN.[20]

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE)

The IS:17017 standard published by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) covers general requirements and safety norms for EVSEs.[17]

Central Management System (CMS)

The Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) 1.5 or higher over the internet is required.[21]

Charging stations

The Indian government has defined public charging stations and EV charging businesses as de-licensed activity.[22][23] It has been specified that each 3-by-3-kilometre (1.9 by 1.9 mi) area in cities must have at least one charging station, and one station every 25 kilometres (16 mi) on both sides of highways. These guidelines were mandated in cities with populations of over four million and all expressways and major highways connecting those cities by 2022. The second phase (three to five years) will focus on large cities, such as state capitals and Union Territory headquarters.[24] Plugin India is an initiative to facilitate community charging stations,[25] and solar-powered charging points at fuel stations are planned.[26][27][28] Companies such as Tata Power, Fortum and Joulepoint are part of the electric-vehicle-charging sector. They have installed a variety of chargers, including rapid DC chargers and level 2 AC chargers, for applications such as public access, workplace charging, fleet charging, residential communities, malls, and highways.

The development of public charging infrastructure, particularly level 2 charging, is expected to be the greatest challenge to service integration. Standard charging time is six to eight hours, and cost and lack of renewable energy are issues for fast DC charging. Ten percent of required charging infrastructure is expected to consist of fast-charging stations, and the remainder will be level 2 public charging stations.[29] Ather Energy introduced Ather Grid, its charging infrastructure service, on 22 May 2018 in Bangalore; each charging station is known as a point. The service, available for all electric vehicles, has been deployed where Ather plans to introduce its electric scooter.[30]

Government policies

Union

Reiterating its commitment to the Paris Agreement, the government of India plans to make a major shift to electric vehicles by 2030.[31][32][33] It outlined a two-pronged strategy for buyers and manufacturers, offering $1.4 billion in subsidies to buyers and increasing import tariffs to encourage the manufacture of electric vehicles by domestic companies.[34] The government is focusing on electrifying public transportation with subsidies, primarily for two-wheelers, three-wheelers, and buses. It also earmarks $140 million for the development of charging infrastructure.[34] On 14 December 2018, the government released an outline of standards and guidelines for EV charging infrastructure. In addition to specifications for charging infrastructure, the guidelines require a charging station for every 25 kilometres (16 mi) of road or highway.[35] Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) is obtaining 10,000 electric vehicles for rent or sale to government departments.[citation needed]

National Electric Mobility Mission Plan, 2020 (NEMMP)

This plan was introduced by the government of India in 2012 to increase national fuel security through the promotion of hybrid and electric vehicles.[36] India's auto industry contributes 22 percent to manufacturing GDP, a percentage expected to increase to 25 percent by 2022 with the new manufacturing policy.[37] The NEMMP aims for 30-percent EV penetration in India by 2030.[38]

Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles (FAME)

The government began a Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of hybrid and Electric vehicles (FAME) scheme, which provides incentives for purchasing electric vehicles.[39] Phase I of the scheme was from 2015 to 2019;[40] Phase II began in 2019, and was planned for completion in 2022.[41][42]

The government is releasing tenders to increase charging infrastructure nationwide.[43] The scheme offers incentives for electric and hybrid vehicles ranging from 1,800 to 29,000 for scooters and motorcycles and 1.38 lakh for cars. FAME is a part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan.[44]

Go Electric campaign

The government introduced its Go Electric campaign in early 2021 to encourage the adoption of electric mobility vehicles and electric cooking appliances and to ensure energy security. Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari launched the campaign, saying that Go Electric is a future for India which will promote low-cost, environmentally friendly, indigenous electrical products. Gadkari expressed concern about the cost of importing fossil fuels, and called CO2 emissions from transportation vehicles are a major challenge. The country must encourage the use of vehicles using alternative fuels such as electric batteries, compressed natural gas and biofuels.[45] The government waived registration fees for EVs, and urged the states to give tax breaks.[46]

Delhi

In 2019 the Delhi government approved 1,000 low-floor AC electric buses to be used in the union territory's public-transport system.[47] The buses have CCTV, an automatic vehicle tracking system (AVTS), panic buttons and panic alarms. The government subsidy is 75 lakh or 60 percent of the cost of the bus, whichever is less. By, Delhi had 249 electric buses on the road.[48] The Delhi-based startup Park+ plans to set up 10,000 chargers by 2024 in the Delhi NCR.[49] Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot tweeted that the Delhi government would continue its EV policy in 2023.[50]

Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami introduced Mauto Electric Mobility's electric auto rickshaws, reportedly India's first retrofitted electric autos, in 2019. The Dubai-based KMC Group and Mauto Electric Mobility will convert petrol-powered auto rickshaws into electric vehicles with an investment of 100 crore and create 5,000 jobs. The companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) during Palaniswami's stopover in Dubai on his three-nation trip in September.[year needed]

"The driving range per full charge of three hours will be 100 kilometres (62 mi). The aim is to introduce 4,000 electric rickshaws in the city, 100 by a month to reduce air pollution to a large extent. The autos are fitted with CCTV surveillance, panic button and television. It is highly safe for children going to school and women", said Mansoor Ali Khan, chair of the Mauto group of companies. Mansoor, chief executive officer of the MAuto Group, said that petrol-driven auto rickshaws cost 350–400 per 100 km, and their electric counterparts cost 40. "The retrofitting of auto rickshaws will cost only 1.2 to 1.5 lakh. We are ready to convert vehicles registered after 2000", he added. The company is planning to set up charging stations in each of Chennai's ten zones. Charging on the go will be possible with a mobile app.[51]

Karnataka

Karnataka approved the Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Policy 2017,[52] which aims to attract investment of 310 billion and create about 55,000 jobs. The union government has announced its vision to make India an all-electric-vehicle market by 2031 to reduce the country's dependence on fossil fuels and reduce its carbon footprint.

Maharashtra

The Maharashtra government is focusing on increasing EV use in the state by proposing an EV road-tax exemption and a 15-percent subsidy for the first 10,000 EVs registered in the state. To improve infrastructure, the government proposed a maximum subsidy of 1 million (~$15,549) per charging station for the first 250 stations set up in the state.[53]

Uttarakhand

In 2018, the Uttarakhand government introduced a scheme to promote the manufacture and use of EVs.[54] The scheme would provide companies with loans ranging from 100 million and 500 million to build EVs and charging infrastructure, and would exempt the first 10,000 EV purchasers from motor tax for five years.

Gujarat

The Gujarat government is committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 600,000 tons per year by decreasing pollution from the burning of fossil fuels. EV purchasers are eligible for subsidies of up to 20,000 for two-wheelers, 50,000 for three-wheelers, and 150,000 for four-wheelers.[55] Capital for infrastructure is being offered to set up charging stations in the state; 280 charging stations were set up across Gujarat after the EV policy was announced, and 250 more are planned.[56]

Advantages

Electric vehicles are three to five times more efficient than internal-combustion vehicles in utilising energy. If electric vehicles run on electricity produced from fossil fuels, their overall efficiency remains higher and their pollution is less; large thermal power plants are more efficient than IC engines, and it is easier to control emissions from power plants than from vehicle engines. Electric vehicles save energy by regenerative braking. Thirty to seventy percent of the energy used for propulsion can be recovered, with higher percentages in stop-and-go city driving.[57]

Air-quality indices in India[58][59] show that the air in many cities is no longer healthy, with automobile-related pollution a cause. Climate change requires a shift to automotive solutions which reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. If electric vehicles run on electricity produced from non-polluting sources of energy such as hydro, solar, wind, tidal and nuclear, their emissions are reduced almost to zero. India's crude-oil imports for 2014–15 were US$112 billion[60] (about 7 trillion). For comparison, the allocation for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in the 2017–18 budget was 480 billion.[61] India can become a global provider for sustainable transport and processes which are affordable and scalable. Residents of some Indian cities are affected by noise pollution;[62] some Indian cities have the world's highest noise-pollution levels.[63][64] Electric vehicles are quieter, and may help reduce urban noise pollution.[65]

Energy efficiency and emission reduction have improved in automobiles, but the increase in the number of vehicles on the road negates these gains; energy-efficiency and pollution-control measures did not keep pace with sales growth. The total number of vehicles registered in India was 5.4 million in 1981,[66] 11 million in 1986,[67] 33 million in 1996,[67] 40 million in 2000[68] and 210 million in 2015.[66] The total number of vehicles sold in India increased from 15,481,381 in 2010–11 to 20,469,385 in 2015–16.[69]

With smart charging, electric vehicles can help balance supply variations in the electricity grid and provide a buffer against electricity-supply failures. Electric vehicles have fewer moving parts than vehicles with IC engines, and are cheaper and easier to maintain.[70][71] Electric motors can deliver high torque at low speeds, performing better in acceleration and on slopes than IC-engine-powered vehicles.[72]

Disadvantages

The cost of EVs is high, primarily due to the cost of lithium-ion batteries. The battery packs are imported, and cost about $275/KWh in India. This, combined with the GST of 18% and the lack of lithium in India, further increases the cost of batteries.[73] The charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in India has not been fully developed.[74] Electricity in India is primarily produced by burning coal, which produces a large amount of greenhouse emissions. With the introduction of EVs and charging infrastructure, electricity demand will increase; introducing EVs to reduce GHG emissions would be ineffective if the electricity was produced by burning coal. India's indebted distribution companies cannot meet the country's energy requirements as it is.[75] Fast charging stations are charging nearly Rs 25 per kWh to cover the investment and running costs which would not offer any benefit over ICE vehicles in terms of life cycle cost of the vehicle except surface air pollution reduction.

See also

References

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Plug-in electric vehicles in India
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