The first step towards nationwide electric vehicle charging infrastructure in India was recently taken by the government when an agreement was signed between a Finland-based company and a government-owned infrastructure developer in India, reported CleanTechnica. Fortum and NBCC India signed a memorandum of understanding for developing charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.
The agreement covers planning, designing, investing, and operating the charging infrastructure using a cloud-based system. “India is an important market for us. We have developed Fortum Charge & Drive to meet these demands, paving the way for the more widespread and efficient use of electric vehicles,” Arto Räty, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Communications, Fortum told CleanTechnica. Fortum has set up a 22 kilowatt charging station at NBCC premises on a pilot basis. This will likely be tested once the first batch of electric vehicles are delivered to government institutions later this year.
Fortum and NBCC plan to set up more than 150 charging stations across the country over the next 12–18 months. This rapid expansion will be necessary, as the government has just ordered 10,000 electric vehicles through a public tender.
Recently, Shri Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways made an announcement recently that India will switch completely to electric vehicles by 2030 and warned Indian carmakers that he would ensure policies are created to push them to make electric vehicles. India plans to stop sales of vehicles that use fossil fuels by 2030. Apart from cars and private vehicles, the Indian government is also looking to significantly expand electric vehicles in public transportation. Electric buses will soon ply in India and the government has come out with a long-term policy for states and cities to develop infrastructure friendly to the growth of electric vehicles. Considering that India imports over 80% of its crude oil at a cost of over $80 billion, and air pollution is now blamed for over 1 million premature deaths per year, this transformation would be a giant step towards energy security and air quality improvements of unprecedented levels.
Aside from Fortum’s deal with NBCC, as CleanTechnica reported, ABB just landed a deal to supply 4,500 EV charging stations across India. So, it’s clear India is actually moving into the EV future.
The charging stations for electric vehicles have already popped up in states such as Karnataka and Maharashtra due to their early adoption of electric vehicles for government fleets. Cab services like Ola have also announced their plans to switch to electric vehicles. The cost of batteries and battery charges have seen a significant global reduction while charging speeds as well battery quality have gone up. Some auto-manufacturers have also taken steps towards increasing the production of electric cars and two-wheelers. Companies like Tesla are already salivating at the idea of capturing the Indian electric car market share. Moreover, Anand Mahindra, chairman of the $19-billion diversified Mahindra group believes that electric vehicles will be the preferred choice for ride aggregators, as demand for petrol and diesel cars starts “tapering off “, as reported by TOI. Japanese auto major Honda Motor Co has also started working on electric vehicles keeping in mind India’s push for such automobiles but told PTI that a clear road map is required for successful commercial launch. Several policies and incentives have been put forth for facilitating the transition such as the subsidies for hybrid and electric bikes and cars by the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan switch to electric vehicles in a seamless manner.