The concept of electric vehicles is taking India by storm. The government of India is seeking electric vehicle promotion in a way that their sales accounts for at least 30% of the entire four-wheeler sales by the year 2030.
However, a significant concern remains the electric vehicle charging infrastructure the country lacks because of multiple factors. According to a JMK Research and Climate Trends report, India needs around 39 lakh semi-public and public charging stations to cater to the charging needs of approximately 8 crore electric vehicles. The statistics are huge, and so is our country’s determination to establish EVs in the Indian market for good.
As per the global scenario in general, 1 charging station can cater to the charging needs of 6 to 20 electric vehicles. On the contrary, India has 1 charging station for around 135 electric vehicles, increasing the chance of the country achieving 40% less than its EV 2030 goals.
Is the Nation Ready to Achieve Its EV 2030 Goals?
As an electric vehicle charging station company in India, we believe India’s EV charging infrastructure needs immediate attention to eliminate or reduce range anxiety amongst drivers and help them charge conveniently and quickly.
So, the government of India has been working diligently and, as a result, launched several initiatives like the FAME scheme and plans like NEMMP (National Electric Mobility Mission Plan) to encourage EV adoption in the country. However, what matters the most is the implementation of such initiatives along with the private sector’s investment.
The contribution of private players and RWAs (Resident Welfare Associations) plays an essential role in setting up the entire EV charging station, as the government alone may not be able to create an extensive network range.
Before we proceed with articulating obstacles and solutions in India’s current EV charging infrastructure scenario, here’s a pictorial look into the current number of electric vehicles charging stations in India.
Barriers to the Development of EV Charging Infrastructure in India
Insufficient Power Grid
With the growing population, the demand for power in India is also increasing. However, the expectation, set to rise between 9-12% in the first six months of 2023 alone, has put enormous pressure on the power grid. Unfortunately, the pressure is expected to increase with the addition of EV charging demands, resulting in regular electricity cuts, especially in underdeveloped areas.
The country’s power shortage can ultimately discourage the already slow electric vehicle adoption by displaying charging uncertainty, ultimately reducing the confidence of private sector investors in the EV infrastructure industry.
India is a geographically vast nation with terrains varying from mountains to jungles and rivers, all of which require specific considerations when it comes to EV charging infrastructure. For instance, in areas with heavy rainfall, the chargers should show excellent resistance to the accumulated water.
Additionally, the rural-urban divide in the country increases the installation and maintenance challenges for the installers or operators looking forward to setting up the EV infrastructure in diversified localities. However, one thing that hinders the development of EV infrastructure is that there might need to be more electric vehicles to set up the entire infrastructure and justify the huge investment.
To overcome operational challenges, the government can develop innovative solutions ranging from fast charging technology to renewable energy sources.
Improper Public Charging Infrastructure
The BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) expects the country to feature 46,397 electric vehicle charging stations across 9 Indian cities by 2030, of which India currently has only 5,234 electric vehicle stations.
Even though the government wishes for small business owners, retailers, and RWAs to have EV charging stations at their sites, they might be hesitant because of the unavailability of funds. In addition, they might need to be made aware of several benefits these charging stations can offer their businesses.
Solutions to Scale the EV Charging Infrastructure in India
Increasing the Production of Renewable Energy
It is possible to make electric vehicle charging a sustainable and economical option by incorporating some sources of renewable energy with the EV charging infrastructure. It helps decrease the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels, reducing global warming and pollution effects on the planet. Additionally, it balances power cuts, making electric vehicle charging an affordable option for owners.
Considering the geographic situation of India, there are several rivers, enough sunshine, and convenient wind patterns that hold great potential to generate renewable energy. The Indian government has been making constant efforts to increase renewable energy generation. It wishes to be able to produce up to 500 GW by 2030, which accounts for almost 50% of the entire energy requirements.
Improving the Public EV Charging Infrastructure
The Ministry of Power and organizations like BEE are working to install electric vehicle charging stations in the cities, along the highways, and in public areas.
The Ministry of Heavy Industries, under the scheme FAME India, accredited the establishment of 2,877 electric vehicle charging stations across several states, along with the construction of 1,576 EV charging stations covering 9 expressways and 16 highways.
This roadway network, across the nation, covers approximately 10,275 km, decreasing the driver’s range anxiety by assuring charging on the way with a sufficient number of EV charging stations.
In addition, the Ministry of Power’s Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) initiative motivated several private entities to construct around 810 electric vehicle charging stations. Moreover, the government is incentivising malls, businesses, RWAs, and parking lot owners looking forward to helping India achieve its EV charging infrastructure goals.
Develop Fast-Charging Technology
A standard or slow charger can take between an hour to five to completely charge the battery. However, the government can focus on developing fast-charging technologies to reduce the charging time and range anxiety.
Developing such technologies can help reduce the number of charging stations the nation needs to fulfil the EV charging demand for more electric vehicles. Moreover, the government aims to financially support the installation of fast-charging stations across India.
Incentivise Private Sector Investment
The government of India is acknowledging the importance of the private sector in building the electric vehicle charging infrastructure. In addition, they have introduced multiple policies and initiatives to incentivise private sector investment.
FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles) scheme is one such initiative in which the government has granted INR 800 crores to oil companies to set up several electric vehicle charging stations. Moreover, the government has enabled this sector's 100% FDI (Foreign Direct Investment), further encouraging private investment.
Final Words for Bettering India’s EV Charging Infrastructure
As an EV charging infrastructure company in India, we believe electric vehicle infrastructure development can help reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, escalate economic growth, and increase the generation and usage of renewable energy. Even though the country is facing several challenges on a macro level, the government is working hard to fulfil its EV 2030 goals.
Let us appreciate the country’s efforts to create a more sustainable and greener future.