NITI Aayog yesterday released a handbook to guide state governments and local bodies to frame policies and norms towards setting up charging networks for electric vehicles (EV). The objective is to enhance charging infrastructure and facilitate a rapid transition to electric mobility in the country.
The Handbook for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Implementation has been jointly developed by NITI Aayog, Ministry of Power (MoP), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), and World Resources Institute (WRI) India.
The Handbook provides a systematic and a holistic approach for adoptions by implementing authorities and other stakeholders involved in planning, authorisation and execution of EV charging infrastructure. It presents an overview of the technological and regulatory frameworks and governance structures needed to facilitate EV charging. It focuses on the present needs of charging infrastructure development while considering the evolving nature of the sector.
Unlike fossil fuel-powered vehicles, electric vehicles can be charged at any location, provided charging points are available. This requires a distinct approach to planning EV charging networks—one that allows them to charge whenever they are parked, either at night or during the day. Local authorities need to set targets for the required scale of public charging infrastructure and ensure that it is covered in planning processes. The handbook highlights the critical role of planning authorities in integrating EV charging infrastructure into their transport and urban planning frameworks.
While the MoP has set a national target of having at least one charging station for every 3*3 grid, or at every 25km on a highway, setting granular targets and plans are up to urban local bodies or state nodal agencies. The handbook is primarily meant for implementing authorities like municipal corporations and discoms but also highlights regulatory measures that can further ease the process of installing charging infrastructure.