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India set to unveil Indian Standards for low-cost EV AC charging points

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The Govt. of India has announced that the Indian Standards for low-cost AC charging points for electric vehicles (EVs) will be released within the next two months with target prices starting as low as Rs 3,500 for a charging unit.

A forthcoming Indian Standard will permit a rapid scaling up of EV charging infrastructure that is much needed in the country, as per the office of Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India (GoI).

In India, the share of Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) two-wheelers & three-wheelers is ~84 percent of total vehicle sales. Therefore, the fastest adoption of EVs is expected to be in these segments.

By 2025 forecast, it is expected up to four million such vehicles could be sold each year, growing to almost 10 million by 2030. Any charging solution to serve this sector must be highly scalable, easily accessible by the public; it should support interoperability, and be affordable. Most systems developed across the globe address higher levels of power and are very expensive for widespread deployment.

Thus, the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to GoI, in close coordination with NITI Aayog had taken on this challenge.

A committee comprising all the key stakeholders including EV manufacturers, auto and electronic component suppliers, power utilities, and communication service providers has worked in fast-track mode to develop specifications, prototype products, and undertake testing and validation of the proposed standards. These will be formally issued by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

The group had set a target price of less than Rs 3500 ($50) for a smart AC charge point operated with a smartphone, for a global breakthrough in affordable EV charging infrastructure. Fast-track development of the standard, close working between industry and government, and diligent testing and validation have met with success. This Low-Cost AC Charge point (LAC) allows up to 3 kW of power to be drawn charging e-scooters and e-auto rickshaws.

Furthermore, several Indian manufacturers are already on board to make this Charge Point Device, as per Indian Standards, with target prices starting as low as Rs 3,500.

Moreover, the LAC device is intended to be highly scalable and deployed in any place where a 220V 15A single-phase line is available – mainly targeting parking lots of metro and railway stations, shopping malls, hospitals, office complexes, apartments, and even Kirana and other shops.

Also, the draft Indian Standard has been taken up by the BIS Committee on Electromobility Standards. The formal release of the standards will be done within the next two months, after the conclusion of field and durability trials of sample products. It is anticipated that a new industry sector will transpire catering to the high volume, low-cost charging infrastructure for EVs.

On the observation on charging infrastructure, Dr V. Sumantran, Chairman of DST-PSAO Group, said "when industry and government entities come together to work on national goals, remarkable progress can be achieved with speed. Furthermore, this effort brought out the talent in India for intelligent cost-innovation. Affordability constraints in India demand that we address problems keeping in mind both cost and scalability."

"The stress on charging points rather than costly charging stations has led to the enhanced efforts by the team for developing the LAC Charging standard for the light electric vehicles segment, as the next logical step," said Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog.

Author : Moulin Oza
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