The future of automobiles is electric, and the government is getting more serious about turning on the switch. It is launching a pilot project to establish charging stations for automobiles soon.
The project will kick off in Delhi, and will be solar-powered, a senior government official told HT. It is being developed by Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) and Rajasthan Electronics.
“The prototype is expected to be placed in the next month or two, after which a decision would be taken about its national roll out,” the official said.
“It will be tested for three months. During the testing we will take inputs from the public who will charge their vehicles to improve on the station and its effectiveness before a nationwide launch,” the official added.
In April, the government had announced the FAME (faster adoption and manufacturing of hybrid and electric vehicles) scheme, which provides direct subsidies to consumers for buying such vehicles, ranging from Rs. 1,800-29,000 for two wheelers and Rs. 13,000-1,38,000 for cars.
A corpus of Rs. 795 crore has been set aside for 2015-17. Of this, Rs. 500 crore has been earmarked for subsidising purchases, with the Centre reimbursing the manufacturer for the price difference.
“A major pitfall in better implementation of this scheme is the lack of charging stations in the country, which is why we asked BHEL and Rajasthan Electronics to develop a prototype,” the official said.
The pilot station, to be set up at an initial investment of Rs. 15 lakh, can charge two fourwheelers and five two-wheelers in a day, the official added.
Confirming the development, BHEL spokesperson told HT that the project is at an infancy stage.
Globally, lack of charging stations has been the biggest challenge for electric car usage. India want to counter this with at least one car charging slot on each petrol pump, officials added.