Constrained due to the high rate of dependence on fossil fuels, the majority of countries’ leaders have laid out elaborate plans on transitioning their existing vehicular energy demands toward non-convectional sources.
The dawn of Electric Vehicles in the automobile market, provided them with much-needed impetus, therefore developing a new world of competitiveness where every country strives to target a 100% switch to electric mobility as its end goal.
An interesting thing to note is that only countries compete for this end goal but states within a country are also targeting these internal goals to reach complete electric mobility.
This is specifically true for states of India where indoor competition to declare 100% switch to electrification is going on in full swing.
Starting with our State EV Policies series, the state in highlight for this week is none other than West Bengal and its EV Policy.
Not too late for the party, West Bengal Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy was formulated on 3rd June 2021 where the power department of the state released the official gazette five years after the date of its issue.
Aimed to promote electric mobility while making the state the next charging infrastructure hub, West Bengal Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy plans to have one million EVs operational on the streets of West Bengal, combined across all segments by the end of the policy period.
Aims to leverage the history of the electric mobility transportation ecosystem and implement it in West Bengal to lead India’s future in electric vehicles.
Objective of West Bengal Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy
- The policy aims to use EVs to enable the transition to environmentally friendly cities.
- Plans to promote innovation activities through grants and venture funds to the research organization, incubators and start-ups working on next-generation battery technology, EV power trains, fuel cell technologies and EV electronics.
- Attract investment into major components manufacturing of charging/battery swapping infrastructure and hydrogen generation and fueling station development.
- West Bengal Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy aims to have 1,00,000 public, and semi-public charging stations during the policy implementation.
- The policy plans to have 10 lakh electric vehicles across all segments within the policy period.
- Achieve an electric vehicle or public charge point ratio of 8 by the implementation of the policy.
- Develop robust infrastructure for EVs including adequate power supply and a network of charging points with favorable power tariffs.
- Keeping a closed lid on battery pollution by promoting recycling and reuse of the used batteries and disposing of the rejected batteries in an environmentally friendly manner.
Measures under West Bengal Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy
Development of EV Accelerator Cell
- To facilitate the smooth transition of electric vehicles, the policy aims to develop an EV accelerator cell to switch ICE vehicles in all segments including 2Ws, 3Ws, and 4Ws passenger cars, vans and buses.
- State EV Fund will be utilized for this cell while establishing an EV forum and setting up EV charging infrastructure.
Promoting EV Awareness Campaigns
- West Bengal Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy also plans to target the mindset of its residents by organizing state-level EV awareness campaigns and intensive public outreach programs.
- For this, the policy aims to develop a dedicated EV awareness web portal and mobile app with a state-level charge points registry and a journey planner may also be developed.
- The twinning of cities from West Bengal with other leading EV countries for deep knowledge exchange and sharing of best practices among the cities.
Measures for Establishing EV Charging Infrastructure
- Establishing swapping stations will be done in the form of kiosks in order to service two-wheelers and three-wheelers.
- By 2025, West Bengal Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy aims to add 100,000 charging stations.
- Current private buildings for commercial spaces like malls will be incentivized to develop charging and battery swapping stations.
- DISCOMs will release supply to charging/battery swapping stations within 48 hours of application.
- Under the policy, multiple charge operators either public or private will be invited to establish EV charging facilities and battery swapping stations all over the state in multiple phases through concessional locations for charging stations.
- Tariff for EV charging can be around rupees 6 kWh per unit single part tariff to keep the end-user service charge from those public charging stations attractive to EV owners.
- According to the West Bengal Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy targets, a promotional single-part tariff will govern the public charging high tension (HT) and low tension (LT) points capped at ₹6/kVAh for the next two years.
- To provide charging service to EVs, the policy aims to target third-party EV charging infrastructure providers that would be allowed to procure power from DISCOMs at a tariff determined by the regulator
- West Bengal Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy aims to develop the first few hydrogen generation and refueling stations.
- Supporting the development of non-convectional fuel sources, various private players will also be allowed to set up hydrogen stations.
Model for Electric Mobility Cities
- To develop West Bengal as the epicenter of new innovative initiatives, major commercial cities like Kolkata, Asansol, Darjeeling and Howrah have been identified as model electric mobility cities.
- Here the mass adoption of EVs and charging infrastructure will be given priority.
- Under the state policy, a new town in Kolkata will be identified as the new epicenter of pilot projects for new initiatives.
- Inter-city electrification green routes will also be identified for the Kolkata-Asansol and Kolkata-Digha routes.
- Establishing rapid chargers at an average of every 25 km, catering to electric buses and heavy-duty vehicles, is another initiative mentioned in the West Bengal Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy.
Research and Development
- Considered the most significant approach to developing next-generation vehicles, West Bengal Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy plans to fund research grants to fund the most innovative solutions in the mobility space have also been planned.
- Separate land and office space will be specifically provided for public and private research labs, incubators, and start-ups to set up facilities.
- Apart from research facilities establishment, EV Innovation Centre will be built to focus on industry-oriented research on battery technology development.
- Here, recycling and reuse of batteries, battery management systems, charging infrastructure, efficient controllers, and powertrains will also be researched.