In Coversation With Mr. Saurabh Kumar, Managing Director, Energy Efficiency Services Ltd.

COULD YOU PLEASE BRIEF US ON EESL’S ROLE IN THE EV SECTOR?

EVs present one of the most promising pathways to address not only India’s growing concerns for pollution, but also to reduce carbon emissions, and improve air quality. The Indian Government’s initiatives, such as the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan and Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric vehicles in India, facilitate concerted efforts towards building an EV ecosystem in the country.

In this light, EESL is creating an eco-system for manufacturers and suppliers to invest in e-mobility in India. We are aggregating demand through bulk procurement, guaranteed payment to suppliers, while conducting awareness activities for consumers. In doing so, we’re attempting to address some of the challenges that have inhibited growth of this industry, such as low demand, high financial risk and costs for industries, and lack of consumer awareness and charging infrastructure.

The Government fleet is already one of the areas where EVs are being deployed through the ongoing procurement of 10,000 EVs by Energy Efficiency Services Limited. We are also working towards a procurement and installation plan. EESL has installed adequate charging infrastructure. 107 AC chargers and 35 DC charger infrastructure has been installed and therefore 386 no. of charging points have been made available for 150 cars deployed in Delhi. These are in the offices where electric vehicles have been provided and are more sufficient for charging the same. EESL is also installing 2,500 charging station across the country where the electric vehicles are being deployed.

We are optimistic that this programme will become a great success story for the Government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, just like the UJALA, and Street Light National Programme.

SINCE EESL HAS RECENTLY ENTERED INTO A STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP WITH BSES FOR EV CHARGING STATIONS IN SOUTH AND WEST DELHI. COULD YOU PLEASE GIVE US SOME INSIGHTS OF THIS PARTNERSHIP? OUR READERS ARE EAGERTOKNOWABOUTITSPROGRESS.

In line with providing energy-efficient technologies, Energy Efficiency Services Limited and BSES Rajdhani Power Limited entered into a partnership to provide reliable services and offerings to over 24 lakh consumers in South and West Delhi. The partnership entails deploying technologies like Electric Vehicles (EV) / EV charging stations with benefits including lower procurement costs for emerging technologies, managing peak power demand, providing grid level storage solutions to balance intermittency in the grid due to integration of more and more renewable power.

HOW WILL THIS PARTNERSHIP BENEFIT THE CITY AND THE EV SECTOR AS A WHOLE?

The scope of this association only covers deployment of technologies such as EVs and we are still in a discussion stage with BSES on the project.

WHAT ARE THE OTHER PROJECTS THAT EESL IS WORKING ON IN EV SECTOR?

ARE YOU PLANNING TO BRING UP SUCH PROJECTS IN OTHER CITIES AS WELL?

Through the EV programme, EESL is attempting to create an eco-system for manufacturers and suppliers to invest in EV in India, aggregating demand through bulk procurement, guaranteeing payment to suppliers, and conducting awareness activities for consumers. In doing so, we’re attempting to address some of the challenges that have inhibited growth of this industry, such as low product demand, high financial risk and costs for industries, and lack of consumer awareness. We are first planning to replace the government’s 5,00,000 conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) cars with electric variants.

We also expect that these efforts will lead to the establishment and expansion of upstream and ancillary industries in India, such as suppliers of lithium-ion battery packs and electric traction motors, and developers of charging infrastructure.

EESL has already received an encouraging response from Central Government departments and across states. So far, 16 agreements/MoUs have been signed, which includes Public Works Department (Maharashtra), Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (Telangana), Government of Andhra Pradesh, Niti Aayog, the Ministry of Power, and the 15th Finance Commission. EESL is in advanced negotiations with other state governments across India.

WHAT ARE THE POLICIES THAT SHOULD BE IMPLEMENTED BY GOVERNMENT FOR FURTHER UPLIFTMENT OF THE SECTOR?

There is a need for creation of public charging infrastructure which requires standards and commercially viable tariffs, so that private players are encouraged to install these charging stations. There is also a need for clear regulatory mechanisms, both in terms of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, rebates, and tariff at which the electricity will be resold for charging these vehicles. These issues need to be resolved to ensure a full-blown e-mobility scenario in India on the lines of Scandinavian countries, China and parts of Europe.

Further, we understand that FAME II policy, which is in the final stages of approval, lays a lot of emphasis on establishment of public charging infrastructure. In fact, it has been recommended that every city with more than one million population will have a public charging station at every 3-5 km. The Government, through the Ministry of Power, will facilitate the setting up of these public charging stations and FAME II will provide up to 50% capital subsidy. Public and private sector entities can also come forward to lay down the infrastructure. Also, recently the GST rate on batteries for electric cars was reduced from 28% to 18%. This will boost faster adoption of EVs by reducing their prices.

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