Railways have announced a policy that will see them replace all of their vehicles that use diesel, biofuels, or natural gas by December 2025. This is a major boost to the Centre’s ambitious goal to make India 100% electric by 2030.
The policy would create a large charging infrastructure at major railway stations, office buildings, as well as parking lots. To match the global standard, India must have 46,000 EV charging stations in place by 2030.
According to railways, the targets for installing EV charging stations and phasing out 20% of its fleet are December 2023, 60% by 2024, and 100% by 2025.
In the initial phase, the replacement of inspection vehicles in divisional offices and attached units will not be necessary. However, officials would require the vehicles for frequent trips to remote areas without charging infrastructure.
It will also provide a charging infrastructure that is affordable and easily accessible for all users. This includes passengers and visitors. The zonal railway’s general managers were asked to instruct their officers to demarcate parking spaces within office buildings and stations for the installation of EV-charging infrastructure.
CPOs (charging point operators) will be invited to install EV-charging stations in these locations. The railways will charge a parking fee to use the charging infrastructure. CPOs will ensure that all compatible EV owners have access and provide a mobile app for EV users to find and book chargers as well as pay for them digitally.
The Central Electricity Authority and other agencies or departments would issue safety guidelines for the installation of the chargers.