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Explained: Delhi’s ambitious plan to switch to electric vehicles and the infrastructure needed

In August 2020, the Delhi government launched the Delhi Electric Vehicle Policy with an aim to drive the transition to Battery Electric Vehicles, so that they contribute to 25 per cent of the total new vehicle registrations by 2024. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had then described the policy as a step towards reducing pollution levels in the city.
An aspect of this policy is the creation of EV charging infrastructure to support this transition.

Delhi’s power minister Satyendra Jain announced last week that in the first phase, the government aims to install 500 Electric Vehicle (EV) charging points at 100 locations, and, as per the Delhi EV Policy, new constructions shall have EV chargers in 20 per cent of its parking spaces, and those with more than 100 parking spaces shall reserve 5 per cent for such chargers.
What are the EV charging bays to be built in Delhi?
In phase 1, 100 electric-vehicle (EV) charging bays and battery swapping stations, each with the capacity to charge 5 vehicles are set to come up in 100 locations, most of them in land owned by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). These shall be within 3 km of each other and come with a minimum output of 3.3 KW.
The nodal agency for the project is the Delhi Transco Limited (DTL), which has invited bids from private agencies for the same.
Moreover, as per the amended building bylaws, private charging points that must be installed in 20 per cent of all parking spaces in all new constructions, and 5 per cent of parking spaces offering more than 100 spaces for parking for already constructed areas. These are being targeted to be completed by December this year.
In addition to these, several locations are being readied by the municipal corporations as well.
Who would build them?
Jasmine Shah, vice-chairperson of the DDC said Tuesday to The Indian Express, “The tender to the company(s) who shall set up the charging points shall be awarded in April. The other party, as per the PPP model, shall set up the charging stations and recover the cost of it via the service fees that they shall charge. The company offering the lowest service fee charge will be preferred for the award.”
For the pre-bid meeting held in March, 67 entities showcased their interest, said Shah.
As per the tender document, “the Bidder shall be responsible for supply, erection, testing, commissioning and maintaining at his own cost the Electrical Vehicle Charging Station and all other works required for the execution and functioning of the Electrical Vehicle Charging Station.”
What governmental support shall be provided?
The Delhi government shall provide the electrical infrastructure and ensure the bays are connected to the grid. “The government shall foot in around Rs 10 crore to ensure that the electricity network is in place and it is connected to the gird with adequate load,” said Shah.
The government of Delhi shall provide Rs 6,000 for the first 30,000 of slow charging points for the private charging stations that must constitute 20 per cent of all parking in new constructions and 5 per cent of all parking of those plots with more than 100 car parking capacity.
These provisions are a part of Delhi’s Electric Vehicle Policy.
Where shall they come up?
Shah said that various authorities were asked to pool land and provide it for the project. “We have more than 200 land parcels from various land-owning agencies and shall begin with 100. These areas are well-connected and receive traffic. Both fast and slow chargers for 2-4 wheelers shall be made available,” he said.
The land agencies that have given land pools of 23 sqm at various locations are the DMRC, Delhi Transport Corporation, BSES Rajdhani Power Limited, BSES Yamuna Power Limited, Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited, Delhi State Industrial And Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited, Delhi’s transport Department and others.
These 100 land parcels are spread across the various districts of Delhi except for the Central, South-East and Shahdara districts.
The sites were chosen based on the data collection drive carried out by the DTL, which judged its load availability, its presence in other commercial locations, population density, vehicular density, geography, and others.
To defray the fixed costs, concessional locations are provided on a revenue-sharing model, with sharing between the land-owning agency and the concessionaire linked to each unit of energy sold.
Twenty-two land parcels are in the north-west district, followed by 19 in the south district, 18 in the west, 15 in the south-west, 9 in the northeast, 8 in the east, 5 in the north district and 4 at the New Delhi district.
What would a single charging bay have, and what kinds of facilities could it provide?
These charging bays are public charging stations and provide unrestricted access irrespective of vehicles. Even if the concessionaire decides to provide a subscription plan, they cannot disallow other vehicles from charging their vehicles, unlike private charging stations at workplaces, homes, commercial areas, and others.
There are two broad categories of chargers – slow and fast. Slow chargers provide a minimum output of up to 3.3 KW, and fast/moderate chargers includes DC-001, Type 2 AC (22kW) and any charger that delivers output power between 15 kW – 22 KW per charging point.
Slow chargers take longer to charge the vehicles than the fast ones. EV cars typically accommodate both. Whereas 2-3 wheelers with lower battery capacities can use slow chargers, it takes longer for cars to charge with this facility. The chargers essentially determine the time taken to charge a particular vehicle, with a slow charger taking up to 8 hours to charge a car, and a fast charger completing it in 15 minutes to an hour.
It shall depend on the concessionaire to choose which chargers, or both, to provide, depending on the economic feasibility and the location and the kinds of vehicles that are most prevalent at that location. The prices of using either shall vary.
Battery swapping stations shall be for the exchange of batteries of the vehicles. If a vehicle needs the energy quickly, the individual can swap their current battery for another one available (fully charged) at the station. This process takes a few minutes and is for timesaving purposes. Stations can partner with manufacturers to state which models of vehicles they cater to.
The bays shall also have a prominent tower display at the entrance of the public charging stations akin to towers displayed at the entrance of fuel stations. “The display should specify the configurations of chargers available at the charging station along with the charging rates,” states the tender document.
How much would it cost?
For 2019-20, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) had fixed the unit and tariff for EVs at Rs 4.5/kwh and Rs 4, respectively.
Service charge is the fee, excluding electricity tariff, time-based penalty, and GST, which the concessionaire charges a user for charging an EV at a PCS.
The tenders shall be awarded to those who present the lowest service fee, said Shah.