The government clarified its position on electric vehicle charging stations and has said that a separate license will not be required under the Electricity Act 2003 for setting them up.

“The clarification has been issued in this regard that the Electricity Act 2003 does not need to be amended to allow electric vehicle charging stations. We will soon be bringing out technical specifications for these charging stations too,” A K Bhalla, Secretary, Ministry of Power told BusinessLine.

The Power Ministry’s logic is that the electricity supplied to the station has been converted to chemical energy when the vehicle charging occurs. So it is no longer in the form of electrical energy and the service of charging a vehicle does not mean sale of electricity.

An official statement said, “The charging of battery of an electric vehicle by a charging station involves a service requiring consumption of electricity by the charging station and earning revenue for this purpose from the owner of the vehicle. The activity does not in any way include sale of electricity to any person as the electricity is consumed within the premises owned by the charging station.”

Power sector watchers had said that the government might have to introduce changes to the Electricity Act, 2003 for allowing retailing of power by e-vehicle charging stations. This was because the Act does not include a provision to allow a non-DISCOM (power distribution company) to sell power.

Commenting on the clarification from the Power Ministry, Saurabh Kumar, Managing Director at Energy Efficiency Services Limited said, “This provides much needed clarity for bettering the penetration of electric vehicles in the country. This is a very important step that the government has taken.”

EESL currently operates 150 charging stations in the national capital. Bids for another 2400 charging stations close next week, Kumar added.