India’s NTPC set to enter EV charging stations business

The National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd. (NTPC) is hoping to secure a pan-India license for the setting up of charging stations for Electric Vehicles (EV), according to India’s CSR Network.

The EV business is expected to reach 90 billion kWh of energy potential in India. Realizing the growing potential of the EV space in the country, the NTPC recently outlined its goals for EV development at the Indian Energy Storage Association’s Forum 2017 held in New Delhi last month.

The power generation company is expecting a possible policy framework from the Indian government in the coming months, following the announcement that the government plans to switch to EVs by 2030. Finnish power firm Fortum, together with NBCC, as well as Swiss-based power electronics company ABB also intend to build EV charging stations across the country.

Currently, under The Electricity Act 2003, a distribution license is required to distribute power from the respective state electricity regulatory commissions (SERCs).

Therefore, the NTPC is trying to get a common license for the rapid growth of EV business. For charging stations, NTPC proposed three models where electricity can be sold by a DISCOM, a licensee or a franchise.

“We will try to work it out if it is possible to have one license for the whole country. We are looking for country-wide licensing. If that happens we will be able to set up the charging stations very quickly,” an NTPC official said.

The NTPC also plans to set up battery swapping stations wherein recharged batteries will be swapped with the batteries are fully discharged. In another project, the company is working on a plan to bring down the cost of setting up these charging stations by half, to around INR 100,000 ($1,538) each.

The company wants to supply electricity from 10,000 MW of its solar power capacity and buy 15,000 MW on behalf of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).