India to Add Hundreds of EV Charging Stations Along National Highways

Renewable Energy
​An electric car parked in front of a charging station in India.

An electric vehicle parked in front of a charging station in Kolkata, India on Dec. 12, 2019. Indranil Aditya / NurPhoto via Getty Images

If you’re driving a traditional car, on a common road, a gas station is typically never too far away. As more and more EV’s hit the road, however, it only makes sense that charging stations become just as easy to find.

In India, this idea is becoming a reality with a network of nearly 700 EV-charging stations to be distributed alongside every national highway.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has recently announced plans to add an EV charging station for every 40 to 60 kilometers (approximately 25 to 37 miles) of national highways. The organization plans to cover 40,000 kilometers of the highways by 2023 with these charging stations.

Giridhar Aramane, chairman of NHAI, also explained that rest stops, bathrooms, and even restaurants will accompany the EV charging stations to create a full network of amenities for drivers. The plan also includes petrol and diesel stations.

“We have bid out 100 wayside amenities and got a tremendous response. Each wayside amenity has received at least six-seven bids. Once the bids are awarded, (the work) will take six months to complete,” Aramane told ThePrint. “Whoever is traveling on national highways in an electric vehicle will not suffer if the vehicle breaks down.”

The project could help encourage more drivers to make the switch to EVs. One hesitancy for some consumers to transition to an electric car is the lower range and lack of EV charging stations. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, all-electric vehicles have a range of about 60 to 300 miles (97 to 483 kilometers) per charge, while gasoline-powered vehicles range from about 240 to over 700 miles (386 to 1,127 kilometers) per tank.

Newer vehicles are being equipped with longer ranges. For example, Tesla’s Model S Long Range reaches over 370 miles per charge. Still, with charging stations few and far between for many countries, driving an EV for longer trips presents a challenge.

Public and private sectors are also joining in to bring more EV chargers to India. State-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited is planning to make use of its large network of over 19,000 fueling stations to create over 5,000 new EV charging stations in the next three years.

The new network of charging stations in India could make owning and charging electric cars more convenient than ever. The project aligns with the country’s overarching goal to increase EV ownership.

Nitin Gadkari, Union Road Transport Minister in India, told Deccan Herald that India has a target for 70% of commercial vehicles, 30% of privately owned vehicles, 40% of buses, and 80% of two- and three-wheeled vehicles to be electric by 2030.

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