Green Drive: EESL to set-up 500 more EV charging stations in FY21

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By Rohit Vaid
New Delhi, Dec 31 |
Power PSUs’ joint venture EESL plans to install at least 500 more electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the country during fiscal 2020-21.

The joint venture of PSUs under the Ministry of Power, the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) has undertaken the project to boost the e-mobility ecosystem in India.

In a conversation with IANS, EESL Managing Director Rajat Sud informed that close to 207 charging stations have already been installed across India.

“The beginning of the financial year was difficult as the country was dealing with the Coronavirus and its related lockdowns. EESL’s suppliers have also been facing shortages of components and labour during the lockdown that extended up till May-end,” he said.

“With the supply resumed from the manufacturers and opening up of transport, EESL is striding towards installing at least 500 chargers by the end of the financial year. During the year, EESL has also completed an additional procurement of 1020 chargers.”

Besides, EESL intends to set up ‘Carbon Neutral Charging Stations’ by bundling solar rooftop, battery based charging stations and battery swapping stations.

Eventually, the company plans to set up 10,000 charging stations over the next two to three years across the country.

Presently, the state-run firm has tied up with various private and public companies such as Apollo Hospitals, BSNL, Maha-Metro, BHEL and HPCL, among others, to set up public charging infrastructure.

It has also partnered with urban local bodies in cities like Hyderabad, Noida, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Chennai, and is in discussion with others to create such infrastructure.

One of the main capital requirements to set up charging infrastructure is the availability of ‘land’, which as of now is provided free of cost by most municipal bodies or firms for public chargers to EESL.

Currently, many automobile companies and other private players, including standalone charging infrastructure developers, are also installing these facilities.

Furthermore, EESL plans to ramp up installation of smart meters in the country.

A smart-meter digitally records and wirelessly shares stats like household electricity consumption and voltage levels to the distribution companies.

“EESL has signed MoUs for smart meters with the states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar, NDMC-Delhi, Union territory of Andaman & Nicobar and Rajasthan. We have cumulatively installed over 15 lakh meters as of mid-December 2020,” Sud said.

“Smart Meter installation, for the current fiscal, has been heavily affected by the pandemic. However, we have still gone ahead and installed over 3 lakh Smart Meters during the Covid imposed lockdown and thereafter. During the COVID imposed lockdown, smart meters have reaffirmed their importance in being vital tools in ensuring smooth billing and collection operations.”

According to Sud, smart meters have brought benefits to states and UTs like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi and Bihar.

“The average meter automated billing was above 95 per cent in smart meter areas against a 71 per cent provisional billing in areas with conventional meters.”

“We are actively in discussion with new as well as states where the programme is currently ongoing. However, we are still awaiting a concrete response from these states.”

At present, EESL’s Smart Meter National Programme (SMNP) is working to eventually replace 25 crore conventional meters with smart meters across India.

This is expected to improve the billing efficiencies of Discoms and reduce their cost incurred on manual meter reading through a web-based monitoring system.

(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at rohit.v@ians.in)

Source: IANS

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