By Shreya Maskara
The Central government aims to provide a charging station for electric vehicles every three kilometers in cities across the country with a population of more than a million. According to media sources, the charging stations will also be set up in smart cities and every 50 kilometers on busy national highways.
Here’s what happened
Earlier this year, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said India is aiming to be a 100% electric vehicle nation by 2030 through a self-financing program. A senior official, talking to the Economic Times, said the government will probably offer financial incentives while facilitating land from various municipal authorities to help set up the infrastructure for the same. “It is expected that 30,000 slow charging and 15,000 fast-charging stations will be required to be put up in a phase-wise manner in the next 3-5 years,” the official added.
The official also said the public sector undertakings dominant in the energy sector such as the Power Grid Corp and Indian Oil are likely to initiate the process of setting up the charging stations. It is also likely that the government will offer such PSU’s subsidies to help them undertake the roll out process. While the NTPC has already set up such projects in Maharashtra, the Power Grid Crop signed an agreement last week with the L&T Metro Rail to develop a similar infrastructure in Hyderabad. Additionally, private sector enterprises such as Tata Motors, Mahindra, Ola and Uber have all expressed their interest in setting up such stations.
Why you should care
While pollution has always been a problem for India, the recent figures present an alarming picture of the future of the country. The Lancet Commission on pollution and health reported that out of the 9 million premature deaths due to air pollution, 2.5 million of these deaths were in India, which is the highest of any country in the world.
A report produced in 2017 highlighting the state of global air showcased that India has the highest exposure levels to PM 2.5 particles. There are particles with diameters of 2.5 microns or less are can come from various sources including diesel exhaust and can lead to heart attacks, strokes, breathing difficulties and cancer.
Given the growing levels of pollution in the country and the reduced availability and economical and environmental adaptability of fossil fuels, the switch to electric cars is of the utmost importance. While the government is to provide financial empowerment schemes to enable access to electric cars there needs to be a development in infrastructure to support such a surge.
Shreya Maskara is a senior copy editor at Qrius.
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