The Niti Aayog has prepared a draft policy for the Indian Railways to set up electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure at railway stations across the country, in a bid to promote the use of such vehicles. The draft policy, which has been shared with the ministry of railways, also recommends supply of renewable energy to the charging facilities in line with Indian Railways’ aim to become net-zero carbon emitter by 2030.
The policy is under discussion with the ministry of railways, said Amitabh Kant, Niti Aayog’s chief executive officer. The apex public policy think tank has recommended that while the railways can plan to put in place EV charging facilities at all stations in a phased manner till 2030, the facility can be immediately provided at 123 redeveloped railway stations.
“Railway stations are landmark locations and they play a unique role in the entire transport sector, which make them strategic locations for providing public charging solutions for EVs,” Kant said. Niti Aayog officials have recently discussed the draft policy with the railway ministry officials. Rajeev Jain, additional director general, PR, railway ministry, said, “We have very recently received the communication. We are working on it.”
Under the Centre’s FAME-II (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and EV) scheme, the push is towards adoption of EVs, especially in public and shared transportation, in a big way in the country. The aim is to support approximately 7,000 e-buses, 500,000 electric three-wheelers, 55,000 electric four-wheeler passenger cars and one million electric two-wheelers through subsidy, said a NitiAayog official.
For this, providing a good and accessible EV charging infrastructure network is critical. While the Centre has taken several initiatives to scale up EV charging facilities, NITI officials said, railway stations can provide a secure and accessible charging infrastructure to city residents.