EV charging can be built on renewables: Fortum's Awadesh Jha

Awadesh Jha, executive director at global renewable energy firm Fortum, claimed that electric vehicles in India could be powered solely by renewable energy

Awadesh Jha, Executive Director (charge and drive) at energy firm Fortum, said that he believes that a new policy allowing any consumer requiring above a 100KWh load to source their electricity from green sources outside the power grid could aid the electric vehicle industry.

The Draft Electricity (Promoting Renewable Energy Through Green Energy Open Access) Rules, 2021 was issued last August, and is in the final stage of legal vetting according to the Economic Times. Jha believes this rule provides an excellent opportunity to ensure electric vehicles run solely on renewable energy.

"Though not intended only for EV, it is an excellent opportunity to make them green," he said. "This brings the EV system a step closer to Europe, where Fortum customers if they are charging from a particular location, are informed they are charging their vehicle from wind or solar."

New battery swapping policy green lit by industry

A new policy to build swappable electric batteries to boost the electric vehicle industry has been largely supported by the EV industry. This policy aims to standardise battery manufacturing, and simplify costs for manufacturers, automakers, service providers and financiers.

Akshay Singhal, CEO and founder of Log 9 Materials, said it was a "pretty rounded document" to Economic Times. Log9 Materials was in the news recently for opening India's first indigenous electric manufacturing factory in Bengaluru.

The draft policy also discusses reducing GST on electric batteries from the current rate of 18% down to 5% in an attempt to incentivise the EV industry.

However, the industry was also concerned that any attempts at standardisation should not come at the cost of innovation. Vivekananda Hallekere, founder of Bounce, said, "we would humbly request the government to form these standards and policies only after testing them on ground and not limiting the assessment only to lab tests.”

Edited by Anju Narayanan


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