In spite of noble intention of government there is one big impediment in its clean energy drive and that is power theft by smaller electric vehicles users.
In order to promote EV sales the government has laid out a 3 year subsidy program for electric vehicle for an amount of approx. $1.4 billion which was ten times higher than the previous plan. Out of the $1.4 billion only 10% has been allocated for charging stations.
There are over 2 mn electric 2-wheelers and rickshaws in India and the number is rising every year. The unavailability of charging stations for these vehicles results in theft of power by their users. The unavailability of proper charging facility has weaken the demand for electric cars and due to this Mahindra Electric has already discontinued production of its electric car this month.
India has been dealing with the power theft issue for decades and approx. 25% of the power produced is either pilfered for various purpose or is due to transmission losses. The country loses @16 billion per year due to theft and it is the highest amount of theft compared to any other country. The capital of India alone loses $20 million per year due to power theft done to charge 3-wheeler rickshaws as out of 1 lakh such vehicles only 25% of them are registered.
To reach a reasonable level of EV penetration, country requires approx. $6 billion for charging infrastructure, $4 billion in incentives and a further $7 billion to build out battery capacity as per the analysis done by Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
The support given by Indian govt to subsidise EV segment is skewed towards public transport. In personal segment it is for 2-wheelers only which means that load of providing charging station will be govt responsibility and not home chargers. The current capacity of power-generation is not capable of supporting such a program and the huge plan of govt to target of installing almost 3,000 charging stations in major cities at intervals of 25 kms on major highways seems to be a farfetched plan.
Image Source: ETEnergyworld
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