Work is underway to set up charging stations for electric vehicles at 22,000 of the 70,000 petrol pumps across the country, the Centre informed Rajya Sabha on Friday.
The first priority will be to set up such charging stations for electric vehicles at express highways, highways and populated cities, Heavy Industries Minister Mahendra Nath Pandey said while replying to supplementaries during the Question Hour.
The government under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India)-II scheme has directed the ARAI in Pune, an institution working in the field of automobiles, to develop a prototype for fast charging of electric vehicles, he said.
The aim is to have it in the market by December 2022, Mr Pandey said, adding, work is underway on this project and he hopes that the prototype will be prepared by next November.
"Our ministry along with the ministries of petroleum and power are jointly working towards implementation of FAME India. We are working towards setting up charging stations in 22,000 of the total 70,000 petrol pumps across the country and work is on in this regard," the minister informed the House.
"Our priority is to set up charging stations on express highways, highways, and populated cities, and later, this will be taken down to rural areas. But our priority right now is on these three fields," he said.
Mr Pandey also informed the House that work is underway to produce lithium batteries in the country to make India self-sufficient and production linked incentive scheme (PLI) scheme of Rs 18,100 crore has been evolved.
"The request for proposal (RFP) has been floated and there is a good response from the industry. We are moving fast towards making India self-sufficient," he said.
In his written reply, Pandey also said, "Under Phase-II of the FAME-India scheme, Rs 1,000 crore has been allocated for the development of charging infrastructure."
"This ministry (power) has sanctioned 2,877 electric vehicle charging stations in 68 cities across 25 states/Union Territories and 1,576 charging stations across nine expressways and 16 highways under Phase II of FAME India Scheme," Mr Pandey said.
According to the Ministry of Power's guidelines, there must be at least one charging station at every 25 km on both sides of a highway and also at least one charging station for long-range and heavy-duty EVs at every 100 km on both sides of a highway.
For cities, at least one charging station will be set up in a grid of 3 km by 3 km, he also said.