CESL Looking To Launch Solar-Powered EV Charging Stations Network Across The Country: Report

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CESL will also assess various business aspects of solar carports

In an effort to expand the electric vehicle charging network in the country through clean energy, state-run Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL) is looking to launch a network of solar-powered charging stations across the country.

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CESL’s Managing Director and CEO Mahua Acharya told Moneycontrol that the company wants to involve private companies similar to initiatives taken by the governments in Maharashtra and Gujarat, adding that it is in talks with state governments to set up green carports, or solar charging stations based on solar power.

The company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Energy Efficiency Service (EESL) under the Union power ministry, will also assess various business aspects of solar carports.

“We will soon launch a study to understand what demand is, practical possibilities and limitations like space required, battery set up or what happens when the sun is not shining. The study will last for 4-6 weeks. States have the ambition for this, they have been urging us and some states are doing more than that,” Acharya said.

Taling about CESL’s recent bids invite for setting up a solar PV-based electric carport and rooftop power plant at Ladakh’s Leh, Acharya said, “We are extremely bullish about it. We started with Leh because Ladakh has a carbon-neutral policy. It would be a shame if we were to use any other source of charging for a car in an area that has carbon neutral ambitions.”

The government delicenced EV charging stations, paving the way for any individual or entity to invest in this field. Typically, a fast-charging station’s estimated cost is between Rs 16.5 lakh to Rs 40 lakh, including equipment, land and power.

The cost of setting up a solar carport is estimated to go up to a maximum of Rs 3-4 crore due to the involvement of solar panels, lithium-ion batteries and comparatively larger real estate. CESL believes that it is important to make it commercially viable to attract private parties.

“We are looking for ways where we can separate the panel owner. Maybe we can become just the battery investor in charging ports. The first few models will be invested by us since we have to test it out. But we have to break this business model into things that make sense. Because solar power is the cheapest source of energy today,” Acharya added.

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