No licence permission needed for EV charging infrastructure

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Giving a boost to the ambitious EV plans, Power Ministry has recently issued a clarification stating that setting up charging stations for electric vehicles does not need a separate licence under the Electricity Act of 2003.

According to a report published in ETEnergyWorld, the ministry issued the clarification to douse speculation over whether the activity of EV charging through batteries falls under sale and purchase of power, citing provisions of the Electricity Act 2003.

Section 2 of the Electricity Act defines a consumer as any person who is supplied with electricity for his own use and includes any persons whose premises are for the time being connected for the purpose of receiving electricity whereas trading is defined as procurement of electricity for resale thereof.

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The charging of battery essentially involves utilization of electrical energy for its conversion to chemical energy, which gets stored in the battery. Thus, the charging of the battery of an electric vehicle by a charging station involves a service requiring consumption of electricity by the charging station and earning revenue for this purpose from the owner of the vehicle, the ministry said.

It added that the activity does not in any way include the sale of electricity to any person as the electricity is consumed within the premises owned by the charging station, which may be connected to the distribution system or otherwise for receiving electricity. By the same logic, the activity does not involve further distribution or transmission of electricity.

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