India is witnessing a rise in the sales of electric vehicles (EV) and consequently, the demand for charging facilities in residential/ work spaces is also increasing. Trends in other countries with higher EV adoption show that about 70-80% of the EV owners prefer to charge their vehicles in their residential/ work spaces, which has implications for the electricity load and cost factors. Countries are taking steps to address these challenges, with the United Kingdom being the first country to mandate that all new buildings should include smart EV charging features.
In India, ICLEI South Asia’s discussions with EV-related stakeholders in 10 cities — Coimbatore, Gangtok, Kochi, Lakshadweep, Meerut, Nagpur, Panaji, Rajkot, Shimla and Surat — have shown that with growing EV demand, there is increasing focus on the development of public fast-charging points. However, the readiness of buildings to cater to the charging needs is often overlooked.
In this context, ICLEI South Asia organised a webinar on the 17th of May 2023 to deliberate and collate the perspectives of various stakeholders associated with the built environment, such as government officials, builders’ associations, technical experts working on smart charging solutions and researchers to deliberate on various aspects that can help cities to promote EV-ready buildings. More than 35 stakeholders participated in the webinar. ICLEI South Asia had supported Surat and Rajkot to develop a draft amendment to the Gujarat Comprehensive Development Control Regulations (GDCR) that can help buildings to become EV enabled/capable; the amended GDCR, which was developed under the project ‘Supporting Indian cities to take leadership on EVs’, was launched during the session.
During the discussion, Dr. Saket Sarraf, Principal, ps Collective, said that the focus needed to be on EV-ready buildings along with the development of public charging networks, and mentioned the practical challenges in this process. Dr. Rahul Tongia, Senior Fellow, Centre for Social and Economic Progress, added that the cumulative electricity requirements of EVs are not problematic, but the potential instantaneous load of all EVs that are charged during peak hours would have to be managed by the city stakeholders.
Mr. Vinod Kala, Founder, Emergent Ventures India, reiterated the need for interventions required in buildings as these are preferred locations for EV charging. Dr. Vikrant Bhalerao, Sub Regional Officer, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, spoke on EV cells as a practical and feasible model for urban local bodies in Maharashtra, because a collaborative partnership among stakeholders is vital for fostering a culture of innovation and adaptability that will support EV adoption.
Dr. Jignesh Patel, Vice President, CREDAI Surat, said that the cost implications of making the buildings EV-ready won’t be considerable, but more clarity is required on the process, the stakeholder roles, incentives related to the Floor Space Index relaxation, tax exemptions and promotional programmes. A mandate is also required to encourage the development of EV-ready buildings at present, although these will be developed by the builders without any incentives as per consumer demand in future.
The thought-provoking session focused on the perspectives of stakeholders on developing regulations for EV-ready buildings. It highlighted that a combination of mandates, facilitation measures and incentives would address the challenges and create an effective and sustainable ecosystem for EV adoption. Further, the major considerations for EV-ready buildings include electricity load implications, time-of-day factor, roles and responsibilities of stakeholders, demand-intensive charging facility, and the need to develop a comprehensive ecosystem.
Access the GDCR developed for the city of Surat and Rajkot here: https://shorturl.at/fgtD5
Access the full webinar here: Multi-stakeholder Perspectives on Development Regulations for EV Ready Buildings – YouTube