India picks Japan, Europe standards for fast EV chargers

27, Dec. 2018

By Kaoruko Naruoka

NEW DELHI, NNA - The Indian government has decided to adopt Japanese and European standards for electric vehicle-charging infrastructure as the world's fourth-largest automobile market is entering an eco-friendly car era.

The Ministry of Power says it requires charging stations to have connectors compatible with Japan's "CHAdeMO" and Europe's two platforms -- "Combined Charging System," known as CCS or Combo, and "Type-2 AC" -- for fast EV chargers.

The Japanese and European standards and China's "GB/T" are three major international platforms for fast chargers, with Combo also commonly used in the United States.

CHAdeMo is promoted by a Japanese industry group known as the CHAdeMO Association, which mainly consists of automakers, car component makers and utilities.

The CHAdeMo charging method is used for 22 percent of the world's total EVs, with 22,647 charging stations in 71 countries as of September, the association said.

Makoto Yoshida, its secretary general, hailed the move, saying, "The door to the Indian market has opened." Japanese electronics firms would gain business opportunities and provide Indian companies with related technologies, he said.

While qualifying CHAdeMO and Combo as its standards, the Indian government also intends to work out its own standard for the long term. "Japan will participate in India's development activities," Yoshida said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration has been pushing for EVs since he took power in 2014. In September, Nitin Gadkari, the minister of road transport and highways, said the country aims to have 15 percent of the vehicles in the South Asian country electrified in five years.

Tata Motors Ltd. and Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. have already launched EV models. Some 500 charging stations have opened in the country.

Next year, South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co. plans to release EV models as will Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., India's leading automaker under Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp., Germany's Audi AG and other firms in 2020.

Shortly after the government announcement on the adoption of foreign standards, Tata Power Ltd., a major utility, said it would spend 700 million rupees ($10 million) to establish nearly 1,000 charging points in the National Capital Region.

The power producer expects the EV penetration rate to rise to around 30 percent by 2030 and some 300,000 fast chargers to be needed in the region.

According to the ministry's announcement on Dec. 14, it also requires public charging stations to adopt "Bharat DC" and "Bharat AC," local standards for slow and moderate chargers developed from a Chinese method.

The CHAdeMO Association and its Chinese counterparts agreed in August to develop a unified standard for next-generation chargers compatible with CHAdeMO and GB/T to put into practical use by 2020. (NNA/Kyodo)