Following the success of two pilots of e-way projects between Delhi and Agra and Delhi Jaipur, the govt is planning to upgrade 5,500 km of existing highways into the National Highways for Electric Vehicles (NHEV) spanning across 23 cities in 12 states. Made through a public-private partnership, there will be 111 stations with charging outlets and other amenities on the e-highways as a whole. The route between Bengaluru and Goa will be the longest (558 km), with 11 stops along the way. The shortest route, with only two stations, will be between Ahmedabad and Vadodara (111 km).
Ease of Doing Business (EODB), a tech piloting agency for the government, worked on the pilots. According to the EODB’s plan, each stop (with an area of 1.5 to 2 acres) for NHEV will have restaurants, restrooms, last-mile logistics facilities, charging and swapping stations, and more. Additionally, money will be spent on installing geo-fencing, setting up backups for breakdowns, and buying a fleet of electric vehicles and buses.
Lithium reserves found in Jammu to be auctioned by Centre
According to Business Standard, the Centre is anticipated to call for bids for the recently found lithium reserves in Jammu by the end of June. The action may grant India access to the strategic mineral, which is used, among other things, in electric cars (EVs) and mobile devices. According to an official familiar with the development, the discovery is of the G-3 level, and substantial reserves are certain to exist. As a result, mining for the essential non-ferrous metal will shortly begin. The source also said that the Center would mandate the reserve to be refined domestically. Currently, there is no facility in India to refine lithium.
The discoveries are categorised by the United Nations Framework Classification (UNFC) into four stages: G4 (reconnaissance), G3 (prospecting), G2 (general exploration), and G1 (detailed exploration). The finding of 5.9 million tonnes of the metal in Reasi in Jammu and Kashmir has made the country the seventh-largest holder of lithium reserves.
Policy implementation lagging in states, need better mechanisms
Out of the 36 states and union territories in the country, 26 have released EV policies over the last five years, with 16 of them released between 2020-2022. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Delhi are the eight states that released their policies before October 2020, and have policies in circulation for two years or more. A new study by Climate Trends that assessed the comprehensiveness of all state EV policies found that none of the eight states where policies have been active for two years or more is on track to meet their targets of EV penetration, charging infrastructure, or investments.
Maharashtra, Haryana, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh have the most comprehensive policies whereas Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Kerala, and Uttarakhand have the least comprehensive policies. Additionally, only nine states have mandated the creation of charging infrastructure in new residential buildings, offices, parking lots, malls, etc. The report added that the states have scored significantly less compared to their set targets. For example Madhya Pradesh aims for 25% of all newly registered vehicles to be electric by 2026, but its current penetration stands at 2.2%, Delhi’s EV penetration stands at 7.2% against its target of 25% by 2024. Penetration of electric buses is also far below policy targets in several states.
World’s first EV running on sodium-ion battery unveiled
The world’s first electric car (EV) powered by a less expensive sodium-ion battery was unveiled by Chinese EV manufacturer JAC, reported the Economic Times. This battery could help future EVs cost less by 10%. Since sodium-ion batteries use less expensive raw materials, they can provide EV manufacturers with an option to current technologies that primarily use lithium and cobalt. A 25 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery powering the JAC EV allows it to travel up to 250 km on a single charge. Sodium-ion batteries have a lower density than their lithium-ion counterparts. These batteries have benefits like efficiency in low temperatures and quick charging.