Charging station guidelines pave way for e-vehicles

Although the charging station guidelines are ready, registration guidelines for e-vehicles are still being prepared

The government has finalized charging station guidelines to facilitate the production and use of electric vehicles (e-vehicles) in Bangladesh.

Although the charging station guidelines are ready, registration guidelines for e-vehicles are still being prepared.

E-vehicles have been gaining traction in the automobile market in recent years as they are more eco-friendly than vehicles that run on traditional fossil fuels. While the sale of all other types of automobiles declined in 2020, the sale of e-vehicles rose by 43% with 3.2 million sold worldwide.

E-vehicles are predicted to make up 20% of all vehicles by 2025 and 50% by 2030, according to transport experts. The aim is to stop the use of automobiles that use conventional fossil fuels by 2040 in order to reduce carbon emissions. 

“We have already finalized the guidelines for the installation of private or commercial charging stations as the government is promoting electric vehicles, which are eco-friendly,” said Md Habibur Rahman, secretary of the Power Division.

Quoting a recent study, he said a conventional car covers 1,000km at a cost of Tk5,375, whereas an e-vehicle does so at a cost of only Tk1,250.

“Despite the fact that the price of e-vehicles is almost double that of conventional cars, its operation cost is much more affordable,” said Abdul Matlub Ahmad, chairman of Nitol-Niloy Group and former president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI).

“In addition, electric vehicles have more mechanical efficiency than petrol vehicles. At the same time, they are very much environmentally friendly,” he added.

Also Read - E-vehicle guideline delay frustrates local manufacturers

“The government should give some facilities to customers looking to purchase e-vehicles, like giving concessions in registration fees. They should also give rebates to local manufacturers so that they are willing to invest in this sector,” he said.

Renowned carmakers such as Tesla, Jaguar, General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen and Toyota have already entered the e-vehicle market.

What is in the charging station guidelines?

The ‘Electric Vehicle Charging Guidelines’ states that it is important to establish a safe, reliable, accessible and affordable charging infrastructure in Bangladesh to reduce dependence on fossil fuels (diesel, petrol) in the automotive sector and accelerate the widespread use of electric vehicles. By setting up charging stations, it is necessary to create a conducive environment for the purchase of electric vehicles.

According to the guidelines, the Power Division will play a key role in building, developing, managing and controlling the charging infrastructure.

The guidelines note that there are two types of charging stations, private and commercial. An owner of an electric vehicle can install a private charging station at his residence, but it cannot be used by the public.

Private and public companies or entreprepreneurs can install commercial charging stations in line with safety standards and rules for public use.   

Any facility that includes charging stations for three or more cars will be considered a public charging station, even if it is a residential building. Tariffs are different for public and private stations.

Government agencies, residential societies, owners of shopping malls, commercial buildings, hotels and restaurants, and existing filling stations can install commercial charging stations if they have enough space. A trade licence and a technical certificate are required for the installation of the charging stations.

Commercial charging stations must be at least two kilometres apart in city areas and four kilometres on highways. They must include a display showing charging fees, digital systems for bill management, dedicated toilets for men and women, drinking water, and mobile network coverage.

The Power Division is optimistic about its ability to cope with the rapid growth of e-vehicles.