While thanking Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera for the measures that he taken to improve the electric vehicle usage in Sri Lanka in 2018, the Electric Vehicle Club Sri Lanka (EVCSL) yesterday said that it would not be practical to import electric vehicles with motor capacity ranging from100kw-150kw.
While addressing the media briefing yesterday EVCSL Co-founder and Interim Committee Member Mahisanka Abeywickrama said it was also on a plan of removing all fuel vehicles from 2014, imposing the carbon tax, proposal to install electric vehicle chargers, reduction of taxation for buses and trains.
During the media briefing, he pointed out imposing higher tax percentage for electric vehicles over 100Kw as the first issue to not being it practical.
He also said the taxes of electric vehicles are greater than hybrid vehicles if compared within same class. Therefore, we propose the Government to expand the range defined for middle class vehicles to < 50 to 150 < = none of luxury cars falling in to this category. Luxury and Sport cars like Tesla have motors above 200Kw, he said.
|Motor / Engine Capacity||Taxes of Electric Vehicles||Taxes of Petrol Hybrid|
|50kW / 600cc||Rs. 375,000||Rs. 750,000|
|100kW / 1000cc||Rs. 1,250,000||Rs. 1,250,000|
|110kW / 1300cc||Rs. 2,525,000||Rs. 2,600,000|
|130kW / 1300cc||Rs. 3,250,000||Rs. 2,600,000|
|150kW / 1500cc||Rs. 3,750,000||Rs. 3,750,000|
“The decision to not to give tax relieves for used vehicles, is not practical. Main reason is, brand new vehicles are still not imported directly into the country. Second reason is that the efficiency of the car will remain thought out years when compared with hybrids and petrol cars,” Mr. Abeywickrama said.
“When considering the batteries, they are considered as the main component of an electric vehicle. When a new battery is replaced, the old battery could be used for home solar systems for another five years. After that period there is a process of re-exporting and recycling and even batteries of hybrid cars follow the same practice. If used electric batteries are dumped to the environment without proper recycling or disposal process, it causes pollution. There are many steps the government can take to properly collect and re-export the used batteries without restricting the importation of electric vehicles,” he said.
Mr. Abeywickrama said even though brand new electric vehicles were not sold in Sri Lanka at this point, it would start during next year. And there was a possibility of their prices escalating. Furthermore, the European countries give special grants and other relief when purchasing an electric vehicle. As a result, their prices decrease drastically and by importing those used vehicles to our country will also benefit from those grants in an indirect way.
Accordingly, the EVCSL proposed that they would appreciate if the government could allow to import electric vehicles which are at least two years older. (Chaturanga Pradeep)
- Say authorities need to prioritise what they intend to do with EVs in the country
- Recommend introducing an insurance scheme at EVCS for consumers
- Suggest limiting EVs imported over six months from date of manufacture
- Insist on level playing field for consumers and investors on infrastructure, ROI
- Call for consistent policies to make a definitive impact on promotion, adoption of new energy vehicles for all transport needs
By Charumini de Silva
Stakeholders of electric vehicles in the country called for systems and protocols to be open and standardised in the upcoming regulatory framework for electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS), consumer rights and related areas which will be in effect from the middle of next year.
Automobile companies, consumer associations, investors, industrialists and other individuals yesterday presented their views, comments and proposals at the second phase of the public consultation on the regulation of the EVCS and the protection of consumer rights conducted by the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL).
Improper billing methods, the unavailability of real-time information, registering for authorised EVCS, standard selling prices, accountability or insurance for EVs while charging, standard signboards, standard work hours, battery and disposal as well as concerns in sales of grey market EVs in Sri Lanka were highlighted as major constrains which need to be addressed in the regulatory framework.
Electrical Vehicle Club of Sri Lanka Co-Founder and Interim Committee Member Maheesanka Abewickrama said the authorities need to prioritise what they intend to do with EVs in the country.
“We need to focus on what the regulatory framework intends to do. Is it to encourage use for primary transport, allow to use it as a secondary or leisure or to reduce fuel usage to EVs?” he questioned.
According to him, 73% of people use EVs for individual use and 93% are very satisfied customers who are willing to upgrade for another EV.
Sharing consumer views on charging stations, he highlighted improper billing methods, no standards in selling prices, no alternative charging methods (at least 15A power outlet) provided at stations and high prices for Level 2 (L2) charging as key concerns that need to be addressed.
In terms of end user tariff and billing, Abewickrama asserted it was important to define selling rates for DC fast charging stations and L2 charging station based on time of use.
«As consumers we like to have kilowatt hour (KWh) based billing, but it is alright to add time-based price (per minute charge or for time slots) on top of KWh price in order to manage long duration charging,» he added.
Further, he pointed out introducing selling rates for each existing tariff category.»This is very important as some other businesses like to provide this as an additional service such as hotels, restaurants, super markets and apartments.
However, Abewickrama urged avoiding the sale of electricity at high prices for electric vehicles noting that some places practise priced Rs. 70/KWh for providing only a 15A power socket.
It was pointed out that there are 350 registered members in the Electrical Vehicle Club of Sri Lanka.
Noting that EV batteries contain toxic chemicals and if not disposed of in the correct manner can cause contamination and lead to environmental damage, Associated Motorways Deputy General Manager – Nissan, Pradeep Wijerathne, recommended batteries be disposed of according to manufacture guidelines by authorised service dealers.
He also said raised concerns over sales of grey market EVs in Sri Lanka. “As the lifespan of the EV battery is approximately eight years (depending on the usage), we suggest to have limitations in vehicles imported to the country to be not more than six months old from the date of manufacture.”
Wijerathne emphasised having an insurance scheme in place at EVCS for consumers in case any damage was caused due to charging.
Expressing views from a supplier’s perspective, Infotec Global Executive Director Pradeep Saikia stated it was imperative to maintain a register of authorised EVCS at the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and Lanka Electricity Company Ltd. (LECO).
“This will enable regulatory authorities to ensure that service providers meet consumer requirements in terms of the quality of installation, information systems and support structure. In China, the Government requires all charging stations to be connected to a backend system monitored by China Grid. It allows monitoring the availability, security and performances of the different EVCSs,” he added.
He said the interests of consumer and investors on the infrastructure with a level playing field was important as well as a reasonable return on investment (ROI).
Saikia noted that a well-regulated and widespread network of fast chargers was critical for the transition of the EV from second or third vehicle status to becoming the primary vehicle of use.
The growth of EV share in total car sales is directly influenced by the incentives and policies extended for the purchase and operation of the EV, he expressed, calling for consistent regulations to make a definitive impact on the promotion and adoption of new energy vehicles for all transportation needs.
– Pix by Ruwan Walpola
In view of a possible rise in electric cars on Sri Lankan roads in the near future the Government took its first step last week to formulate regulations to streamline a booming sector of electric car charging stations.
The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the electric sector regulatory authority last week called for written submissions from the public with a view to draft regulatory tools for the charging stations.
According to the PUCSL, the country imported its first electric car in 2011 and currently it has about 4,500 cars on the road. In 2014, there were just 90 registrations of electric cars as against 3,238 in 2015.
Apart from cars, there are a limited number of electric motor tricycles, motorcycles, dual purpose vehicles and single cabs plying our roads.
With the news of China, the world’s biggest car market focusing on banning fossil fuel cars in the near future, pushing car manufacturers worldwide to fall in line, the popularity of electric cars is expected to shoot up, in the local scene as well. The Guardian reported that Britain has set itself a target to ban cars running on gasoline by 2040.
CEB blue prints
However, with a mere 50 privately owned Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (EVCS) concentrated mainly within the city, this has been a less sought after option for many in Sri Lanka, at present. The scenario is expected to change rapidly over a couple of years, with the CEB making blue prints to set up six Direct-Current Fast Charging stations islandwide before the year end.
“Our intention is to touch on the issues related to the electric Vehicle charging stations and report back to the government to help formulate a regulatory tool to protect consumer rights,” Director General, PUCSL Damitha Kumarasinghe told the Sunday Observer.
With an imminent growth, the PUCSL has been empowered by the Government to seek out public opinion. At the outset, views are accepted in writing but at the close of written submissions the PUCSL will be calling for oral submissions from all stakeholders – owners of charging stations, owners of electric cars, electrical suppliers, service station owners and the public.
“We want to ensure that this is an inclusive process,” the Chairman said.
The effort will be to identify consumer rights, determine the selling price of a unit and technical quality, such as, the time taken to recharge and voltage used, as well as on how to avoid hazardous situations. “Based on the views received we will make recommendations on a regulatory framework, “ he said.
The CEB already operates one Direct-Current charging station at the Kelanitissa power station. Their charges, currently approved by the PUCSL, are:
*Day time charges from 5.30 am to 6.30 pm – Rs. 50 per KW/H
*Peak time charges from 6.30 pm to 10.30 pm – Rs.70 per KW/H
*Off peak charges from 10.30 pm to 5.30 am – Rs.30 per KW/H
The charging time for the 25 KW/H battery capacity car is 25 minutes.
The regulatory body will also look into the possible constraints put on the already stretched energy sector with the expansion of the electric car sales, apart from the issues related to the charging infrastructure.
The Director General said, the PUCSL aims to cover the following areas through the public consultation process. Hence, views, suggestions, recommendations, concerns and comments on the following are welcome.
a) Requirement of maintaining and updating a register of authorized EVCS at CEB and LECO
b) Code of Practice for EVCS
c) Determination of end user tariffs, safety and other technical standards for EVCS
d)Rights and Obligations Statement for Consumers of EVCS
e) Issues faced by EVCS and consumers of such centres
f) Issues relating to residential
Written submissions will be entertained till October 4. A week after, the PUCSL will call for oral submissions, a venue and a date for oral submissions is to be announced next week.
Low cost energy
President of the CEB Engineers’ Union, Athula Wanniarachchi said, they endorsed the effort by the Government to move away from gasoline cars for a green culture but there has to be an effort to produce energy at lower cost to make it a success.Other countries have well thought out plans to generate low cost energy, to make electric cars affordable to consumers but we don’t have a proper plan.” He said, adding that the PUCSL has rejected their long term generation plan that had this in focus.
The CEB set up their first Direct-Current Fast Charging station at Kelanitissa Power station and this is already in operation. They plan to set up six more stations in Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, Pannipitiya, Kadawatha, Awissawella and Welipenna on the Southern Highway. More CEB stations are planned in 2018.
The CEB will also have Level 2 charging units at the fast charging stations with a lower tariff margin for the benefit of the consumers. The time of charging at these stations will take 2-3 hours. The Tariff structure will be – Day time Rs.30, Peak time Rs. 55 and Off Peak Rs.20.
CEB Deputy General Manager Research and Development, Ronald Comester said ,”Our main concern is the consumption during severe peak time (6.30pm-10.30pm) and a possible spike in that due to the electric cars.”
“With this in mind we have come up with the structured tariff system for charging stations,” he said.
“There is a sharp reduction of load after the peak time, forcing a major de-load after 10.30pm. Our target is to make this de-load as gradual as possible. The plan is to embark on an awareness campaign to encourage electric car users to use the off peak time to charge their cars, he said, adding that the development in the electric cars sector can be used to cushion the effects.
Comester said, they do not expect a sudden increase in demand for energy due to a surge in electric cars in the local scene but there could be a gradual increase but with proper planning this demand could be cushioned.
According to latest predictions in the Bloomberg’s Electric Vehicle Outlook 2017, the electric vehicles revolution is going to hit the market even harder and faster. Electric vehicles are on track to accelerate to 54% of new car sales by 2040.
A charging station for electric cars was declared open at the Kelanitissa Power Plant on Thursday October 20, under the auspices of the Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya.
Following the opening ceremony of the charging station, steps were taken by the Ceylon Electricity Board to introduce a post paid card system at the station.
Speaking at the event, the Minister said, steps were taken to introduce a charging station for electric cars under an affordable price scheme. The minister said that once one obtains an e-card from the Ceylon Electricity Board one can easily go to the station in order to charge the car, where the payment will be in an easy payment scheme.
“We know that various prices exist in the market. In the future, we hope to introduce a similar price range for the private sector as well, and increase the facilities available for the usage of electric cars”, he added.
He went on to note, six such charging stations would be established across the country in the near future.