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KEY HURDLES IN CREATING EV Charging Infrastructure in India

Mr. Ravindra Mohan Director (Strategy & EVSE), TecSo Charge Zone (P) Limited

Imagine driving an electric vehicle whose battery levels drops to low and associated anxiety. Then joy of finding a charging station just up ahead. For EVs to truly succeed, we need to ensure the latter scenario in real life.

To create Public Charging Infra network which meets the above expectation, hurdle is availability of following information:

  • Type of charging infra to be set-up – Standard  AC or DC Charger or Battery Swap Station depending upon class of vehicle (2W/3W/4W) and OEMs
  • Availability of adequate Grid Power – one needs to know power level available, Time of the Day charging strategy of local DISCOM 
  • Charging time strategy – location where vehicles will be parked – Home, Work place, Commercial Parking areas (Multiplexes, Parking lots, Restaurants etc.)
  • Need for regulation pan India – EV Policy, Tariff Rate, Capacity Charges & Electricity Duty to be notified by each state
  • Last but not least … population of EVs using Li-ion batteries in each type of vehicles to be collated to decide on  numbers of EVSEs’ 

Creation of a nodal body (an NGO or Govt. or industry sponsored) is required to analyse be a knowledge centre to provide at city level, the effects on voltage, current, energy production, transmission and distribution schemes, road traffic density, emission level and parking space requirements  and guide civic authority and private players for optimal location of charging infra. 

Mr. PM Singh Vice President, Exicom Tele-Systems Limited

EV Charging infrastructure is a new development in India. Through my person experience with Indian market and existing infrastructure, I tried to write down five major hurdles.

  1. Cost of setting Infrastructure: The cost of establishing these charging infrastructures is quite high and the financial return only from charging seems unviable in the long.

  2. Running Cost: Charging cars require fixed space and an individual for maintenance of the charger and space. This cost becomes a major issue as it makes the station finance unviable.

  3. Ceiling on Tariff: The government has imposed certain restrictions on the per unit price that can be charged to the customer. This makes the condition worse for Charger owners.

  4. Charging Infrastructure Specifications: The charging station infrastructure specifications are still not defined clearly in terms of Number of chargers, Type of chargers etc. which has created more confusion.

  5. Weak network for Management system:  The charging stations are supposed to be communicating with a central server throughout its operation, but at certain areas and locations chargers are not able to communicate with the server because of weak network or no available network.

  6. Deficiency of skilled workers: EVs have higher servicing costs and higher levels of skills is needed for servicing. India lacks the dedicated training courses for such skill development.

Mr. Nilesh Bhoir, Founder, HRE-EV

As we have seen during past few years, electric vehicle market seems to be slowly growing due to reduced battery prices and government subsidy programs. However there is always a question that comes to mind, what if I am out of juice. And due to this reason, people who drive EV’s avoid long distance travel. Plus creating EV charging infrastructure in India has issues from day one and few of them are listed below.

a.       Higher real estate cost for charging station.

b.      Electricity rates higher.

c.       No common methodology developed for charging.

d.      Not enough electric vehicles sold to develop large number of charging stations, unless government takes initiative and builds them.

e.       Major automobile manufacturer just wants to build electric vehicles, but forgets that without enough charging stations, people won’t be interested in buying EV’s.

f.       Uncertain future, changing battery technologies also an issue.

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