How Is The Industry Reimagining The Concept Of EV Charging Stations In India?

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Opinion piece by Amit Gupta – Business Head EISBG, Delta Electronics India Pvt Ltd.

The EV Revolution is going on worldwide in order to fulfil the commitment towards sustainability. Vehicular emissions  constitute 27% of Air pollution in India .  

GoI has committed to convert its 25% Vehicles into all-electrics by 2025 . Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme was launched under National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020. The Scheme has been extended from time to time. Government has approved further extension as Phase-II of FAME Scheme for a period of 3 years commencing from 1st April 2019. Out of total budgetary support of 10000 Crores, Rs.1000 Crores has been allocated towards creation of Charging Infrastructure. The Ministry of power has been appointed as Nodal Ministry to initiate this movement and DHI has been appointed to disburse demand incentives/subsidies. 

The Department of Heavy Industries has sanctioned 2636 charging stations in 62 cities across 24 States/UTs under FAME II , to give a push to clean mobility in Road Transport.

Understanding the challenges and solutions to accelerate the EV revolution:

To set up EV Charging Infrastructure, it is necessary to evaluate current challenges:

  • The low adoption of EVs at present is leading to lower Electric Vehicle Footfall at charging infrastructure. Due to underutilization of infrastructure the financial viability of the project gets impacted. Given the high cost of establishing an EV charging station, the only way to make fast charging stations financially viable is to increase their utilisation. 
  • Availability of Land with adequate infrastructure & parking space: CIVIC bodies play important roles in management & allocation of land at public places. Necessary clearances may take time which in return slows the overall growth of development. 
  • Grid Infrastructure is another crucial challenge in the development of Charging Infrastructure. Unavailability of adequate Grid connection & LT/HT Infra can be a roadblock. Also, the safety requirements should not be overlooked. Voltage fluctuations, ground faults, and overcurrent can all be dangerous. If there is a sudden spike in voltage, the expensive components may be damaged. In addition, noise filtering components must be installed with care and to keep voltage fluctuations under control, sensors such as proximity sensors and control pilot sensors must be integrated.
  • Deciding the EVSE (Electric Vehicle supply equipment) or EV Charger is crucial. It is decided based upon the Vehicle footfall, charger type, charger compatibility, connector type and investment cost. When it comes to commercial chargers, DC chargers are a little expensive, however they provide quick charging. AC chargers are low cost alternatives, but they are slow chargers and are not suitable for Public Charging stations along the road and highways. Another issue is that there are some standard connector guns in the case of DC chargers but no single universal charger gun. Generally, two configurations are popular in India, CCS & Bharat DC001 for fast DC Charging and AC type 2 for AC Charging. In case of E- buses, EV Charger required as per OEM requirement; CCS & GB/T standard are popular configurations. While on the side of 2W, there is no specific standard hence no adequate charging infrastructure could be created, only 3pin socket based small chargers can be installed in the city.
  • Operation and Maintenance of EVSE: EV Charger is a smart machine which supports cloud connectivity with a remote control and command features. OCPP is a standard protocol which is used to transmit the data from Machine to Cloud and eventually, all this data can be accessed using CMS. CMS provides all analytics & parameters of the charger operation. Maintaining the Charger for continuous operation is also required which includes timely services of EVSE, filter cleaning etc.

After discussing the challenges, it can be stated that the lack of adequate charging infrastructure, Low adoption of EV vehicles due to high on-road price and the long time it takes to charge an EV versus fueling up an internal combustion engine-based vehicle are the major roadblocks to the success of the EV scheme. 

However, we have solutions as well as problems. The state and federal governments have been working to encourage the country’s adoption of electric vehicles by enacting new policies and establishing new market structures for electric vehicles. The Indian government intends to rapidly increase the number of charging stations across the country. There are plans to install over 69000 fuel stations, with each petrol pump receiving at least one EV charger. Additionally the new EV charging stations are planned by private operators.

The Bureau of Indian Standards and the Department of Science are collaborating to standardise the installation of EV charging infrastructure and reduce the associated costs. In addition, there is a lot of discussion going on around the world about adopting the Japanese CHAdeMO, the European Combined Charging System (CCS), and the Indian Bharat Standard.

With such encouraging steps being taken to increase the number of charging stations in the country, we can certainly expect to see an increase in the number of Electric Vehicles on the road in the coming years.

At Delta, we have a wide range of chargers from 3.3 kW to 80kW AC Charger and 15kW to 240kW DC Charger, customized battery swapping stations, Our chargers are indigenously developed and made in India. The user centric interface design of Delta’s DC chargers allows stations to be configured in the most practical manner for the situation (e.g., island, star, or parking lot configurations). This helps to avoid queuing and ensures that EV drivers can charge their EV and be on their way as soon as possible. One of the primary benefits of Delta’s modular DC charger design is that it reduces downtime while increasing availability. Delta’s DC chargers support CHAdeMO, CCS1, and CCS2 DC power connectors and hence are compatible with any EV currently in the market. 

Therefore, in order for drivers to be more willing to adopt EVs, charging infrastructure must become more widely available, and these developments are critical to the future growth of this emerging green industry.

 By Amit Gupta – Business Head EISBG, Delta Electronics India Pvt Ltd.

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