Canadian cleantech major Hygge Energy’s software platform to unlock the monetary potential of renewable energy has been successfully implemented at an EV charging pilot project, aptly titled “Zero Emission Electric Mobility”, with global energy giant Indian Oil Corporation Limited at the latter’s retail outlet (RO). IndianOil is keen on expanding Hygge Energy’s program to other such sites where EV charging can be supported by existing rooftop solar installations at these ROs for providing a zero-emission e-mobility experience to EV drivers and making the EV charging business profitable.
IndianOil has already taken a lead in promoting rooftop solar, and, through Zero Emission Electric Mobility, they have found an efficient way to aggressively promote EV charging throughout their 56,000-strong RO network. They will spread awareness throughout their dealer network about Hygge Energy’s EV charging platform, and the benefits associated with it. In the context of this project, Hygge Energy’s platform is used to maximize usage of renewable energy for the purpose of EV charging, making it a profitable business for EV charging operators. The solution is supported by an immersive, end-to-end EV charging app that facilitates the entire EV charging experience.
The system was designed with three important objectives in mind: EVs are charged using solar power; no upgrades are required in grid infrastructure as the EV charging load is taken off-grid, hence avoiding high costs and delays associated with the process; and grid resiliency improves as the system has demonstrated 80% reduction in grid load dependency for RO operation. The success of the pilot project in 2020 provided IndianOil with enough data points to expand this solution across the country. This is a unique solution as it leverages IndianOil’s existing investment made in installing 5.5 MW of solar PV capacity at their retail outlets. It also opens up access to a USD 15 billion carbon credit market.
As per the Center for Energy Finance, India’s 2030 vision of e-mobility translates to 102 million EVs, which amounts to a need of 2.9 million public chargers. This could indicate a total electricity demand of 97 TWh by the EV charging sector in the scenario of 100% EV penetration according to a report by Brookings India. While this demand is less than 5% of India’s total electricity demand and its increase will be gradual as opposed to overnight, there is still concern over its impact on grid resiliency. EVs may add as much as 50% to peak demand, and 3% to peak demand growth by 2030. They have a disproportionately large impact on peak demand compared to electricity units, which risks severe underutilization and, therefore, unviability. This makes it clear that the solution is to address not the amount of electricity produced to meet this demand, but when it is produced. Hygge Energy’s patented software does exactly that: it tracks the source and the point of consumption of renewable energy, which also has the benefit of creating end-to-end carbon trails. This enables grid resiliency.
Hygge Energy has been running several sustainable power projects, which find synergy with the local community in North America and Europe. These projects are focused on not only enabling communities to increase the renewable energy content in their energy mix and making these communities resilient, but also helping municipalities and cities to achieve their net-zero goals, commensurate to COP26 targets. In addition to their collaboration with IndianOil, they have several high-profile projects in India as well, namely UC Berkeley Smart Village Movement’s Chief Minister Youth Center, wherein they empowered a remote Meghalayan village, GNDEC Ludhiana, with whom they did a captive power project, and THINK Gas for providing Zero Emission Electric Mobility to CNG stations.
Talking on the subject, Mr. Vigyan Kumar, Executive Director (Retail Sales), IndianOil, said, “As part of IndianOil’s foray into alternative energy, we have already set up 54 battery charging / swapping stations for electric vehicles in partnership with various companies. Given the challenges of grid capacity and reliability amid the uncertainty of EV adoption, we are committed to finding an integrated solution to ensure green power for EV charging at our fuel stations. This innovative solution developed by Hygge Energy has demonstrated feasibility to address these issues. We will conduct pilot studies at more fuel stations across Bangalore. This solution is unique as it leverages the existing investment made by us in solarising our fuel stations and gives us a good basis to roll-out our EV charging initiative”, he added.
Mr. Prateek Saxena, CEO of Hygge Energy, said, “We have achieved fantastic results from the IndianOil project, and found that Hygge’s solution can slash the payback period of rooftop solar by as much as 80% and drastically reduce electricity bills as well. We are committed to scale it and work with other EV charging service providers and DISCOMs. Now, in the next phase of the project, we are going to demonstrate how renewable energy-based EV charging can bring additional cash to large corporates like IndianOil in terms of carbon credits through our patented technology; each EV charging station could potentially generate Rs. 5 to 10 lakhs annually through our carbon trading system – this amounts to an additional Rs. 1000 crore in revenue from carbon credits for IndianOil’s proposed 10,000-strong network of EV charging stations.”
In Zero Emission Electric Mobility, EVs are charged by installing solar PV and batteries at the charging site and integrating them with grid infrastructure using Hygge Energy’s technology platform that enables tracking, measurement, optimization, allocation, accounting and trading of energy. It is supported by a next-gen EV charging app that provides the ability for EV drivers to book and reserve EV charging time slots in advance, avoiding waiting time, disappointments due to not getting charging spots, and general chaos at ROs. Zero Emission Electric Mobility is a highly adaptable system that provides 100% clean e-mobility by ensuring that EV charging is done with renewable energy. It also avoids the additional load that EV charging infrastructure puts on distribution transformers that feed retail outlets. As a result, renewable energy e-mobility can be accommodated without the need for additional investments in grid infrastructure. Built on Hygge’s patented solution, this is one of the most cost-effective solutions for the deployment of EV charging globally.
Hygge Energy is not only committed to implementing this solution at more IndianOil retail outlets in India, but is also seeking franchises and partners for residential societies, commercial offices, hotels and resorts, malls, hospitals, sports complexes, and government offices.