Charging Infrastructure in India


Increasing Rate of EV Adoption has created a need for better deployment of charging infrastructure. If India wants to achieve even a fraction of its target of six million Electric Scooters on roads by 2020, it needs to reboot its charging infrastructure. Access to the Electric charging infrastructure is one of the major barriers in the path of discovery of complete potential in e-mobility.

As reported in the Global M&A newsletter, the Increased adoption of EVs has resulted in higher energy requirements. The energy requirement is estimated to cross ~270bn kilowatt-hours by 2030. This will require heavy investments in charging infrastructure to meet up with the increased energy demand.

The current charging infrastructure seems to be a concerning factor as the EV per public charger ratio globally is still above 10.

The present charging infrastructure in India consists of low-speed chargers due to their lower cost. However, the longer periods required to park the car for charging hinders the utility of EVs.

EV chargers could be classified by the following three main types:

AC Level 1: The Charging speed of slow chargers remain a concern as a normal AC Level 1 charger requires 8-12 hours battery

AC Level 2: This type of Charger requires 4-6 hours to completely recharge a depleted battery, while

DC Fast chargers: These chargers deliver DC power and bypass the vehicle’s on-board AC-DC converter and require 30 minutes to charge 80% of a fully depleted battery.

The heavy initial investments, uncertain future demand, and heavy competition from private home chargers are refraining the growth of profitable business models in the EV charging segment.

Heavy collaboration is required between automakers, government agencies, charging network companies, private players, electrical utilities, and oil companies for the deployment of an effective EV charging infrastructure. Another primary requirement to achieve the goal is to establish standardized ‘charging infrastructure specifications’ and tariffs for charging.

Are Swappable batteries the solution?

An alternative to charging an EV is swapping the nearly depleted battery for a fully charged one at the station. Batteries account for up to 30–50% of an electric car’s cost and a swappable battery system can bring down the cost of EVs. With high volumes, they can even be potentially cheaper.

The turnaround (charging) time is quicker because all it takes to recharge a vehicle is swapping out the depleted battery for a recharged battery. Since multiple swaps can be done quickly there is no limitation of range.

Kabira Mobility in collaboration with Delta Motors plans to install its own solar-based Electric Charging stations across India. Continued Efforts are also being made to initiate the Battery Swap feature to be accessible to all, as part of a network of energy storage devices that can be easily swapped in and out of vehicles at stations.

Source: FACTOR DAILY | GLOBAL M&A newsletter February 2020 publication