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Future of EV charging infrastructure in India

By Nikhil Gupta, EVCS and PVI Business Head, Delta India

By 2030, India intends for 30% of private cars, 70% of commercial vehicles, 40% of buses, and 80% of two-wheelers and three-wheelers to be electric.

Since the start of the year 2007, there has been a constant search for renewable energy resources; and by the end of 2010, the world has been looking for an alternative for eco-friendly resources so that the pollution of the air is reduced, which again can sustain fuel efficiency.

When we talk about India, the pollution level in New Delhi has risen to such a level that the schools have been closed; and one of the reasons for the same is the increase in petrol-diesel driven vehicles emitting carbon waste.

Although electric vehicles will not replace all the petrol-diesel- driven vehicles on Indian roads instantly, it would be difficult for any civilised society to drastically change it overnight. The transport system in India will have a super mixture of old and new EV’s with a continuous reduction of oil-fuel-driven vehicles in a phased manner so that the country will one day have EVs as a dominant force.

Global automakers have been copiously juggling with finding new and sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels for decades, of which wind and solar have been popular. The entire world has now joined forces and pledged to work toward a carbon-neutral world with zero carbon emissions. This makes the EV industry one of the most exciting, significant, and necessary areas of innovation today.

India has already shown its keen interest in being a major part of this automotive paradigm shift. Adding to that, India has already put forward the desire to become the biggest hub for electric vehicles in the future. Industry leaders consider electric cars to be a promising option.

Apart from the environmental benefits, electric cars have much more to offer. Autonomous driving options, personalised smart assistance solutions, and 5G-embedded next-generation technologies are just a few to mention. At a basic level, electric cars offer a very lower operating cost compared to conventional internal combustion engines.

Electric vehicles are typically 75–80% less expensive in terms of fuel and maintenance, resulting in lower maintenance costs. This reality holds true across form factors because it’s materially cheaper to charge a battery compared to refueling a conventional liquid fuel tank.

India has a lot to gain from the widespread adoption of e-mobility. Under the ‘Make in India’ programme, the manufacturing of e-vehicles and their associated components is expected to increase the share of manufacturing in India’s GDP to 25% by 2022.

On the economic front, large-scale adoption of electric vehicles is projected to help save $60 billion on oil imports by 2030; currently, 82%of India’s oil demand is fulfilled by imports. The price of electricity as fuel could fall as low as ₹1.1/km, helping an electric vehicle owner save up to ₹20,000 for every 5,000 km traversed.

Finally, electrification will help reduce vehicular emissions, a key contributor to air pollution that causes an average 3% GDP loss every year.

EVs carry limited onboard energy in the battery packs, which needs charging from time to time depending upon the battery pack and size. Charging systems are therefore essential for the sustainable operation of EVs at preferred stations. The charging requirement depends not only on the kind of vehicle (two-wheeler, three-wheeler, four-wheeler, and bus) but also on the utility purpose, i.e., passenger or commercial.

This target entails simultaneous penetration of charging stations across India, with a major focus on charging infrastructure. The government of India’s plan has been supporting the EV industry through FAME- 1 and FAME-2. The industry players too have been quite optimistic and shown an active interest in the overall EV charging ecosystem.

While EVs are being worked upon by major OEMs, an ecosystem for the development of chargers, charging stations, and other services is steadily being built. The charging infrastructure is the backbone of electric mobility but is also one of the keys perceived barriers to EV adoption in India given its limited availability and long charging times. Hence, sufficient research has to be undertaken to overcome these hurdles and put ourselves on par with the European Union and the USA on the global map.

EV charging is easier and can be done easily at home or at refueling stations. And this fact may help the EV infrastructure to boost the industry, so let us hope we reach the target set by 2030 and head on to a progressive greener world using renewable energy resources.

About the Author (Guest Contributor)

With a master’s degree in sales and marketing and 20years of work experience, I am an innovative visionary person with goal-oriented and well versed in bringing solutions for major tasks. I am a cricket buff, love listening to music & dancing and enjoy spending quality time with my family and friends.

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