Plug n Play Sustainability for Vehicles Now as India Plans to Set Up E-Vehicle Chargers Across the Country
By: Sashwata Saha
Electric vehicle manufacturers in India are bracing for a surge in sales as a low-cost charging system for two and three-wheeler electric vehicles is expected to hit the market in December, multiple business publications reported.
Two and three-wheelers account for about 80% of India’s vehicle market and are the major sources of carbon monoxide and fumes emissions. Officials at the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways - which oversees the registration and sale of electric vehicles - told the Financial Express that the adoption of electric mobility in this segment could be much faster if a low-cost and easily accessible charging system was made available.
According to the Economic Times, the new system has been the result of an initiative led by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the office of the Principal Scientific Advisor to the government, and industry and research groups. It can be used in any weather, even during heavy rains, can be installed in any place with access to a 220-volt, 15-ampere power line. It consists of a charger, a smart electric socket capable of communicating with a mobile phone, and mobile apps with provisions to make payments.
The new charging system is the product of a government-industry partnership. It could be priced as low as Rs 3,500. Existing charging solutions cost anywhere between Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000. A prototype has already been developed and at least half a dozen companies are currently working to manufacture it on scale, officials said.
“One of the biggest hurdles in the widespread adoption of electric vehicles in India has been the limited availability of charging stations. This proposed solution seeks to address that problem. It is designed to be installed almost anywhere at an affordable cost. People can charge their vehicle batteries in a few minutes. The hesitancy with regard to electric vehicles, even cars, has typically stemmed from ‘range anxiety’ — can I get my battery recharged whenever I want, the way I can get my petrol tank filled? I think this charging system could be the solution we have been waiting for,” V Sumantran, the chairman of a government committee for creating charging infrastructure, said to The Indian Express.
A full charge, from 0 to 100%, can be done within half an hour to 45 minutes. With current batteries, a full charge is enough to travel 80 to 100 km in a city.
Gurugram based e-scooter entrepreneur Jeetender Singh told ET that if these charging systems are available easily, users won’t always look for a full charge. “It is like charging your mobile phone or filling your petrol tank. You want to be in a comfortable position, not necessarily always at full capacity, provided there is an assurance that you will get a recharge when you need it. So a 15-minute charge, for example, would be enough to take the battery from 30% to 70%,” he said.
Calling the charging system a significant breakthrough, DST Secretary Ashutosh Sharma said to Business Insider, “Two- and three-wheelers comprise a large majority of vehicles in India. They also contribute the majority of emissions from the passenger vehicle segment. It is therefore important to look for innovative solutions. The good thing about this is it has been developed to cater to the very unique requirements of the Indian market. Charging systems available in other countries are not best suited for us.”
The government committee has also finalised standards for this device enabling multiple companies to start manufacturing their own products.
Join India’s only non-profit Student Journalism platform and put your students ahead in the race. For more information, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.