Absence of a local supply chain is the biggest challenge for Indian EVSE manufacturers: Vinod Kumar – VVDN Technologies

VVDN Technologies is an electronic product engineering and manufacturing company that provides ODM (Original Design Manufacturing) services to multiple clients in India and globally. Headquartered in Gurugram, the company works with clients in the USA and Canada towards the engineering and manufacturing of EV Chargers. VVDN has now forayed into the Indian market as an ODM to design and manufacture EVSEs (electric vehicle supply equipment) for OEMs in India.

We caught up with Vinod Kumar (AVP – IoT at VVDN Technologies) to understand the challenges of manufacturing EV Charging Equipment in India.

What all kinds of EV chargers is VVDN making in-house? 

VVDN technologies undertakes the end to end process of designing, engineering, manufacturing, as well as certification of residential and commercial EV chargers. We can design and manufacture both Level 1 and Level 2 EV Chargers that are commonly used in residential and commercial spaces.

Level 1 chargers are the least expensive EVSE option, providing charging through a 120V AC plug and are mainly used by homeowners to charge the vehicle overnight.

Meanwhile, Level 2 chargers offer charging through a 240V AC plug and require a dedicated 40 amp circuit. These chargers generally take 4 to 6 hours time to charge the vehicle battery and are most commonly used in residential settings, commercial areas, and public parking.

In addition, we help OEMs with smart charging and monitoring via mobile app. We have also initiated the plan towards the design and manufacturing for Level 3 chargers and will be able to manufacture those in the near future. 

Missed the virtual ‘EV Charging Business Conclave 2021’? Get access to session recordings.

What are the main challenges of making EV charging equipment in India?

1. The biggest challenge faced by EVSE manufacturers in India is the absence of an established supply chain, and hence the import reliance for many critical components and parts.

2. Another challenge is that there are not enough testing facilities and emulators available for testing the EVSEs. VVDN has developed its own emulators to test EVSEs.

3. Also, manufacturing EV chargers is a capital-intensive business and investment cost is another key challenge. Leading manufacturers in India like us can utilize their existing infrastructure to design & manufacture EV Charging solutions for global clients. 

What are your import dependencies for EVSE manufacturing?

While we have a complete in-house set up to design and manufacture EVSE, the biggest dependency comes in the form of critical components that need to be imported. Many critical components like cables, sockets, different types of connectors, chip sets, semiconductors have to be imported from Europe and China.

VVDN is helping in creating an ecosystem to localize the supply chain of cable harnesses, transformers as well as mechanical tooling and manufacturing of various components.

Who are your clients and competitors?

VVDN’s clientele includes global Tier 1 OEMs in the space of residential and industrial charging.

As for competition, there are a lot of players emerging in this market but looking at the complete ecosystem from design to manufacturing, VVDN surely has an advantage with its manufacturing capabilities of cable harnesses, transformers as well as mechanical tooling.

Have you participated in any recent EV charging related tenders by DHI or Delhi Government? What was that experience like?

We are an electronic product engineering and manufacturing company that provides ODM services. While we have not decided to enter the bidding process for the new tender floated by the Delhi Government, we will however be ready to assist OEMs and other companies that bid for the tender with our manufacturing services. VVDN has been an advocate of the ‘Make in India” mission and also welcomes Delhi governments “Switch Delhi” campaign.

What is your current footprint in the Indian EV charging space?

We are already in advanced stages of discussion with some of India’s top OEMs. As the EV industry grows in India, VVDN is dedicated to change the almost non-existent manufacturing base in India and provide OEMs and Tier 1 companies an indigenous option for EV Charging Solutions. VVDN leverages its vast expertise in the complete design, development, and manufacturing including certifications of EV charging solutions, and is a one-stop solution provider for OEMs who are looking to add the same in their product line. Our testing facilities and experienced engineers make 100% sure that the product meets all the required safety standards.

cover image – for representation only.

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