At EVreporter, we try to find time with EV industry insiders to gather the insights and trends from the source. We recently had an opportunity to speak to Latif Ameer Babu – Founder, EVQpoint. During this brief interaction, we talked about the state of charging infrastructure in the country, EV adoption, his experience in the industry so far and innovations we can expect to see in the ecosystem to help promote the adoption of electric vehicles.
Here are our takeaways from the discussion fused with insights shared by Latif.
About Charging Infrastructure
The overall charging infrastructure can be divided into three categories: At home, Urban Charging Infrastructure and Public Highways.
Let’s take a look at their unique set-up requirements:
Most of the EV charging all over the world takes place at home via over-night charging. AC chargers (Slow – 3.3 kW and Fast – 7.2 kW power output) make for the most economical and judicious approach for the at-home use case.
For inter-city trips, fast chargers make up the best option. DC fast chargers that can juice up an electric vehicle up to 80% in under an hour are best suited for public highway use cases. These chargers can be deployed at/near restaurants and existing gas stations so that commuters can plan ahead and make good use of the time spent in charging. For inter-city travel and heavy-duty EVs like e-buses and e-trucks, the charging guidelines issued by Ministry of Power aims to facilitate installation of Fast Charging Stations at every 100 km on each side of the road – in addition to the Public Charging Stations every 25 km on both sides of highways.
Urban Charging Infrastructure
Charging infrastructure of urban areas can be established at corporate offices, restaurants, commercial complexes, hospitals and public parking. Basically, charging within a city can be done at any place where the vehicle remains parked for a long time. Most private vehicles run for less than 4 hours a day and remain parked for the rest of the time. Commercial complexes like malls, supermarkets and restaurants would prefer AC slow or AC fast-charging stations as they want patrons to spend more time leisurely for shopping and utilize the charging facility as an incentive. For urban charging (the area EVQpoint specializes in), we can expect to see a majority of AC fast chargers and AC slow chargers.
Battery swapping is another feasible alternative for commercial use of electric 2W and 3Ws. Sharing his experience about an experiment with battery swapping facility for private 2Ws, Latif said, “A battery swapping operation can not work well in private vehicle space unless the OEM itself facilitates the swapping and battery ownership is taken out of the equation right from the point of the vehicle purchase“.
Alleviating Range Anxiety for 2Ws
EV adoption in India has been led by 3Ws so far. In private vehicle space, electric 2Ws are making their way into the mainstream. We have over 17 crore two-wheelers in the country and making a shift to zero-emission 2Ws presents a significant opportunity in clean travel. Niti Aayog has been driving to set a deadline for 2025 for 100% electrification of India’s 2Ws under 150cc (that make 90% of total 2Ws). However, there are a few barriers such as range anxiety and lack of charging infrastructure that need to be quashed in order to make electric 2Ws more attractive for potential buyers.
Introduction of a small, portable, auxiliary swappable battery as a backup in addition to the regular 2W battery pack can go a long way in building up buyer confidence. The portable battery will come with a compact charger (with lower wattage) that can be placed over the battery itself as a single unit so that the user won’t have to carry the charger separately. This way the user will not have to worry about running out of charge at an inconvenient place as they can count on the backup. The portable back up battery can be conveniently and quickly charged by plugging into any 15A AC outlet with standard AC cable.
A leading electric 2W OEM is working with this concept in association with EVQpoint and other OEMs are expected to follow suit. “This approach will provide the necessary peace of mind to EV buyers and ease range anxiety“, Latif concludes. We will wait and see if this concept becomes the game-changer for electric two-wheelers.
Founded in 2018, EVQpoint specializes in providing EV charging solutions for urban infrastructure. Currently, they offer portable and wall-mounted 3.3kW and 7.2 kW AC EVSEs, customizable complete charging solutions with a mobile app, payment integration and a dashboard for easy access and control. The products are designed and manufactured in India.
Speaking about future plans, Latif revealed that the company plans to offer OCPP based SaaS solutions called ‘EVSmartCloud’ and ‘EVQpoint Gateway’ to facilitate the integration of third-party EVSE models and charging stations into the open charge cloud platform. They are working on launching high-performance DC Chargers for 2Ws and 3Ws on-board charging as well as CAN controlled DC chargers for 2W/3W battery swapping stations.
Note: This post is not an endorsement for EVQpoint or its offerings.