Charging infrastructure and range anxiety are perhaps some of the main challenges hindering EV penetration in India. Unlike petrol and CNG pumps, EV charging infrastructure is not yet ubiquitous in India, which deters the potential customer from purchasing an EV. This feeds into the fear that the electric vehicle may not be able to cover the adequate distance of travel i.e. range anxiety. But these concerns stem from a lack of an awareness campaign around EVs. Electric mobility companies along with the central and several state governments have been working to improve the charging infrastructure in India. This article provides some useful information for potential EV owners on charging infrastructure in India.
What if the electric vehicle runs out of charge in the middle of the road?
Most electric two-wheelers in India offer 80–100 km range, and four-wheelers offer 80–170 km range. About 70 per cent of those living in urban India travel less than 10 kms for work and education.
The government has approved the installation of 2600 EV charging stations in sixty two cities under FAME II and aims to make charging stations available every four square kilometres.
Private companies are already offering charging stations for offices, malls, and residential societies. Vehicle owners can also download apps that show the location of the nearest charging stations.
Why do batteries take so long to charge?
Vehicle owners have the option of using rapid, fast, and slow chargers. Rapid and fast chargers can decrease battery life and are meant only for emergencies. Slow charging generates less heat, and imposes lower stress on the battery, resulting in a longer battery life. The cost-effective option is to use a slow charger and charge the battery at home.
What are the charging protocols?
The industry has multiple charging protocols for AC and DC charges, depending on the manufacturer. Open protocols, such as the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP), are vendor-independent and are free. The Department of Heavy Industry has published the Bharat EV specifications for AC (Bharat EV Charger AC–001) and DC (Bharat EV Charger AC–001) charging.
How does one install a charging meter?
One does not require a license to install a public or private EV charging station. According to the Ministry of Power guidelines, the local power distribution company can facilitate the installation. Vehicle owners can look up the state subsidies for electricity used in EV charging. Many providers offer processing and installation services for charging meters.
From batteries and charging protocols to components and maintenance, the government and private enterprises have already provided solutions that address many EV concerns.
The aforementioned four points prove that owning an EV does not have to be a challenge. With time, it will become as commonplace as owning a petrol/diesel car. Moreover, guidelines have already been set to alleviate concerns on range anxiety and charging infrastructure with funds being allocated by both central and state governments. This proves that the government of India is serious about making electric mobility a viable option for electric vehicle owners.