Bharat EV standards – Charging up the Indian EV market

Bharat EV

With the drop in the price of batteries and worldwide push for cleaner fuel, the world is witnessing a shift from traditional fuel-based vehicles to electric vehicles. This move is more pronounced in USA/Europe as of now. With Niti-Aayog/Government[4] focus on electrification of vehicles here in India, (ex to achieve fleet vehicle electrification by 2030,) we in India, are sitting at a tipping point. An electrical vehicle pilot is being currently undertaken in Nagpur with taxi operators. We will witness a surge in availability of electrical vehicles (EVs) in India. We expect that commercial charging market will be dominated by existing oil companies that will use their spaces to provide the electrical vehicle (EV) charging (Govt may also subsidize electricity for such purpose). The electrical vehicle charging is unlike filling petrol due to two things: 1. It takes more time than filling up petrol and 2. Anyone having an electric meter can also put up a home charger.

A good majority of people are living in high rises in India. Mumbai alone has 1500 high rises. There is definitely a need to provide cheaper charging facilities in apartments. Worldwide it is seen that more than 45% of the EV charging happens at home.

India has its own unique challenges when it comes to electric vehicle charging. The prominent challenges are a high premium on real estate and public apathy towards civic infrastructure. This will mean the solution has to be lean on infrastructure and pretty robust to withstand various abuses that will come its way. Here it may be noted that to save on real estate we need better and fast chargers other than the intelligence to optimize charging station usage. It is unfortunate that Department of Heavy Industries has desisted from defining higher rating AC chargers. [1]. The delay in defining this requirement will only delay the creation of good vehicles that are useful, as most of the vendors will just stick to the requirements set up by the ministries creating misfit vehicles (nano’s of the electric vehicles). Especially for fleet cars or for that matter any car due to load that will be created on infrastructure can benefit from onboard AC fast chargers. A small increase in price is well worth given the utility.

There are several charging standards:

charging standardsThere is a standards battle going on at the moment. The Japanese car makers are pushing CHAdeMO, the European and North American car makers settled on the SAE Combined Charging System, and Tesla is going its own way with the Supercharger.

India is inclined towards GB/T standard that is championed by China [3]. Given that two huge auto markets are set to adapt GB/T, just by the weight of numbers that may just become the world’s EV charging standard.

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  • pages 4,5:
  • EV Infrastructure and Standardization in China :

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