Next Phase Of India’s Electric Revolution Needs To Start Within Our Communities | Electric Vehicles News

India’s electric vehicle (EV) market is on the rise, with sales hitting 1.53 million in 2023 (across 2W, 3W & 4W), a 50% increase in just the last year. This surge reflects a strong pull for EVs among customers who see the environmental, economic and performance benefits of EVs, as well as the Government’s commitment to combat climate change, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, drive an EV ecosystem in India. With these tailwinds, the industry is optimistic about continuing the current rapid pace of growth. As the use of electric vehicles becomes more widespread in India, improving and expanding charging will be a key focus area.  It’s essential to explore practical charging options to speed-up the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

Home Charging

Our data says that more than 93% of daily charging happens at home. The convenience factor of home charging for electric vehicle (EV) owners is unparalleled.    Home charging not only saves time and effort but is also cost-effective, using affordable electricity from the residential energy grid during off-peak hours or from sustainable energy sources such as rooftop solar systems. Globally as well, a vast majority of charging happens at home even in high EV penetration countries like China & Norway. Understanding the importance of home charging, the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Amendment Rules, 2024 issued by the Ministry of Power mandates discoms to provide a separate connection for supply of EV charging systems making customers eligible for special tariffs for charging their vehicle. In several states, regulations also mandate up to 20 % of parking spots to be EV Charging ready for new buildings.

Community Charging

While home charging is convenient to both install and use, in some cases, installing an individual home charger might not be possible due to a lack of covered parking or distance to the parking space from the electricity meter or lack of consent from the landlord or the RWA. The introduction of “Community Chargers” strategically placed in residential parking areas emerges as a pragmatic solution, offering a hassle-free alternative to individual home chargers  and effectively sidestepping permission complexities, especially for renters.

This community-centric approach ensures a larger segment of the population can partake in the benefits of EV ownership. As the demand for EVs surges, some real estate developers are proactively incorporating Community Charging into new constructions. There are very strong reasons why every apartment community/RWA needs to consider installing community chargers.

Scalable Solution: 

Community chargers in visitor parking spots can efficiently serve up to 5 electric vehicles (EVs) without the need to wire parking spaces throughout a residential society. As the number of EVs continues to grow, this solution easily expands, seamlessly meeting the increasing demand for charging infrastructure within residential societies. This will also enable RWAs to comply to charging mandates.

Improving Rental Value:

As EV penetration grows, renters will seek EV-ready homes. Community charging enables easy access to charging to renters, as well as visiting guests who may have EVs. 

No-Cost Solution:

RWAs have the flexibility to avoid any initial investment in community chargers.  Charge Point Operators (CPOs) have introduced new business models wherein they install and operate a community charger and earn a return by charging EV owners who charge their cars a service fee, thus eliminating the need for the RWA to incur an investment in the installation of the charging infrastructure.

Revenue Opportunity:

Collaborating with charging service providers allows RWAs to earn commissions for each unit of electricity consumed during charging sessions. In case the RWA generates solar power that is being dispersed at the changer, it can be an even more lucrative opportunity for the RWA.

Government Subsidies: 

The government is providing subsidies through Distribution Companies (DISCOMs) for dedicated EV charging, making it more affordable. States like Maharashtra and Delhi offer financial incentives and property tax rebates, aiming to encourage the establishment of EV charging infrastructure and promote widespread adoption. RWAs can benefit from these subsidies.

As India aims to be a global leader in EVs, it is essential to ensure that convenient & effective charging is available to every EV owner at their home, where the majority of charging is likely to happen. Widespread community chargers across major cities can best help in achieving this imperative. Community charging also has numerous benefits to RWAs and EV owners. With the active participation of RWAs in installing Community Chargers, India can drive the next phase of the EV revolution. 

Written By: Mr. Balaje Rajan, Chief Strategy Officer, Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles Ltd., and Tata Passenger Electric Mobility Ltd.

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