How residential EV chargers can address electric vehicle charging infra need
- Residential EV charging infrastructure or community charging can be the answer to the challenge of the electric vehicle charging ecosystem.
As India aims at its electric mobility vision 2030, it translates into an estimated 1.02 billion electric vehicles across the country. A majority of these electric vehicles are owned by personal buyers, not fleet operators. With such a huge number of electric vehicles on roads, the country would require around 2.9 million public EV chargers across India, which is not only difficult because of the current slow pace of development, but due to other reasons as well. Red tapism, lack of relevant infrastructure, and availability of land are the key factors that would impact the expansion of public EV charging stations. In such a situation, residential charging infrastructure could be a solution.
Delhi government in early March this year released the Residential EV Charging Guidebook, providing guidelines for the installation of charging points for electric vehicles on residential premises. Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot said that this policy will make making the process further hassle-free. The government said that this strategy is part of the Delhi EV policy, which is currently considered the most comprehensive electric vehicle policy in India.
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Christened Switch Delhi, the policy developed a single-window facility for citizens to apply for EV-charging points' installation. The Delhi government also offered subsidies for installing the residential EV charging points. The policy says that one can buy a 3.3-KW LEVAC charger for less than ₹2,500 with the subsidy, which is actually priced at around ₹8,500. For this, the DISCOMs have empanelled more than 10 EV charger vendors.
Krishna K. Jasti, CEO and co-founder of EVRE, an EV charging solution provider company, said to HT Auto that with the Indian EV market projected to add more than two million electric vehicles on road by 2026, it is critical to deploy sufficient charging infra across India. “An estimated 400,000 chargers would be required to be deployed to cater to the expected growth in EVs," he said.
Speaking about the potential of residential EV chargers, he said that it makes perfect sense to charge EVs at places where they spend most of their time which is in parking spaces at residences where they are parked for more than 10-12 hours. “While it is preferred to have dedicated chargers for each vehicle, due to constraints in power load availability and electrical infrastructure in the societies, community charging is the most viable solution currently," he further added. He also mentioned that interest in setting up common charging infrastructure within large residential communities is rising.
However, there are challenges as well. Talking about the challenges ahead of residential EV charging infra expansion, Anant Nahata, MD and CEO of Exicom Group, said to HT Auto that there are mainly two types of problems in this space. One is power infra upgrade related issues and the other one is non-specific parking slots.
Most residential users need to determine their sanctioned load, spare capacity, and the power intake requirements of the EV charger. If there is a mismatch, then they will need to apply for increased load, which is a hassle itself. Also, in many homes, the parking slots are not designated – especially street parking or common area parking. In that case, it is difficult to put a charging point for the EV.