Electric Vehicle

Role of Software Solutions in EV Charging Infrastructure

India is on the verge of mobility revolution in the form of Electric Vehicle. In the recent years, we have seen rigorous development in the sector from the private companies to government front as well. EV OEMs actively working on launching new vehicles in the market with continuous improvisation in the technology. We have seen finger-count EV models on the Indian road so far, however, a good number of EV models by multiple OEMs will be launching in the year 2021.

The Clean Energy Ministerial of India set a target of achieving 30% sales of electric vehicles by 2030. 80% of EV transition is expected from 2 and 3 Wheelers followed by 4 wheelers estimated at 70% (Commercial) and 40% in buses by 2030. Globally also it is seen that the ratio of EV to public charger ranges from 5 to 40 EV/charger. Currently the EV charging infrastructure is in a very early phase in India and approximately 800-1,000 public charging stations have been installed which includes a mix of both AC and DC charging.

Along with National EV Policy FAME II, few more states like Delhi, Gujarat, Telangana launched EV policies to promote electric vehicle and encourage investment for local manufacturing to reduce cost of EVs and generate employment as well. These policies also focus on development of EV Charging infrastructure by providing incentives so that EV eco system grows in right pace. Many other states also drafted their EV policies and will be launching in the tear 2021-22.

As per various reports and also seeing ground reality of adoption of EVs in different business models, 3-wheeler EV segment is growing rapidly. Major business models are E-loaders in last mile delivery & logistic, E- rickshaw where 3-wheeler EVs are used widely. 2-wheeler Ebike is 2nd fastest growing market used for personal use, rental, sharing and for the purpose of last mile delivery too. 

In the 4-wheeler category, few employee fleet companies doing well by providing service using early E-cars in India. Along with this, Taxi and cab companies are on rise and expanding in all metro cities by providing by giving service of 100% electric vehicles in their business operations. E-buses is another segment in which many government organizations are publishing tenders and taking early steps towards green transportation intra & intercity commute.

Challenges in EV Adoption

What will happen if my EV’s energy drained down before reaching the destination or charging point? People do have Range Anxiety of EV’S battery. Cost of EV is one more barrier as of now. As we are importing most of the EV batteries, it takes around 60% share in total cost of electric vehicle. People have less Awareness of the EV technologies like battery, total cost of ownership (TCO), affordability & environmental benefits of using Electric Vehicle.

Lack of Charging Infrastructure is one the challenges for EV adoption. Because of less numbers of EVs on the road, individuals and organizations are hesitating to invest in charging infra. It’s considered that, as EV sector is emerging in India, initially Return of Investment (ROI) will take more time to get but once things are setting up, we can expect it soon over the period of 3-4 years. 

In case of EV fleet & cab companies, they have installed charges in their own hubs & utilizing it night hours and non-working hours for charging purpose. If EV is serving in the city, which could be far from hub location, in that case, they are utilizing public charging stations installed in various parts of the cities.

If we talk about personal EVs, most of the charging sessions are conducted in private chargers installed in apartments, bungalows, housing societies, workplaces, offices, etc with the help of AC chargers, which are low capacity chargers take more time to charge like minimum 4 hours to full charge.

Need of Software Solutions

Software Solution plays very important role as it is one of the important parts of complete EV charging infrastructure. The Smart Technology helps to authenticate, keep track of charging sessions, and bill payment. With all latest technological updates, most of the charging points are connected to software solutions by internet connectivity. These unmanned charging points will be operated by EV users by own. 

Software solutions based on EV charging infra acts like an aggregator in the EV ecosystem and connected to all major stakeholders in the industry. Need of software solutions varies according to user base so the requirement too. Major stakeholders as per the software solutions users are listed below.

  • EV owners/users
  • EV charging station owner/manager
  • Charging station network companies
  • Corporate user – Last mile delivery & logistic companies
  • Corporate user – Fleet/taxi/cab companies
  • Corporate user – Any organization having EVs to their employees
  • Private charging station owner/manager of apartment, workplace, etc

A mobile app for the end user, which is EV owners/users, is essential while operation charging point, whether it’s public or private. Discovery of public charging station, availability of connector gun, navigation using map, authentication before starting the charging session and payment can be done using the app. In case of private charging points, chargers which are installed in the private properties like apartment, offices so that only limited people can access it, same app can be used for such shared charging points within community. If EV user is a part of corporate like mentioned above, he can use charging facility of registered charging points with making payment immediately.

A web portal access to EV charging station owner/manager to track charging-as-a-service business. In public charging stations – Live dashboard to check current and today’s charging session activity, Notification alerts in case of failure in charger which is hardware and similar services are provided in the software solution. Manager also can check reports on particular time line based like daily, weekly, monthly, etc. In case of private charging stations, manager can give permission to requested EV users to access chargers after doing one time registration process. Later he can check charging session of users and send them EV charging bills on monthly basis to collect payment.

Corporate account manager can manage EVs operating in his organization and facilitate them with the public charging facility. Corporate user can use registered charging points without making immediate payment of the charging session. In this B2B agreement, weekly or monthly payment can be done based on energy consumption. In such way software solutions are making the process simple but modular to operate EV charging related services.

Additionally, Software Solutions can be developed in customized way according to the different parties involved in it. It allows us to integrate with other existing digital platforms so that EV charging related can be accessed and managed using same platform. Many innovations are happening around software solutions and we are yet to see best version of it as its still in evolving phase.

Author:

Anurang Dorle, Cofounder & Director at EVCFinder, working on Software Solutions of EV Charging Infrastructure to serve various stakeholders like EV owners, last mile delivery and logistic companies, taxi/cab/fleet companies by providing onestop Charging Infrastructure at highways, fuel pumps, shops, malls, complexes, parking lots, hotels, restaurants, apartments, housing societies, offices and workplaces.

Published in Telematics Wire

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