Charging Ahead: India’s Demand For Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

Creating a broad network of publicly accessible stations and local charging stations (in societies) in important metro areas to assist India in achieving its EV goal is a daunting task, and the country now faces a huge gap as EV adoption rises, particularly in the two-wheeler sector. According to the Ministry of Power laws, EV charging infrastructure is classified into five major categories.

  • Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment
  • Public Charging Stations (for the general public), 
  • Battery Charging Stations (where the discharged or partially discharged batteries for EVs are recharged)
  • Captive Charging Stations (exclusive stations owned or controlled by the charging station owners)
  • Battery Swapping Stations (where any electric vehicle can get its discharged or partially charged battery replaced).

India had 2,700 free charging facilities and 5,500 charging connections till the end of 2022. Counterpoint Research predicts that the country will have 10,000 public charging stations by the end of 2025. By 2030, the country may require 20.5 lakh charging stations, a massive effort that a boom in electric vehicle sales must drive until then.

The shift to renewable energy is fueling a surge in electric car sales in India. However, India may not have sufficient facilities to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles. According to statistics presented in Lok Sabha by Minister RK Singh and the Vahan dashboard, there is one publicly accessible charging station for every 393 electric vehicles in India.

Charging stations are critical for the long-term functioning of electric vehicles. The charge need is determined by the type of vehicle (two-wheeler, three-wheeler, four-wheeler, and bus) and the utility purpose, which is either passenger or commercial. By 2030, the Indian government aims to electrify 70% of all commercial-use vehicles, 30% of private automobiles, 40% of buses, and 80% of two-wheeler and three-wheeler sales. This goal includes the parallel penetration of charging points throughout India.

The Indian government has been backing the EV sector with programmes like  FAME1 and FAME2, which emphasise charging infrastructure. Industry participants have also been fairly hopeful and actively interested in the broader EV charging ecosystem. While major OEMs work on EVs, an ecosystem for the production of chargers, charging stations, and other facilities is being progressively established.

Sales of electric vehicles in India have been breaking new records every year since 2020, indicating the evolving mindset of people towards electric mobility. By 2025, India’s market share of electric passenger vehicles is expected to increase to more than 6 percent, but India’s EV charging market has limited capabilities in terms of fast charging. The charging infrastructure is the foundation of electric mobility, but it is also one of the most significant acknowledged obstacles to EV adoption in India due to limited accessibility and high charging time. 

India is accelerating the development of charging infrastructure, although not as quickly as other regions like as the European Union (EU), the United States (US), or China. Charge operators are unable to increase their present reach because of high operational costs, Discom load, and inconsistency around charging station utilisation rates.

Speaking about India’s growing demand for public and community charging stations, Raghav Arora, Co-Founder and CTO of Statiq, one of India’s leading EV charging solution providers, said, “Having personal charging stations with the optimal load to charge your vehicle will not be feasible. As the industry and the services mature, the demand for such accessible, affordable and reliable charging will also rise.”

Indian EV charging solution providers are working with PSUs and other organisations to match the demand for EV charging solutions and their maintenance. Additionally, the government is collaborating with EV charging solution providers to set up community charging in metropolitan societies at no cost.  

The Indian government wants its population to drive clean, connected, and sustainable vehicles but is struggling to create a collaborative ecosystem. Here are some bottlenecks that are affecting the pace of building electric vehicle charging infrastructure:

Establishing charging infrastructure at a large scale throughout the nation is a cumbersome task that requires reimagining already overcrowded travel corridors and discovering appropriate, stable charging spaces to build a proper electric vehicle infrastructure network. The government must accelerate such installations and also make it compulsory for filling stations to have EV charging stations.

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