Charging infrastructure is a new problem for the Indian EV market

2020 was a very monumental year for the entire world. Non just from the point of COVID19 but also for the EV market. In 2020, the total number of passenger electric cars in the entire world crossed the 1 crore mark. In 2010 this number was just 17,000. Now electric vehicle’s market size is 5% of the total global market. It is expected that by 2030, this market size can rise to 17%. Even though the total EV sales in 2020 declined by 14% yet the registration of EV increased by 41%.

As of now in 2021, the total number of EVs in the Indian Market is around 2.5 lakh units but seeing the rise in registration, it is expected that by 2031 India will cross the 1 crore mark.

As per the experts, the e-scooter market is expected to rise to 10% from the present 1%. While in the case of 4 wheelers, it is expected to rise from 0.2% to 4% by FY26

However, as the number of electric vehicles on the road is growing, a new issue is emerging and that is the lack of charging infrastructure. There aren’t enough EV charging stations in India to support electric vehicles.
When it comes to ICE vehicles, India has roughly 77,000 fuel stations for petrol, diesel, and CNG, but only 1800 EV charging facilities for around 2.5 lakh electric vehicles.

Consumers choose ICE vehicles because they know they won’t have to stop driving due to a lack of fuel. Consumers of electric vehicles, on the other hand, do not see the same thing. The drive is hampered by a lack of charging facilities.

If we see the FAME II policy, EV charging stations have been properly addressed. As of now total project pipeline for EV charging stations is 4,180, of which 2,636 are sanctioned and another 1,544 are in the pipeline.

But the question is, are these charging stations enough to support one of the biggest possible markets of EVs in the world.

The same question was addressed by CNBC-TV18 to Mr. Sohinder Gill who is the CEO of Hero Electric and Sandeep Bangia who is the Head of Tata Power’s EV Charging Business.

While answering that particular question Mr. Gill said, ” We are almost there on the verge of an explosion in case of two-wheelers, which is I think around 18 to 24 months away from an exponential growth point of view. As far as four-wheelers are concerned, surely first the charging infrastructure or the confidence of charging has to set it. Otherwise, it will be only premium cars, which can do 400 kilometers in one charge, because anybody who wants to buy a car could think of going intercity sometime. So for them, either you depend on charging infrastructure, or you go for a very premium car, which is very niche, or you go for a second car. All this means I think the car exponential growth to start is at least three to four years away.

On current charging infra, Bangia said, “Tata Power EZ Charge currently has 600 plus chargers in the country, the public chargers that do not include home chargers and semi-public chargers, which is about 50 percent-plus market share today. We are putting up about 3,000 chargers in the current fiscal. Depending on the penetration of vehicles, I think we are committed to putting up to 100,000 public chargers in the next maybe 7 to 10 years’ timeframe.

On adding 4,000 chargers under the FAME II scheme, Bangia said, “So 4,000 as a number of chargers, are they enough or not is completely dependent on how the EV penetration takes up. For EV penetration to go up really, you need to have a wider choice of vehicles and at the right price point. We are possibly at the cusp, one or two significantly important cars or significantly attractive cost at the right price point is going to trigger out this ecosystem.