Just a year ago, talking about electric vehicles was like talking about a future that is at least 5 years down the lane. Fast forward a few months, EVs are all the hype. A lot of investors are also wanting to become a part of the growing EV ecosystem by setting up the much-needed charging infrastructure. But, is there a plausible way to do so? Here we discuss some important aspects to consider before setting up charging stations. Further, some prominent players in ecosystem explain the steps required to setup such infra. Also Read - Nissan to invest whopping $18 billion in EV development in next five years
Some of the factors to consider while setting up EV charging stations
Types of EVs: In the passenger vehicle (PV) segment, two-wheeler and four-wheeler EVs have gained some acceptance. Electric scooters are more popular due to their versatility and mainly because the scooters are built for short distances within the city. Four-wheeler EVs are yet to witness a substantial boost but with companies such as Tata Motors actively pushing out fully electric car models, we can expect a boom in the segment very soon. Also Read - Would you buy a Xiaomi electric vehicle? Company plans to produce lakhs of cars every year
Real Estate: The real estate plays a crucial role in the success or failure of a charging station and it is also where the major chunk of the investment will go. Access to charging stations and their visibility will heavily rely on the location. Availability of land on the road-side or a city centre could be a decisive factor in the success of such infra. Also Read - BMW iX all-electric SUV to launch in India on December 11: Could cost north of Rs 1 crore
EV Charger types: There are options of rapid chargers, fast chargers and slow chargers. Rapid charging technology needs special compatibility with the vehicle to deliver optimum charging speed. Fast chargers may not provide the same charging speed as rapid chargers but they have a broader user-base. Slow chargers are the most commonly accessible and most often installed at homes to charge the vehicles overnight.
AC chargers which are easily accessible provide a power output ranging from 3 kW to 22 kW whereas DC chargers can provide a power output ranging from 15kW to over 350kW.
Here we talk to some of the prominent EV players in the country about ways in which individual investors can put in money to set up charging infra.
How can one apply for a charging station to generate passive income?
First, Apply on www.ebikego.com/charge. The company will then call the applicant and visit the location with their team to do an eligibility check.
The team will then conduct an audit of the charger location followed by the installation, training. Finally, the charging station will be listed on Google Maps and it will then go live.
One can suggest a location which Tata Power’s teams would evaluate for suitability. If the location is suitable, they will sign up. Sandeep Bangia, Head – EV Charging, Home Automation, and ESCO services, Tata Power
The design team from Magenta will visit the site and analyse the proposal by the applicant. They will conduct due diligence of utilization, talk to the fleet nearby to assess demand and profitability of the charging station.
What are the minimum requirements to set up a charging station?
The applicant will require at least 50 Sq. ft area along with a power connection that can accommodate 16 Ampere socket.
Few of the requirements for installation are prominent location, direct road access, access to sufficient power supply, amongst others. These are necessary conditions, however, the final decision is taken on the basis of a detailed scrutiny and recce of the location by the Tata Power team.
The investor needs to have access to suitable real estate for the installation and after conducting the audit, the applicant will be advised whether to go forward with the installation or not.
Approximate cost that the investor will have to bear in order to set up a charging station
Rs 8,000-10,000 for 16 Ampere charging unit
The costs depend upon the charger configuration. The company could not provide details about the exact pricing.
DC Charger will cost Rs 6-7 lakh along with Rs 3-4 lakh for the peripherals like wiring (the price is affected by input cost of the materials).
It is important to note that fast chargers and rapid chargers would require a much higher investment when compared to normal 15/16 Ampere socket chargers as they provide much faster charging speeds, making them more commercially viable.
A simple three pin plug is not an EV charging Supply Unit. Just setting up a plug point won’t suffice as a commercial EV charging station. Normal sockets are not designed to take the load of multiple users. The constant plugging in and plugging out causes wear and tear which then leads to safety hazards.
Co-founder and CEO of Magenta, suggests that investors who want to enter the charging ecosystem should focus on installing AC charging stations instead of DC charging stations. Considering that the standardisation of EV charging infra is yet to achieve its final form, individual investors will have a safer bet installing AC chargers, which also require less capital.
Note: This is not an investment advice. Investors should conduct their due diligence before putting in their money.