Swiss engineering major ABB is bullish on the growth opportunity in India’s electric vehicle (EV) charging market. The company is also keen to harness its strong foothold in solar energy generation in India to provide not just EV chargers but a clean charging ecosystem altogether.
While EV adoption in India is still at a nascent phase, studies suggest growth could accelerate on the back of rising consumer awareness and a push from the government, which aims to have over 30 percent of all vehicles electrified by 2030.
ABB’s Indian arm is running pilot projects in EV charging infrastructure with some automakers. This includes an EV charging station at Rohtang (near Manali) and in New Delhi. In February 2018, ABB India installed a fast-charging station — ABB Terra 53 — at government think-tank NITI Aayog’s office in Delhi, which can fully charge an EV in 30 minutes. Globally, ABB also has advanced EV charging solutions such as flash-charging technology that charges a bus in a remarkable 20sec, and the Terra HP fast charger that can power a car for a 200km range in a single charge that takes barely eight minutes.
It is this Terra HP fast-charging system that ABB showcased at the MOVE Global Mobility Summit in New Delhi on September 7-8. The company says Terra HP is ideally suited for highway rest stops and petrol stations, where the highest power is required to minimise charging time.
ABB CEO among global CEOs at MOVE Global Mobility Summit
Ulrich Spiesshofer, chief executive officer of ABB, was among the many Indian and global captains of industry present at the MOVE Global Mobility Summit 2018 at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.
In his address, Spiesshofer commended the Indian government for its ambitious, enlightened vision for transforming the transport system to e-mobility. He further highlighted a few of ABB’s pioneering technologies with which they looks forward to support India’s e-mobility revolution.
He said, "Seven years ago we revolutionised electric vehicle charging by using direct current, which reduced charging times to tens of minutes, rather than the many hours needed with AC. Today, ABB has the largest installed base of fast-chargers worldwide – 8,000 stations in 68 countries."
"A few months ago, at the Hanover industry fair in Germany, we launched a new record-breaking, new Terra High Power EV charger, which is able to deliver enough charge in just eight minutes to power an electric car for 200 kilometers. We’ve brought one of these fast-chargers to this event," said Spiesshofer.
He added, "ABB is extremely proud and privileged to be partnering with the Indian government and NITI Aayog, as well as customers and technical institutes to support India’s development. In India, we are working with partners, including OEMs and NITI Aayog on EV charging models."
ABB's connect with India
ABB’s presence in India dates back over a century, and the company has had manufacturing operations here for over 60 years. The company has been a leader in e-mobility for well over a century and it has been one of the first companies to electrify railways, tunnels and trains. "ABB pioneered electric propulsion for ships. We are a technology leader in e-mobility for buses: our revolutionary flash-charging TOSA system keeps buses running all day with 20-second bursts at selected stops," pointed out Spiesshofer.
The company can also be seen to be pushing the boundaries of e-mobility as a title partner in ABB Formula E, the fully electric international FIA motorsport class, in which India's Mahindra Racing is a key participant.
In his closing remarks, Ulrich said that India can leapfrog other nations by embracing e-mobility now, and become a world leader in sustainable transport, while reducing emissions and dependence on imported fossil fuels. At the same time, India can use e-mobility as a lever to move its industry up the value chain and to drive economic growth.
The company has the capability to locally manufacture EV charging equipment at its Bangalore plant. While it is hopeful about a pick-up in demand for chargers, it is awaiting a formal directive from the government on various aspects of e-mobility, starting with charging standards, to decide its future strategy. With the government having announced plans to introduce an EV policy soon, it could be the trigger ABB has been awaiting.
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