Finland’s Kempower scouts for partners for EV charging eco-system in India

by Sricharan R 18 Jun 2020

With the electric vehicle (EV) space gradually seeing more action in terms of new product announcements, new investments and governmental focus, there are number of companies, both Indian and global, aiming to be a part of the EV eco-system in India. Finland’s Kempower Oy is one of them.

The company, which has 70 years of experience in power sources, has expertise in charging of electric passenger vehicles, buses and off-highway vehicles. Owned by the Kemppi Group, it has three products – T-series movable DC, C-series EV charging station and S-series charging system.

Kempower Oy designs, manufactures and commercialises charging solutions and services for electric vehicles and machines operating in the most demanding conditions. Its charging solutions are designed and manufactured in Lahti, Finland.

Though its India plans have been slowed down by the pandemic, Kempower is confident of bringing its charging solutions to the Indian market. Speaking to Autocar Professional, Rashmi Ranjan Mohapatra, managing director (South East Asia & India), Kemppi Oy, said: “We are focusing on charging electric off-highway vehicles, buses, passenger cars and heavy vehicles. We are at the starting phase in India and are looking at a lot of prospects to understand the need and requirements of the market here. We are in discussions with many stakeholders, State and Central government to find out the best possible way to operate. We are also looking at partners and OEMs here.” 

In India, the charging solutions company has four centres – covering demo, sales and service – in Chennai, Pune, Delhi and Kolkata. These four places are demo, sales and service centres. 

Kempower has a 60-strong dealer network in India which supplies three different charging solutions. The C series which is a cabinet charger offering power from 40 kW to 480 kW. The second one is T series, a small mobile charger suitable for electric cars, commercial vehicles, lorries, vans, buses and off-highway vehicles. It offers 40 kW of pure charging power and has a simultaneous dual charging option providing 20 kW from each channel. And there’s S-series, which is a fast-charging system for large and widespread fleets. The system is especially ideal for electric buses and parties offering fast charging for electric passenger cars. The need for simultaneous and frequent fast charging is easily fulfilled with S-series satellite charging poles and/or pantographs. Due to the modular structure, the standard Kempower charging system offers power from 40 kW to 480 kW, even more, if scalable solutions are needed.

“The technology is completely different from than what is already in the market here. With our cloud service, one can know how much a vehicle needs a charge, average consumption and more. All these products will be available in the Indian market and will be manufactured in Finland. If the volumes pick up, we will be looking at options to Make in India,” says Mohapatra.

The company had embarked on a strategic growth plan for the Indian market until Covid-19 intervened. At the time, Kempower was in the initial stages of discussion with many OEMs. The company believes the high level of technology in its EV charging systems is what sets it apart from its competitors in India and globally. Kempower is a strong supplier of EV chargers to buyers in Norway, Finland and other Scandinavian countries where electric mobility is flourishing. The company says it understands the Indian market well as it also has a wide presence in the welding industry. Its charging solutions are claimed to work at harsh temperatures from -50 to +50deg Celsius. 

Focus on charging buses and passenger vehicles
Kempower India will be concentrating only on providing charging solutions for buses and passenger vehicles. Though India has huge potential for growth in electric two- and three=wheelers – the low-hanging fruit of the e-mobility industry in the country – and three-wheeler EV market, the company will not be getting into that space. “Though these are in the nascent stage, we feel that we can make an impact in the highway sector. Once we begin, we will be focussing more from Pune and will move towards the South,” says Mohapatra.

With OEMs claiming the delay in EV infrastructure is an important reason for the slow rate of EV adaptability in India, Mohapatra begs to differ. “It is difficult for us to do alone as we play second fiddle (to OEMs). The main push will be driven by the electric car and bus manufacturers. We stand only as an electric charging solutions provider. We are in the ecosystem, and understand how it has to go. It is a chicken- and-egg situation whether we need the population of vehicles to push EV infrastructure or vice-versa,” he concludes. 


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