Exicom claims a 70 percent share in home-charging infrastructure and estimates a requirement of 120,000 DC fast chargers over next five years.
The electric vehicle (EV) adoption in India is picking up steam, and one of the key enablers to this mega transformation is the rapid progress on the charging infrastructure front, that is inspiring confidence in EV owners and helping alleviate their range anxiety.
While the country, at present, has close to 10,000 public chargers already installed on the ground, "Considering the rate of EV penetration, there's a need for about 120,000 DC fast chargers in the coming five years," Anant Nahata, MD, Exicom Group, told Autocar Professional in a recent interview.
EV sales in India hit their highest in fiscal 2022 with sales of 429,217 units of electric passenger vehicles, e-two-wheelers, e-three-wheelers and e-commercial vehicles going home to buyers. While the cumulative EV sales registered a significant 218 percent year-on-year growth last fiscal over fiscal 2021’s total volumes of 134,821 units, EV sales in India are poised to set a new record in the current fiscal. In Q1 of this fiscal, sales of these zero-tailpipe-emission vehicles have surged to 211,398 units, recording a monumental growth of 686 percent over Q1 FY22's 26,833 units.
This exponential increase in EV penetration also calls for heightened efforts in the EV charging infrastructure space, and according to Nahata, the country is seeing about 200-300 DC fast chargers getting installed every month. While it claims a 40 percent share in the present DC fast charging space in India, Exicom’s tie-ups with a variety of bus operators, as well as charge-point operators (CPOs) have augmented its market share in these dedicated categories to over 60 percent.
However, with the current levels of EV penetration, the utilisation rate of these public DC fast chargers is restricted only to the tune of 10 percent, with large fleets as well as B2B businesses that are increasingly switching to EV-only fleets, driving the utilisation. In such cases, Exicom experiences up to 30 percent utilisation of its installed chargers. “There’s still a long way to go to get the utilisation factor correct. It needs to have a network, vehicles, as well as people’s confidence on the public charging infrastructure,” Nahata said.
On the other hand, home charging infrastructure remains a crucial area where it commands a dominating 70 percent market share and has strong ties with OEMs such as MG Motor India, Tata Motors and Audi India. “We were able to develop the right products with the right aesthetics, and present them in a way wherein both customers, as well as the OEMs, got a lot of confidence in the desired charging experience. It’s a market we continue to focus on going forward,” he added.
Despite this relentless focus on the personal charging category, Exicom is bullish on the anticipated growth in the shared DC charging space. “We will see a higher utilisation of DC fast chargers in the coming years. Contrary to the fact that 80 percent of the global EV charging takes place at home with AC chargers, people who have been buying EVs over the last two years belonged to the more affluent class, and always had a dedicated parking slot to begin with.
“But if we look at the data even for a country like Norway, only for the last year, the proportion of DC charging is higher than AC, as the new EV buyers do not necessarily have a dedicated parking spot. That’s a trend we will see in India as well,” Nahata signed off.
Exicom says that some of its ongoing projects are with OEMs to solve the problem of home charging and while residences which have a dedicated parking spot belong to the easiest category, apartments and condominiums are converting up to 30 percent of their parking slots for EVs, equipped primarily with AC chargers. Shared infrastructure in the form of 3.3kW chargers installed on lamp posts are some of the possibilities going forward for cars that do not have dedicated parking.
In Conversation with Exicom's Anant Nahata