We are at that stage where electrification is the future of mobility and there is a newfound push towards developing new electric vehicles and technologies. The growing ecosystem aims to resolve all complexities around owning and living with an electric vehicle, and Tata Power has been playing an active role in building the charging infrastructure in India. And as part of its expansion plan, the company plans to set up its presence in over 200 cities shortly, Sandeep Bangia, Head – EV, Home Automation and ESCO Business, Tata Power, confirmed the development to carandbike in a recent interaction for World EV Day 2021. Bangia also said that the company plans to take its charging station to over 10,000 in the next few years.
Tata Power has partnered with MG Motor India, Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover to set-up charging stations
Bangia said, “We are already present in 129 cities and plan to be in about 200 cities shortly. We are not stopping at that and are committed to growing the electric charging infrastructure in India to facilitate the penetration of EVs.”
While the number is surely enormous and will be needed more than we realise in the future, a larger chunk of it is likely to come from the home charging network. At present, Tata Power has a network of over 5000 home chargers and nearly 700 public chargers in 120 cities across India. The charging infrastructure itself is a mix of public charging, captive charging, home, workplace charging and ultra-rapid chargers up to 240 kW for buses.
Tata Power’s new chargers will be set up under a two-fold plan. The Destination Charging plan will see the company install EV chargers in residential societies, commercial buildings, shopping destinations, hotels, and public parking lots. Essentially, all of these places will have vehicles parked for a long time that make them ideal for AC charging solutions.
The luxury EV segment has seen more rapid growth with carmakers bringing flagship electric cars to the country as CBUs
Meanwhile, the Highway Charging plan aims to have more chargers between key cities like Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Delhi-Chandigarh, Delhi-Jaipur, Bangalore-Chennai, Hyderabad-Vijayawada. Bangia says they have also identified tourist destinations like Mussoorie, Mahabaleshwar, Coorg, and Dwarka where EV owners can head without worrying about charging solutions. Highways will also see more DC charging stations as the focus is to “juice up” the vehicle and get on the road.
“It is our endeavour that more and more people adopt electric vehicles without the usual concerns of range anxiety. We plan to have around 10,000 chargers in the next few years,” Bangia added further.
He also spoke about Tata Power’s association with JLR, Tata Motors and MG Motor India that allows for sharing crucial information. This brings a lot of valuable data to the company including usage behaviour, and potential demand centres, Bangia explained, which then allows the company to identify the right locations to set up charging points.
Bangia also spoke about the state governments rolling out subsidies for EVs this year in a landmark move. This is expected to bring a tangible change in the adoption of electric vehicles in the country. While he commended the efforts by the state and central governments, Bangia also pointed out that there are still implementation issues on the ground with multiple agencies involved. He, however, did call it a “temporary phenomenon till things get smoothened out.”
The Tata Tigor EV is currently the most affordable electric car for a private buyer but it’s the sub ₹ 10 lakh EV that’s touted to be a gamechanger
There is also a need to have more choices in the EV segment from a product perspective. “Today as against the 300+ options available on petrol/diesel a customer has a choice at different price points,” Bangia said. “She can find something that suits her wallet and design sensibilities – hatchback or Sedan or SUV in 4-wheeler and scooter or motorcycle in 2-wheelers. Such a choice is not available today on EVs.”
But there is a transition when it comes to bringing new products. While there’ more buzz in the luxury end of the EV space, the mass-market segment does have some catching up to do. Local players like Mahindra and Tata are working on newer products, some of which are still a while away. What most experts do believe though is a sub ₹ 10 lakh electric car will really get the segment cracking. Until then, the focus can be on developing the charging infrastructure to support the strong demand in the future.
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