India needs India-specific solutions say experts at Financial Express Electric Mobility Summit 2022 | The Financial Express

India needs India-specific solutions say experts at Financial Express Electric Mobility Summit 2022

In the quest for fast-introducing EVs and newer technologies, compromising on safety and testing cannot and should not be skipped.

India needs India-specific solutions say experts at Financial Express Electric Mobility Summit 2022
L-R: Dr Manoj Modani, Director, Automotive Test Systems; Akash Gupta, Co-Founder & CEO, Zypp Electric; Pulkit Khurana, Co-Founder, Battery Smart; Arun Vinayak, CEO, Exponent Energy and Nilesh Wadhwa, Principal Correspondent, Financial Express.

The adoption of electric vehicles in India unlike the west is being driven by the two- and three-wheeler segments, where affordability, faster turnaround time, higher up-time and extreme usage is more rampant. 

Speaking on the sidelines of the FE Electric Mobility Summit 2022, Arun Vinayak of Exponent Energy pointed out that there is a “Need to address unique India-specific challenges for faster EV adoption.”

Pulkit Khurana, Co-Founder of Battery Smart and Akash Gupta, Co-Founder & CEO of Zypp Electric agreed that for electric two-wheelers deployed for B2B segment, where higher uptime is crucial, fast-charging is expensive and not an ideal option.  According to Akash Gupta of Zypp Electric: “Charging at home is not the best solution, swapping the next level of evolution.” On the other hand, “Battery swapping is faster process than charging the batteries,” said Pulkit Khurana of Battery Smart

Vinayak on the other hand explained that while swapping could be a short-term solution, what happens when the penetration of EVs rises significantly? The battery stations would need to ultimately fast-charge the stored batteries to be made available for swapping, thus making fast-charging inevitable to drive the adoption of EVs.

But in the quest for fast-introducing EVs and newer technologies, compromising on safety and testing cannot and should not be skipped cautioned Dr Manoj Modani, Director, Automotive Test Systems.

Commenting on the recent incidents of EV’s catching fire Modani reiterated the importance of tests before launching and said that some start-ups are not spending enough resources on testing and R&D, “only good tech and players would survive.” 

“With the new battery norms, a lot of small players, who lack the infrastructure and quality are moving out of the battery manufacturing business, which is a step in the right direction,” added Gupta.

Responding to a query on whether installing EV chargers and battery swapping stations at fuel stations would be the best partnership scenario, Vinayak said, “There’s energy all around. Why should an EV user need to go around searching for fuel pumps, which stand at 400 in a city like Bengaluru. It should be where it’s convenient for you. There are a lot of India-specific problems like scarce parking space, which needs to be cracked for faster EV adoption.”

Adding to that, Khurana agreed that while some segments will see quicker adoption of fast-charging technology, some segments will see benefits of battery swapping as it removes the initial cost of ownership and also brings quicker turnaround times for EVs.

Explaining the emerging trends in the battery swapping space, Khurana pointed out that, “It is not always about being first, it is about bringing in the right technology suitable to the needs of the local market that has made us successful.”

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First published on: 19-11-2022 at 15:15 IST