‘We’re eying restaurants, hospitality sector to forge tie-ups’
ChargeEZ's Prashant Chandrasekaran speaks on tying up with hospitality sector to set up EV charging stations
The hospitality industry has started doing its bit in making the switch to EVs easier for customers by partnering with tech companies that provide EV charging infrastructure. The aim is to allow customers easy access to chargers for their vehicles while enhancing the value proposition of the property.
One among many players is Bengaluru-based ChargeEZ that has started collaborating with the hospitality industry to allow travellers to rest and recharge while their vehicle does the same. To understand the vision of ChargeEZ and future of EVs in India better, BW HOTELIER spoke with Prashant Chandrasekaran. Excerpts:
Have EV charging stations undergone any changes since these were first introduced?
The initial options only catered to home charging for the earlier generation of four-wheelers which were limited in number. However, the past year has witnessed a significant transformation with the emergence of two-wheeler EV chargers, public charging stations and even four-wheeler fast charging stations as EV adoption has accelerated and volumes have started to kick in. Plugin chargers in public spaces, malls, offices and government owned properties have started to emerge. Chargers available today are both regular AC chargers as well as fast chargers for four-wheelers. Some two-wheeler EV OEMs have also launched fast chargers that work with their own EV models. Together, the ecosystem is rapidly evolving as charging infrastructure has emerged as a key requirement for EV adoption.
What role does ChargeEZ play with respect to the hospitality sector and EV charging for a better tomorrow?
ChargeEZ is building an EV charging network driven by a philosophy of ‘Destination Charging’ ie ensuring that EV users have the convenience of accessing EV charging at their destination, wherever they go. Today, people have hectic schedules and when owning an EV, they usually do not have time to spare while it gets charged. ChargeEZ is eying the hospitality sector and restaurants and taking necessary steps to provide their EV charging services to their customer base by creating tie-ups and partnerships with establishments in the hospitality sector. By doing so, ChargeEZ aims to expand into this vertical which would help the EV owners charge their vehicle without having to go out of their way. They can simply access ChargeEZ while going about their day.
What are the much-needed changes in the EV infrastructure?
The safety related incidents that the EV sector has seen in the recent months has shown the need for quality players across the ecosystem – both EV OEMs and charging solution providers – to invest more vigorously in local R&D to ensure their products are attuned to Indian conditions. Whether it is batteries that are so far largely imported or EV chargers from a certain number of players, it is important to ensure the products are well suited to local climatic conditions, keep in mind prevailing infrastructure – both road and power and offer a safe EV charging experience. At ChargeEZ, we already build our own proprietary EV chargers for two- and three-wheelers that have been adapted to local conditions. We are also on the verge of rolling out our own four-wheeler EV fast charging solution. Beyond this, there is a need to align charging standards in areas where there are no existing global standards such as fast charging for two-wheelers. This will bring greater convenience for EV owners and accelerate adoption in the years to come.
What is the future of EV charging in India?
The development of EV charging infrastructure will be closely aligned to the types of EVs that occupy Indian roads. With two-wheeler EVs forming a major share of growth in the industry, the charging infrastructure is rapidly emerging to cater to the same. Battery swapping has also evolved to cater to EVs, especially in the commercial segment such as food delivery and last-mile transport. In future, we can expect a higher adoption of four-wheeler EV chargers. While regular and fast AC plug-in charging will be prominent in densely populated areas, rapid DC charging could play an important role along highways. Given the established safety standards and flexibility of interoperability across different EV brands, plug-in charging is likely to remain dominant in terms of EV charging infrastructure. As has been mentioned by the Union Minister for Road Transport Nitin Gadkari, the Government has a clear vision to make India an EV-driven country in the coming years.
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