Robust technology to support EV adoption in India

Technology has been making the impossible possible and is advancing each day bringing state-of-the-art features into the automobile market. The first EV, for instance, represented being environment-friendly and reduced fuel consumption. As time went by, startups disrupted the space with cutting-edge features – reverse mode, navigation function, geo-location, Bluetooth etc which instilled excitement among consumers to try out one.

How technology accelerates EV adoption?

1) BMS ensures safety

If the battery is the heart, then BMS is the brain of the electric vehicle. The BMS safeguards the battery by ensuring the battery pack is operating within the safety parameters, which are performed by AI and IoT – the offspring of technological advancements.

A lot of work is going on with the big data received from the BMS of the vehicles running on the road. This data can be used to monitor the Voltage, temperature, power etc. and can be processed to give real-time signals to users at the right time to avoid any mishaps and also can monitor the State of Charge (SOC) and State of Health (SOH) to identify potential changes that can improve the battery life and cost.

Additionally, BMS can identify the driving behaviour of individual users which can help users drive safely and at the same time help increase the life of their vehicle. Besides that, uniform standards and rigorous testing practices issued at the government level enhances the safety of the vehicle, hence we can witness a mass-scale adoption of EVs in the coming months and near future.

2) Offers convenience

· Battery as a Service (BaaS) – EV buyers can now get a batteryless vehicle at a reduced upfront cost than earlier and can opt for a subscription plan throughout the lifetime of the vehicle from any battery service provider at their discretion at the best price. Also, this model is asset-light, and economical which has the capability of bringing down the upfront cost by 20%.

· Software upgrades – Unlike ICE counterparts, embedded software is indispensable for the smooth functioning of an EV. The cloud connectivity in the vehicle ensures over-the-Air updates (OTA) and automatic installation of software assures that it remains up to date. The electric vehicle software delivers smart features including connectivity, navigation and maintenance. In simple words, predictive navigation, real-time alerts – driver assistance, and automobile diagnostics for evaluating vehicle performance.

· Ultra-fast charging – It takes over 2-4 hours to fully charge an electric vehicle. This can act as an impediment to the adoption of electric vehicles and that’s why two-wheeler companies and OEMs are investing heavily in RnD to cut down the time taken to charge electric vehicles from 2-4 hours to 5-10 minutes; the time required to fill gasoline at the petrol bunks.

· E-commerce – Two-wheeler companies are joining hands with dealerships to set up a digital storefronts for EV customers. The process begins with the customer visiting the online storefront, comparing among brands, booking test drives, applying for the loan online and finally making the purchase either online or offline (visiting showrooms).

New-age startups on the other hand are disrupting the EV ecosystem with applications/apps to facilitate EV buyers to find the nearest private/public charging stations thus solving the challenge of range anxiety. The features do not end here – The buyers can choose to charge their EV by units or amount, authorize charging through OTP, reserve a slot for charging, and view charging history integrated through a single app.

Simply put, technology provides a hassle-free mode of buying and maintenance compared to its ICE counterparts. Hence, the aforementioned trends can bring about a drastic change in the preference of Indian consumers at the same time accelerating EV adoption in the country.

3) Interoperability

Interoperability is the biggest impediment to the adoption of electric vehicles in India. For instance, there are different brands, models and segments in the EV ecosystem. Each of them has a distinct battery pack and chemistries due to the non-existence of a guiding principle or standards. Likewise, range anxiety and the absence of charging infrastructure remain another challenge. Riders are often concerned about finding a charging station while travelling long distances. This is where interoperability comes into play. Riders can have a membership from any of the charging stations and using that one membership they can locate, access and pay for the charging service of various networks through one app. In other words, the interoperability standards can mitigate the fears of range anxiety, thereby increasing the confidence of buyers.

In conclusion,

Electric vehicles have existed in the Indian market for decades. However, the increasing popularity is due to the rapid shoot-up of carbon footprints and surging fuel prices. The demand for the vehicles has never diminished ever since rather kept growing. With robust technologies, government-backed incentives & policies, and positive customer demand, EVs will take the two-wheeler industry way ahead, becoming the face of the automobile industry.

Author: Harsh Saruparia, CTO and Co-founder, OTO

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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