BITS alumnus Pilani creates a van that can charge an electric car at your doorstep


The journey to electric vehicles has already started in the country, and with several charging points in public places (parking lots, petrol pumps, shopping centers) installed, but the task remains very difficult as it would also require the active participation of the sector. electricity.

Knowing the importance of the synergy between the automotive and energy sectors, a former student of BITS Pilani proposed a unique solution for recharging electric vehicles. Arjun Singh, founder of Hopcharge, claimed to provide door-to-door on-demand charging service for electric vehicle owners.

With international experience in the energy industry with some of the renowned companies like Schlumberger, Singh said, virtually Hopcharge is an “energy cloud” and in physical terms it is a “power bank” with a high power charger. “This combination inside a van is to provide mobility. Whenever you need it, it’s there. Instead of going to the public charging station, the stations come to you, in doing so, Hopcharge complements the fixed infrastructure and offers more options for charging EVs, therefore more convenience, ”he said. . noted.

Additionally, speaking about the issue between the Resident Welfare Association (RWA) and EV charging, Singh explained that “currently, RWAs cannot give EV owners unlimited connection because when RWA is created, a building is constructed, a transformer is also attached. If there is a company of 700 people … and let’s say the load per house would be 7kW / house as a result, the load is installed in the transformer. If something new appears (electric vehicles in this case) then RWAs will need to change / upgrade transformers, and subsequently substations, etc. also need to be upgraded “.

He said all of these changes were possible but the execution process could take some time. Hopcharge has yet to launch and would initially focus on the 4-wheeler market only, including all high-end cars – Tesla, MG ZS EV, Tata Nexon, among others, Singh said.

How many electric vehicles can a Hopcharge van charge in a day?

Explaining hypothetically, Singh said that a Hopcharge would be able to charge more than 12 Tata Nexon electric vehicles per day over a distance of 20 km. Singh also informed that his company is currently focused on providing the charging service within cities only and that in the near future, Hopcharge vans could be seen on the highways.

How long does it take for a Hopcharge van to charge a single 4-wheel electric vehicle?

Singh said that charging depends on many factors, such as destination, type of car, pre-existing battery level, battery quality, among others. “Usually we recommend charging 80% of the battery which can be charged in 45 minutes. Our job was to meet most of the models available in the Indian market at this time. We make sure that the charging time restriction does not. must not come from our chargers, ”Singh said.

Hopcharge service reservation

At present, the company is working on an experimental basis at Delhi-NCR. Electric car owners can book charging through an Android / iOS app with a compatible charger. “It’s Invite Only right now to optimize the user experience as we evolve. If anyone asks us, we’ll be available within the allotted time,” Singh said.

Hopcharge-Road ahead

Singh said that currently the main focus of the company is on creating Hopcharge as a concept and convenience for end users nationwide. Later, it could spread to other regions like the United States, emerging markets like Taiwan and Japan, and possibly some cities in Europe.

At present, Hopcharge has an entity in Japan. Singh said, “It’s a very strategic reason to be here because one of the oldest and fastest charging technologies comes from Japan.” Hopcharge is a member of CHAdeMO, Singh said.

Mint spoke with the CEO of the Society Of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV), Sohinder Singh Gill, about the Hopcharge mobility concept. Hopcharge can be implemented, but for experimental purposes only, he added.

According to Gill, to accelerate the sale of electric cars in India, the government needs to focus on three main elements: customer attitude, the price of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. However, he stressed that automakers should continue to make electric vehicles without worrying about charging issues. He said: “Don’t wait for the charging infrastructure, just the manufacturing”.

“It doesn’t matter if an electric car costs around ??20-25 lakh. At least people will start talking about it. If the density of premium electric vehicles increases in metropolitan cities, the infrastructure for automatic charging will improve. Ultimately, the mass movement of low-budget electric cars (around ??range of 10 lakh) would begin, ”said Gill.

He further gave examples of foreign cities that have adopted strict policies on electric vehicles, such as London, France and others. For example, in London, only electric cars are allowed to enter the city. France gives huge incentives to companies that push their employees to buy electric cars. The UK has created zones where only cars without fuel are allowed to enter. Gill said that if state governments replicated similar zonal policies in populated Indian cities, it would bring small but positive change.

Sale of electric vehicles in India

In recent years India’s electric vehicle industry has experienced decent growth. According to SMEV data for the previous fiscal year (FY21), the electric car industry registered 4,588 units compared to 3,000 units in FY20.

According to SMEV, a strong bank financing mechanism is still lacking in the country. Only a few banks offer loans on selected models. For example, NBFC Shriram City Union Finance Ltd stated that it currently has a 20% share of the two-wheeled finance market.

“The two-wheeler disruption is about to take off. Currently, electric vehicle sales are less than 1% of 2W, we currently have 20% market share of 2W funded,” YS Chakravarti, MD and CEO, Shriram City declared Union Finance Ltd.

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About Emilie Brandow

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