Consumer sentiment globally is driving the Automobile industry towards producing high performance, energy efficient Electric Vehicles. With a promise of zero emission and a rapidly increasing environmental consciousness, this global green crusade is underway at a much faster pace than we can imagine. So, if the era of Electric Vehicles has arrived, then we need the equivalent of a gas station, which is a charging station both commercially, and also at our homes or places where we visit. A charging station is a part of infrastructure that supplies electric energy to recharge plug-in electric vehicles.
Pertinent questions a home buyer needs to mull over are: Have we accepted and acknowledged that in a few years, the roads world-over will be flooded with Electric vehicles, and that fuel based vehicles will be eventually phased out? Are our builders thinking about this requirement in the parking slots? More importantly, as home buyers, are we future-ready, and demanding this provision from our builders?
The Government of India has adopted a clear mandate to phase out Internal Combustion Engines (ICE), and encourage switching to eco-friendly electric vehicles. There are several incentives being offered under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric & Hybrid vehicles in India scheme (FAME initiative). The switch over from ICE to EV is imminent, and will happen only in a matter of time. State Governments in India like Karnataka have adopted aggressive targets to implement EVs hitting the roads over the next two decades.
With a projected double digit year-on-year growth of Electric Vehicles in India, the era of electric cars has finally arrived! The key driver for growth and transition remains the cost of lithium-ion batteries, which will continue to nosedive. Consequently, the cost of electric vehicles will be either lesser or comparable to gasoline fuelled vehicles.
Builders offering EVs charging sockets: an impending need of home-buyers
Driven by this reality, the real estate sector is also responding to the futuristic requirements of home buyers that need to be addressed today! Few builders have already made rapid strides towards keeping pace with the emerging needs, and are offering Electric Vehicle Charging slots in parking areas of their residential offerings. This added feature of EV charging sockets requires upgraded and additional load taking capability in the buildings. The parking slots with charging stations are enabled with sockets and connectors to plug into the electric vehicle.
Technicalities of EV charging
To understand the technicality- akin to mobile phones, the charging cable has two ends. One end plugs into the vehicle, and the other end plugs into the charging socket. There is variation in the type of connectors depending upon the type of vehicle, and the speed-of-charge itself. The charging speed could be a) slow/fast charging, or b) rapid charging, and may vary depending on the country specific infrastructure and product-line of Electric Vehicles being offered.
GIven below are some more technical details for a better understanding of EV charger types-
Slow & Fast Charger
Alternating Current (AC)
This is typically used for charging at home, work or other places of visit. The socket is universal across all electric ranges, and can be thought of as similar to the USB socket for charging smartphones. The socket remains the same for each, but the cable is specific to the car type.
Direct Current (DC)
These have tethered cables that are compatible with the car-side connectors alone. These are used commercially, and within India alone, we may have a rapid charging station at every 3 KM distance in the near future!
Future of EVs in India
Reliable projections peg India to have approximately 40% electric vehicles over the next one decade. Futuristic builders are providing for AC slow/fast charging sockets at their residential apartments as a back-up emergency option. although the preferred option will be a rapid charge DC available commercially, just like going to a petrol-bunk for petrol or diesel refuelling in India.
The commitment to switch to Electric Vehicles in India is carved in stone. The Indian Transport minister made a very forceful remark in 2017 about moving India to being a 100% Electric Vehicle country by 2030. Ofcourse, post some deliberations later, this number was brought down, but what matters is the clarity of thought, direction, and an unwavering commitment towards non-pollution.
Overall, the good news is that earth will see a cleaner, greener and brighter tomorrow in the very near future! Home buyers in the very near future will need exclusive EV charging points in the parking areas of their apartments, and it’s important to be cognizant of this imminent need.