Electric vehicle charging in apartments

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Click on the image to view the entire Webinar recording.

According to a survey conducted by ADDA, only 6.9% communities have an Electric vehicle charging in apartments and 93.1 % communities that don’t have an electric vehicle charging setup, want one in their community. Surprisingly 92.7% communities who do not have an EV charging setup in their community want one and only 7.3% communities do not wish to have an Electric Vehicle setup in their community. ‘

Electric vehicle charging in apartments
Electric vehicle charging in apartments

Given the soaring prices of petrol & diesel, growing traffic and pollution, electric vehicle charging in apartments seems like a major change that would help improving our cities, by making commute easier and eco friendly. ADDA conducted a webinar on ‘EV Charging: Challenges & Options in Gated Communities’ on 29th September, 2021.

The webinar was essentially a panel discussion by industry experts and leaders of electric vehicle giants in the market. The discussion delved into support and logistics, economical cost and environmental impact of EV setup in communities. It was moderated by Ms. Meera K, Co-Founder, Citizen Matters. 

The panel consisted of:

  • Meera K, Co-founder, Citizen Matters (Moderator)
  • Tadasmi Koul, Director (Sales India), SemaConnect
  • Vishnu Gattupalli, Governing Council Member, Bangalore Apartments Federation
  • Pawan Mulukutla, Director, Electric Mobility, WRI India
  • Ashika Sripathi, Co-Founder & Chief Evangelist, ADDA
  • Nilay Chandra, Vice President – Marketing and Charging Infrastructure, Ather Energy
  • Sandeep Bangia, Business Head, EV Charging Ecosystem, TATA Power

Need for Electric vehicle charging in apartments

  • With around 2 million vehicles expected on the road by 2026, India’s Electric vehicle (EV) market is growing rapidly. To support this growing demand of electric bikes and cars in communities, there is a need for Electric vehicle charging in apartments.
  • Residents in apartments will prefer a safe and reliable supply of charging for their Electric vehicles, rather than an individual connection drawn from a meter.
  • 80% of the charging takes place at home proving that people prefer to charge when they are at home.

Glossary of Electric vehicle charging in apartments

Three Levels of Charging:

LEVEL 1Slow charging Alternate Current (AC) systems:
Entry level slow charging AC systems which work via regular power supply eg. a three point-plug.
LEVEL 2AC Charging Level Two:
– Same system with a slightly higher power output.
– Ability to work on a software platform with the ability to schedule timings.
LEVEL 3Direct Current (DC) fast charging:
– Slightly higher power outputs and quicker turnarounds on charging.
– Costs more because of additional infrastructure needed to get power output to the required level.
– Can cause battery degradation over time and not recommended for daily use.

The Webinar Takeaways:

The Process of Setting up Electric Vehicle charging in apartments

Step 1: Find the ideal location

  • Availability of Basement parking spaces, preferably close to an existing power source is recommended.
  • The parking area which is reserved for the Electric Vehicle charging setup should be accessible by both residents and visitors.
  • There should be sufficient passage space for safe entry/exit of the vehicles.
  • It is also recommended to have the charging area covered to increase the longevity of infrastructure.

Step 2: Assess the demand

  • Identify how many charging points are required and what type of charging points would your community need.
  • Decide whether you would allow outsiders to use the charging stations or not (on a commercial basis).
Type of Power Source Rate Per Unit
Commercial charging stations 18/- per unit (kWh)
Individual meter 9/- per unit (kWh)
Community meter 8.5/- per unit (kWh)
Rate of investment* at 30% capacity, utilization is 3-4 years
With LT6 connection Unit charges -5.45/- + fixed charges

Step 3: Get Quotations and Proposals from Vendors

  • Identify if you need a new, additional connection or transformer to support this additional electrical load.
  • This is the time when you evaluate between an OPEX or CAPEX model.

Step 4: Get an LT6 electrical connection (optional) 

You can always apply for a BESCOM connection under LT6 – a Low Tension category specifically for EV charging.

Step 5: Work with the vendor to complete the installation

Upon identifying the right vendor with enough expertise, the installation can be completed. Installation is relatively simpler and takes only about 1-2 months to complete.

For charging station, there are many options. One can go for OPEX model provided by TATA Power where association does not invest anything at all to a point where individuals invest and you have slow AC Charger, Fast AC charger etc.

Difference Between CAPEX and OPEX Model

Electric vehicle charging in apartments
The prices indicated here may vary depending upon several factors.

How to connect the setup to your own meter?

  • No ESCOM will object for charging slot in a parking space for Electric vehicle charging in apartments.
  • However, it is a risky method and not a permanent solution. It is not recommended until a thorough safety and load assessment is done. 
  • Cross wiring can cause fire hazard as basements in India are not very well designed for good ventilation. 

Community Charging Solutions

If connecting the EV setup to your own meter is risky, one can consider opting for Community Charging Solutions – 

Everyone in a community can come to a common consensus. A handful chargers can be installed in a visitor or common parking area. A common power line is required to be drawn to the common parking area and charging station It isn’t a huge investment in itself and communities can even start start by installing 2-5 chargers. Integration can also happen in apps like ADDA where the app can take care of it.

How to Convince RWAs and Associations for Electric Vehicle setup in your community?

Building Bye-laws for Apartments/Societies has to come into electric vehicle space. The RWAs are responsible for facilitating the collaboration between third party providers and residents. Communities have to transition as technology evolves.

Cost is an absolute myth. Painting cost of a building is higher as compared to an electric vehicle charging point in apartments . An apartment would have to be really low on funds to not have the proportion that would help install an electric vehicle charging setup. 

Residents can start with assessing vendor presentations for EV, and take a vote on it – just like any other decision is taken in an apartment. It is just a matter of giving associations facts and awareness when it comes to EV charging in apartments.

Electric vehicle charging in apartment
The prices indicated here may vary depending upon several factors.

Read this for more inputs on the how Policy changes for EV from a government’s perspective affects EV setup.

Still Doubtful? Read this…

“Don’t wait for everything to get solved to start the EV initiative. There isn’t a permanent solution to this. Just get started with the simplest setup you can arrange” says, Nilay Chandra from Ather Energy.

Communities can start with a common area 4-wheeler charging and a 2-wheeler charging depending on the vehicles. Once the electric vehicle numbers go up, the community can split out the stations at different locations.

And even if your apartment allowed the first bunch of people for individual charging, as long as a community has well equipped electricians who can take care of the wirings, every community has enough equipment to draw a line and put up a plug point. 

It is recommended to find a model which encourages enough number of people to come on board so that long term OPEX starts working for Electric vehicle charging in apartments.

The Q&A Session: 

Q: What would be the approximate cost of an individual electric vehicle charger?

A: Depends on the type of charger being used. 1 slow AC charger would cost Approximately around Rs. 70,000. A fast DC charger would cost around Rs. 6 to 7 lacs. 

Q: What about Battery Swapping and Recycling?

A: Government is offering subsidy and incentives for everything including battery swapping, chargers, vehicles etc. Battery swapping looks to be favourable for 3-wheeler kind of ecosystem who don’t go out of 5-10 kms radius. However, battery by itself isn’t mobile, its heavy even for a car. Currently battery swapping is not feasible for 2 wheelers and 4 wheelers.

Q: What should be the criteria to judge and evaluate right vendors? 

A: Depends on what your vendor is offering. Communities should do a little bit of research, have basic parameters of costing, demand (number of vehicles VS number of chargers required), location etc. 

Q: Is an approval required from DESCOM for setting up charging stations?

A: No permission required for setup. It is encouraged to be be-licensed. 

Q: What gives EV an advantage over Fossil Fuels?

A: The well to wheels concept applies here – Electric vehicles are 37% less polluting than fossil fuels.

Q: How is ADDA equipped to empower Electric vehicle charging in apartments?

A: ADDA is already prepared for electric vehicle charging stations through our advanced billing integrations. The recently launched vendor marketplace called Discover For Associations, (DFA) provides you with vendors based on your specifications.

To enquire about Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure in your society, contact us here.

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