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Growing Trend of Electric Vehicles EVs: Understanding Charging Infrastructure

Electric vehicles (EVs) are gaining popularity in India, prompting inquiries into the charging process and associated costs. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the charging infrastructure for electric cars.

Electric Car Charging Infrastructure in India:

There’s a noticeable surge in the demand for electric cars across the nation. Several prominent automobile manufacturers are rolling out electric vehicles in India. Tata Motors has already introduced its electric car to the market, while Maruti Suzuki is gearing up for its inaugural EV launch. Even Tesla is eyeing the Indian market for its electric vehicles. However, prospective electric car buyers are often left wondering about the charging process. Can electric cars only be charged at designated power stations, or is there an option for home charging? And if home charging is feasible, what are the associated costs? Let’s delve into these questions.

Charging Electric Cars:

Electric cars can be charged at various locations, including homes, public charging stations, or workplaces. Many companies in India are focusing on expanding public charging infrastructure to facilitate electric car charging.

Home Charging:

Home charging can be accomplished using a Type-1 AC charger, which connects to a standard AC socket. Alternatively, homeowners can opt to install a wall box provided by their EV manufacturer. Fast charging is also possible using a Type-2 charger. This enables electric car owners to conveniently charge their vehicles at home.

Public Charging Stations:

Public charging stations, situated at locations such as cinemas or supermarkets, are expected to become increasingly common. These stations typically offer a charging capacity of 7 kW, providing a driving range of 30 to 50 kilometers per hour for battery EVs. Some stations may require a direct plug for charging, while others necessitate the use of a charging cable. Additionally, users may need to download an app for charging at certain stations.

Workplace Charging:

Charging an electric car at the workplace mirrors the home charging process. Type-2 sockets are commonly used at workplaces, allowing vehicle owners to charge their cars using their charging cables. Many companies also offer charging facilities for electric cars through card swiping or mobile applications.

Charging Expenses:

The cost of charging electric cars varies based on the EV’s battery range. Most electric cars in India have battery capacities ranging from 20 to 40 kWh. Home charging costs are determined by the electricity prices in the respective states, which typically range from Rs 8 to Rs 10 per unit. Public charging stations in Delhi may charge around Rs 4 per kWh on average, with rates varying between Rs 2 to Rs 9 across the country.

Home charging expenses typically range from Rs 180 to Rs 500, while charging at public stations may cost between Rs 100 to Rs 200. Additionally, charging costs depend on factors such as car model, battery size, and charging point speed. Fast charging can reduce charging time significantly, with an 80 percent charge achievable in about an hour.

Charging Precautions:

It’s essential to exercise caution while charging electric cars, similar to any electrical work. Here are some essential safety precautions to consider:

  • Monitor the car battery while charging, especially for models prone to catching fire easily. Keep the EV charger away from potential fire hazards.
  • Preferably, use the charging cable provided with the car and avoid using third-party chargers.
  • Allow the electric vehicle’s battery to cool down for about an hour after use before initiating charging.
  • Store the EV charging cable in a well-ventilated, dry location, and remember to disconnect it from the car after charging.
  • Repeatedly charging an electric car to full capacity poses a risk of battery damage. Consider fully charging only before long-distance journeys.
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