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Old 24th October 2021, 21:03   #1
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Default Electrifying India's apartment buildings | How will you charge your EV in your parking spot?

While the EV revolution is upon us, the prospective owners facing the biggest challenges faced by prospective owners in India are the ones residing in tall apartment blocks, building societies etc...

While an immediate stop gap measure would be to set aside a few parking spots for EV charging vendors, some builders like Lodha have already announced such plans. The big question is how do they allocate individual charging points for each flat?

The challenges are many:

- Simply getting the building associations/committees/owners to come to an agreement itself a huge stumbling block. A clash op opinions, ideas, priorities means that getting a plan in place is nigh on impossible. Some will have the foresight while others will be stubbornly against it.

- Getting the necessary approvals from responsible authorities, electricity boards etc.

- The costs of engineering charging points at individual parking spots. This will be expensive and will need considerable collective contributions to make this possible.

- Deciding on the supplier. Whether to attach this with ones current electricity bill, or a new EV charging provider etc..

What solutions are available to resolve such a challenge? Perhaps seeing a few successful examples will set a template for others to follow.
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Old 25th October 2021, 08:12   #2
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Default Re: Electrifying India's apartment buildings | How will you charge your EV in your parking spot?

Once you get down to it, an EV charging port at home is very simple. I recently did up my driveways and installed 6 EV charging outlets to make my compound "future ready".

Fast-charging is the complicated one and that's best left to commercial outlets or public facilities in my opinion. For home charging, a regular (slower) EV charging port will do just fine because the best time to charge your EV is overnight, while you are sleeping in bed and the car is parked at home. Like how most of us charge our smartphones.

All you need is simple wiring & a 15 A socket (the kind you'd use for heavy home appliances). A good electrical contractor & a willing society can install a slow charging port in a day. Societies & housing associations will come around once more & more of their residents buy EVs. Sharing my learnings:

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Just simplifying and putting all the advice taken from BHPians here! My EV charger work starts today

Faster Charging

- Single phase is okay, but 3 phase is much preferred.

- RCCB is put after the meter and a 40A MCB just before the charger.

- Cable used is 10 sq mm three-core if the distance is under 30 meters.

- 16 sq mm (armored cable) if distance is over 30 meters from meter.

- Install 4 inch PVC conduit and keep handholes at every 5m.

----------------------------

Slow Charging

- Put 15 amps socket. For a 15 amps socket, 2.5 sq mm 3 core cable if distance is within 30 meters, 4 sq mm if distance is more than that. This is the cheapest and should do for a lot of people (at least as a temporary fix) as overnight parking = best charging time. I charged the Kona & ZS EV media cars this way.

- Right now, I'm putting just the 15A socket with a waterproof lock & cover on 3 sides of the compound. For the other faster charging options, am just making a provision for the wiring and keeping. Will install faster chargers once we start testing more EVs or I buy one .
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Deciding on the supplier. Whether to attach this with ones current electricity bill, or a new EV charging provider etc..
Individual meters are best. Each person should pay for his "own fuel". Ideally, your line would be taken from your home electricity meter.

Last edited by GTO : 25th October 2021 at 08:15.
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Old 25th October 2021, 08:53   #3
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Default Re: Electrifying India's apartment buildings | How will you charge your EV in your parking spot?

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Originally Posted by shortbread View Post
- Deciding on the supplier. Whether to attach this with ones current electricity bill, or a new EV charging provider etc..

What solutions are available to resolve such a challenge? Perhaps seeing a few successful examples will set a template for others to follow.
The best approach would be points tied to the individual meter. This is mostly easy to do and only requires a willing society. It cannot be tied to a common or a commercial meter. Atleast in Karnataka as far as I know, common meter for the society falls under a different category and power is charged at a significantly higher cost per unit as opposed to individual home meters. So a common point will incur higher charges for the owner.

In addition, in a home location scenario everyone would want to charge overnight. So even if 3-4 points are installed, it will become unsustainable soon. Such public charging points work best in public locations like malls , highway stop points etc.

One more point to add is that in apartment complexes whether small or large, parking is already a premium and getting proper covered parking itself for all residents and having adequate visitor parking itself is a challenge. So dedicating additional space for EV charging is unlikely to be feasible.

One thing that builders should do for new properties going forward is to plan for enabling lines to individual parking slots so that those who want a charger set up can easily do it. Should be part of the 'amenities' list builders market.

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 25th October 2021 at 08:58.
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Old 25th October 2021, 09:14   #4
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Default Re: Electrifying India's apartment buildings | How will you charge your EV in your parking spot?

For context, I live in a large apartment complex (~500 apartments) in Mumbai, spread across a reasonably large area with parking split across two underground car park levels. We have the rare benefit of a fair amount of surplus parking that is under the control of our society.

Currently

The society is still evaluating long term charging needs. Until then, they have put simple 15 AMP charging points at a few locations and will continue to increase the number of such locations as and when new owners come up with EVs. The current mechanism is a flat fee of INR 1000 per month to be able to charge your registered EV at one of these points whenever needed. If you want a scooter the flat fee would be Rs. 500 per month. This is just a temporary charging and fee solution (back of the envelope calculations on cost I guess) pending us getting our long term solution in place. I think there are barely 2 - 4 EV cars at present in our society, availing this feature. One is a Reva and one MG ZS - not sure what others, if any.

Eventually

Most likely we will have an external service provider that will provide some sort of an app based solution with a corresponding rate which will be like an AC slow (but faster than above) sort of charging solution. I am hoping what this will translate to is a reasonable (ie. Not public charging infra prohibitive) cost solution which is administered and managed by a third party provider. There are a number of third party providers who are pitching for such solutions, with conventional power cos like Adani and Tata just being one end of the spectrum but many other smaller players too.

I doubt (but can’t rule out) that it “might” also have a few DC fast chargers but I don’t think this should be an essential requirement. Perhaps if they do that it might have a higher rate for this facility.

What we won’t do
I am reasonably certain that what we won’t do is be pulling wires from our individual meters into our “own” parking spots so it can bill on our own home meters. Logistically that is just not feasible I believe.
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Old 25th October 2021, 09:15   #5
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Default Re: Electrifying India's apartment buildings | How will you charge your EV in your parking spot?

There are two solutions to this problem.

Individual Slow Charging/Night Charging

This is the easier alternative.
This involves drawing a power line, originating from the individual's own Electricity meter, and ending at the individual's own parking slot.

The Parking Slot where the Power-Line ends shall have a Power Socket that is 'lockable' or inside a lockable box.
Only the individual owner shall have access to his/her Power Socket.

The Individual who are interested in buying an EV can do this, at their own expense of course.

Community Charging

This involves ear-marking a separate area where a bunch of Chargers are installed.

This is difficult to implement in Old Societies, due to lack of dedicated space, clearances, approvals etc.
However, in upcoming under-construction project, this could be pushed to the Builder to implement during the design/construction phase.

Additionally, this also requires a tie-up with some vendor to take care of payments etc.

Last edited by abhishek46 : 25th October 2021 at 09:19.
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Old 25th October 2021, 09:16   #6
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Default Re: Electrifying India's apartment buildings | How will you charge your EV in your parking spot?

This is one issue we find ourselves in as well today, few people have raised this topic in society, but there is no clear consensus how to move ahead. Short term solution that looks viable is to have couple of visitor parking converted to EV charging points, but few have objection to it. Proximity of parking from the personal electric meter is another issue, add to it the complexity of drawing wires from there to individual parking.

This is going to take some planning and a lot of back and forth discussion, the new building should be mandated by law to have this provision while designing the apartment, should not be an amenity but a must and a clearance needed. For current owners and ill planned buildings this is going to be a struggle. I have postponed my plan to buy an electric scooter till this is sorted and we have a clear plan of action. Wish the current crop of scooters came with removable battery would have been easier to just take them home and charge them overnight.
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Old 25th October 2021, 09:24   #7
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Default Re: Electrifying India's apartment buildings | How will you charge your EV in your parking spot?

As suggested above, connection past MCB at Electric Meter is probably the best solution. However, either the Switch or the EV Charging Station should be "Lockable Type" so that opportunists do not enjoy your Power.
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Old 25th October 2021, 10:23   #8
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Default Re: Electrifying India's apartment buildings | How will you charge your EV in your parking spot?

Every house connection has a Sanctioned load and a Connected load component. In Karnataka, for a Single phase 230V connection the max Sanctioned load is up to and not above 5kW.

http://www.infraline.com/(S(uqzdxl45...tribution.aspx

---------------------
3.2 Classification of Supply

(a) At 230 V., Single Phase

(i) All installations (other than motive power) up to & inclusive of 5 KW of sanctioned load.

(ii) Motive power installations up to & inclusive of 4 KW of sanctioned load.

(iii) Public lighting system up to 10 K.W.
-----------------------
My understanding is that normally the sanctioned load (at least in Bangalore) is not more than 1.5Kw for residential buildings. Your connected load SHOULD be lower than this value. Connected load is the peak power that you draw from your meter. If it exceeds the Sanctioned load you are liable to pay a surcharge. BESCOM usually takes an additional deposit too if your regularly cross this value.

The sanctioned load has a direct impact on the fixed charges that you pay monthly. So if you add an extra EV point then you are adding an extra load on the existing meter. If now the connected load crosses the limit of the Sanctioned load then you are liable to pay an extra surcharge. In order to avoid this surcharge, you can apply for an enhanced Sanctioned load and depending on the infra in your locality like load on the street distribution transformer, availability of poles etc , the state DISCOMS would or would not provide that extra Sanctioned load to you. Contrarily, you can also surrender the extra KW in your Sanctioned load and go for a lower fixed charges.

The above (rather lengthy) explanation is provided to understand how electricity infra works. Now in a big gated apartment complex, it would be much easier and better to request for an extra HV line (transformer et all) and provide EV charging via that connection rather than loading your existing metered points. The advantage being that Fast charging is possible with dedicated infra. If you connect a fast charger to your existing meter, you are going to blow some fuses.

Of course, it all depends on how many of the residents have or are going for an EV. HV connections are not cheap, infra alone would cost around 7-10Lakhs.

Being an apartment dweller myself, I can fully understand what that means.

Last edited by srini1785 : 25th October 2021 at 10:48.
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Old 25th October 2021, 10:31   #9
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Default Re: Electrifying India's apartment buildings | How will you charge your EV in your parking spot?

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Originally Posted by srini1785 View Post
E
My understanding is that normally the sanctioned load (at least in Bangalore) is not more than 1.5Kw for residential buildings.
BESCOM provides sanctioned loads at 1KW,3KW and 5KW slabs for single phase connections. Typically, most homes have 3KW and that is the default option at the time of connection. The subscribers may increase to 5KW or decrease to 1KW based on their needs.

Last edited by sagarpadaki : 25th October 2021 at 10:34.
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Old 26th October 2021, 10:49   #10
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Default Re: Electrifying India's apartment buildings | How will you charge your EV in your parking spot?

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Once you get down to it, an EV charging port at home is very simple. I recently did up my driveways and installed 6 EV charging outlets to make my compound "future ready".
It is not really that simple. What you mentioned is the easier part that is the wiring inside the house. The bigger issue in apartments is at the meter side and the wiring from the meter to the parking slot.

Most apartments are single phase power. Single phase power in bangalore 3kW. This can be upgraded to a max 5kW with new meter.

Now the Nexon itself needs 3.2kW. This means that you can charge a Nexon on single phase just barely. Mind you if you are sharing a meter with your flat this means that your house + car will easily cross the sanctioned load.

So you definitely need to upgrade to 5kW for a NExon EV.

But then every other EV which needs more than 7kW like the MG ZS you need 3 phase to charge even at home. This is where the problem starts.

1. You would need a dedicated 3 phase meter to charge if you are currently having single phase.

2. Single phase to 3 phase conversion for your apt is not easy as the extra phase wires need to be laid from the meter to the apt. Difficult in high rise or large complexes where the apt is very far away from the panel room.

3. Dedicated meter for car is usually not possible as the apt LT panels don't have spare slots for extra meters.

4. New wiring from the LT panel to the basement is not easy as distances could be very long. Currently the wiring goes from LT panel where the meter is up to the apartment and not down to the basement. Fresh wiring has to be from the panel room. Example: In my apt the LT panel room to my car park is 500m away through the conduits or maybe even more.

5. Many apts have ducts and conduits for electrical wires that are full and don't have space for new wires. Pulling additional cables is very challenging in older apts with older wires.

6. Apt. associations are wary of adding these wires which need higher current as it affects fire safety of the basement.

Above is only for 15A charging. If you want DC chargers then individual is not an option.

Way I see it is that there needs to be few dedicated parking bays in apartment complexes for EV charging. You park there, charge your car, pay for the charging using app or smart card then remove the car and park back in your own slot.

Large apt complexes will never be able to have charging infra for each slot. Especially the older complexes.

If anyone is buying an apt now, pls. ensure builder offers 3 phase power and do not opt for 3kW single phase which is the default option. You must take the extra 5KW if going for single phase.

Last edited by Vid6639 : 26th October 2021 at 12:33.
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Old 26th October 2021, 11:49   #11
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Default Re: Electrifying India's apartment buildings | How will you charge your EV in your parking spot?

I have seen quite a few EVs in my apartment with the charging points in their respective parking slots. Now after reading this thread, I think I should go and check with them as to how they are doing it. I was under the impression that the charging point is connected to their main electricity meter. Something that I should be knowing in case I want to add an EV.
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Old 26th October 2021, 12:19   #12
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Default Re: Electrifying India's apartment buildings | How will you charge your EV in your parking spot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Once you get down to it, an EV charging port at home is very simple.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
It is not really that simple.
4. New wiring from the LT panel to the basement is not easy as distances could be very long.
..
6. Apt. associations are wary of adding these wires which need higher current as it affects fire safety of the basement.
As Vidyut already explained very well, wiring individual homes/row houses is easy but in apartment complexes, it has challenges.

Quoting two points that my apt complex is facing. Ours is 10 yr old apt complex. We do have 3 phase 5 kw meters in all the apartments. But the association has problems with wiring from meters till respective parking. Not all parkings of respective residents are exactly below their buildings. In fact we have one underground level for parking only and it is scattered all over in relation to the buildings. Hence the association is concerned with fire safety and not okay to allow wire pulling from individual meters.

The last communication is they want to explore if any commercial option is there for charging, not sure for each parking or converting few parking spots as dedicated EV charging spots.
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Old 26th October 2021, 12:39   #13
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Default Re: Electrifying India's apartment buildings | How will you charge your EV in your parking spot?

For EV charging, afaik BESCOM supplies a separate connection and meter that is at a concessional rate. I do not think the existing connection will be reused.
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Old 26th October 2021, 16:00   #14
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Default Re: Electrifying India's apartment buildings | How will you charge your EV in your parking spot?

Another point we are missing here is the discom infrastructure.
For example in an apartment complex of 500, say 100 tenants have EVs, that would translate to a load of 360 - 700 MW. The present infrastructure (transformer farms) wouldn't handle such a surge and may cause severe power fluctuations.

Also on the mobile phone like overnight charging analogy, how many days do we start with a fully charged phone ? Imagine you want to go somewhere urgently and your vehicle isn't fully charged.

So I think, there would be some company in future that would provide high speed charging points to Apartments just like we have optic fiber internet today. Until then EVs are for the brave hearted.

Last edited by Thermodynamics : 26th October 2021 at 16:01.
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Old 26th October 2021, 16:38   #15
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Default Re: Electrifying India's apartment buildings | How will you charge your EV in your parking spot?

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Originally Posted by Thermodynamics View Post
For example in an apartment complex of 500, say 100 tenants have EVs, that would translate to a load of 360 - 700 MW. The present infrastructure (transformer farms) wouldn't handle such a surge and may cause severe power fluctuations.
It should be 360-700KW, nonetheless we need to improve our infrastructure, I guess India can do, we have upgraded our road network greatly in last 20 years. I believe in 10 years time govt may start banning LPG for cooking, we will be moving entire energy needs to renewables. I also believe EVs may also help in grid stabilization, all these require upgrading to better infra, using smart meters also help us to charge in non peak hours.
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