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Old 16th May 2019, 18:23   #1
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Default Is there a business model for EV charging stations (like petrol pumps) in India?

Panasonic has partnered with electric mobility service providers SmartE and qQuick to launch an electric vehicle (EV) charging service called Nymbus in India.

Is there a business model for EV charging stations (like petrol pumps) in India?-image-2.jpg

Nymbus offers solutions for charging stations, swap stations and on-board chargers. It includes cloud service, telematics systems and analytics tools. In the first phase, the company will be deploying the EV charging service on 150 SmartE electric 3-wheelers and on 25 qQuick 2-wheelers in Delhi NCR.

Is there a business model for EV charging stations (like petrol pumps) in India?-image-1-1.jpg

Nymbus offers telematic sensors for vehicles, which allow users to generate real time data and reports. It enables fleet managers to monitor the performance of the entire fleet. The tools can be used to monitor the efficiency of lithium-ion batteries and avoid unnecessary trips to the charging stations. The cloud and app service allows users to navigate to the nearest charging point.

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Old 16th May 2019, 18:42   #2
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Default re: Is there a business model for EV charging stations (like petrol pumps) in India?

This heralds a new wave in our cities. In few years time, these charging points will be common. There was a time when owning a fuel pump was very prestigious. One needed deep connections to have one. These days I see ads from IOC, HP and BP, asking people if they're interested in opening one. Will people flock to own an electric charging station? Should be interesting. Times, they are changing!
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Old 17th May 2019, 07:59   #3
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Default re: Is there a business model for EV charging stations (like petrol pumps) in India?

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Originally Posted by Sebring View Post
Will people flock to own an electric charging station?
Nice post .

Battery swapping stations, sure. But EV charging only? Don't think there is any money there for a privateer. EV charging stations will probably be rolled out by the energy companies or car manufacturers (as Tesla has done). But IMHO, the masses will charge their EVs where they were anyway going to be parked - think down the house, street parking, parking at the office / malls etc.
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Old 17th May 2019, 08:29   #4
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Default re: Is there a business model for EV charging stations (like petrol pumps) in India?

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Nice post .

Battery swapping stations, sure. But EV charging only? Don't think there is any money there for a privateer. EV charging stations will probably be rolled out by the energy companies or car manufacturers (as Tesla has done). But IMHO, the masses will charge their EVs where they were anyway going to be parked - think down the house, street parking, parking at the office / malls etc.
How about a privateer building a charging station in a residential complex or mall and renting it? Couldn't that work for both parties? The person building the charging infrastructure need not spend for expensive real estate, and the users need not pay for expensive fast charging stations (I'm assuming it is expensive).
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Old 17th May 2019, 10:06   #5
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Default re: Is there a business model for EV charging stations (like petrol pumps) in India?

Interesting discussion here. Power costs roughly Rs. 5 per kW in India. A Tesla needs 50 kW for a full charge, and that's a full overnight charge. A quick 'charge and go' could cost anywhere between Rs. 50 to Rs. 100 in power bills, MAX. What's the premium I can charge on this? Very negligible. So GTO could be right, regarding negligible economic feasibility.



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How about a privateer building a charging station in a residential complex or mall and renting it?
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Old 17th May 2019, 10:19   #6
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Default re: Is there a business model for EV charging stations (like petrol pumps) in India?

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Interesting discussion here. Power costs roughly Rs. 5 per kW in India. A Tesla needs 50 kW for a full charge, and that's a full overnight charge. A quick 'charge and go' could cost anywhere between Rs. 50 to Rs. 100 in power bills, MAX. What's the premium I can charge on this? Very negligible. So GTO could be right, regarding negligible economic feasibility.
I used to spend approximately Rs. 2000 a week on diesel for my office commute. If my apartment had a common charging station, I would happily pay for the convenience even if it costed approximately the same as what I end up spending on fossil fuels. If I think of the reasons stopping me from buying an electric car it would be non availability of reasonably priced cars and difficulty in setting up a charging point (my parking spot is not close to my home or electricity meter).

When electric cars become more mainstream, people will pay a small premium for shared charging points just like they pay a premium for fossil fuels today.
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Old 17th May 2019, 11:00   #7
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Default re: Is there a business model for EV charging stations (like petrol pumps) in India?

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A Tesla needs 50 kW for a full charge, and that's a full overnight charge. A quick 'charge and go' could cost anywhere between Rs. 50 to Rs. 100 in power bills, MAX.
Factor in the cost of parking & real estate in any city (B towns included) and you know that the math just doesn't add up for any businessman.
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Old 17th May 2019, 11:03   #8
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Default re: Is there a business model for EV charging stations (like petrol pumps) in India?

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Originally Posted by KL01toKA03 View Post
I used to spend approximately Rs. 2000 a week on diesel for my office commute. If my apartment had a common charging station, I would happily pay for the convenience even if it costed approximately the same as what I end up spending on fossil fuels. If I think of the reasons stopping me from buying an electric car it would be non availability of reasonably priced cars and difficulty in setting up a charging point (my parking spot is not close to my home or electricity meter).

When electric cars become more mainstream, people will pay a small premium for shared charging points just like they pay a premium for fossil fuels today.
People pay for fossil fuels because they do not have options. One cannot produce fossil fuels at home. Not the case with electricity.

As the electric vehicles become more main stream, everyone will have reasonably good charging infrastructure at home, even apartments. People will be ready to pay little premium (say 20 to 30% or slight more may be) for faster or shared charging but nobody will pay Rs. 2000 for what could be done for Rs. 400 at home, may be a tad slower. Of course, there will be business sense for emergency, highways, overnight trips, long holidays etc.
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Old 17th May 2019, 11:12   #9
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Default re: Is there a business model for EV charging stations (like petrol pumps) in India?

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Originally Posted by KL01toKA03 View Post
I used to spend approximately Rs. 2000 a week on diesel for my office commute. If my apartment had a common charging station, I would happily pay for the convenience even if it costed approximately the same as what I end up spending on fossil fuels. If I think of the reasons stopping me from buying an electric car it would be non availability of reasonably priced cars and difficulty in setting up a charging point (my parking spot is not close to my home or electricity meter).

When electric cars become more mainstream, people will pay a small premium for shared charging points just like they pay a premium for fossil fuels today.
Some residential developers (Godrej being one) in big cities have already started providing electric charging points for cars in some parking spots in their recent projects.

Ministry of Power recently made provisions for a lot of concessions to promote development of EV charging infrastructure. So no license is required by developers to setup charging points at parking spots and all existing petrol pumps should be able to add vehicle charging points without much difficulty. IMO, it's just a matter of one big car manufacturer to launch a mainstream EV and the floodgates will open.
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Old 17th May 2019, 11:36   #10
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Default re: Is there a business model for EV charging stations (like petrol pumps) in India?

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Originally Posted by gupta_chd View Post
People pay for fossil fuels because they do not have options. One cannot produce fossil fuels at home. Not the case with electricity.

As the electric vehicles become more main stream, everyone will have reasonably good charging infrastructure at home, even apartments. People will be ready to pay little premium (say 20 to 30% or slight more may be) for faster or shared charging but nobody will pay Rs. 2000 for what could be done for Rs. 400 at home, may be a tad slower. Of course, there will be business sense for emergency, highways, overnight trips, long holidays etc.

With shared charging infrastructure, costs will be lower, and so will the premium demanded. If they don't have to account for staff salaries, fuel theft during transit, and real estate, the profits could remain similar to traditional fuel stations. I wouldn't pay 2000 for fast charging if I could charge the car slower for 400. However, I would definitely use a fast charger for a 50-100 rupee premium in many cases (if I do not have access to a charging point in my parking, long drives, in crowded places where I wouldn't get a parking spot otherwise)
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Old 17th May 2019, 12:40   #11
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Default re: Is there a business model for EV charging stations (like petrol pumps) in India?

I don't really understand why a company like Panasonic is going after electric scooters and erickshaw charging market. The battery packs in these vehicles are so small that a simple 15A plug is sufficient. And since people don't take long drives in these things would charge them at home.

On top of that, charging companies make money by charging a premium on the electricity supplied. But since these vehicles have small batteries, the amount of energy that they will require a very small and hence the amount of money they will make is very small.

I genuinely doubt the viability of this business model.

A better target market would be EVs with very large battery packs. People will take long trips on it and are ready to pay premiums for that. You can reduce the cost of those chargers by putting them in roadside restaurants or malls.
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Old 17th May 2019, 14:25   #12
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Default re: Is there a business model for EV charging stations (like petrol pumps) in India?

Don't see today's scenario, see 5 years down the line when EVs would have firmly entrenched themselves in the market. Today - Range is the number one worry for any EV owner and they're planning to address that. In the past, when the conversion time came from Petrol to Gas, the rickshaws made a beeline for it. It was done literally overnight. So rickshaws will move to that arena, in a very fluid manner! Regarding not making money, Petroleum products actually cost a fraction of what the end price is. So many costs and taxes are loaded, to make it nice and fat. So maybe, we could see something on those lines.



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The battery packs in these vehicles are so small that a simple 15A plug is sufficient. And since people don't take long drives in these things would charge them at home.
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Old 21st May 2019, 16:51   #13
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Default Re: Is there a business model for EV charging stations (like petrol pumps) in India?

Great discussion, guys! Thank you. Forget Panasonic, am changing the title to reflect this very interesting turn.
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Old 21st May 2019, 19:48   #14
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Default Re: Is there a business model for EV charging stations (like petrol pumps) in India?



Having recently experienced the cyclone Fani in Bhubaneswar where the entire electricity infrastructure went for a toss for straight 7-10 days. My wife and I packed our bags and drove off to my hometown (which wasn't affected) the next day and were able to survive the aftermath. When we started driving, we saw long queues at the fuel pumps and a lot of people in a rush to leave the city.

Since then I've been wondering what would've been the situation if we were living in an all EV environment! No electricity, no telecommunications and then no transportation!
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Old 21st May 2019, 19:59   #15
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Default Re: Is there a business model for EV charging stations (like petrol pumps) in India?

I still dont see how building a charging station would make sense. I can see smart real estate players advertising their new complexes as having facility to charge their car at their respective parking slot. Park your car, connect it to the charge point, flip a switch in your home and goto sleep. And since we are famous for jugaad, it wont be long before existing home owners find a way to extend charging option to their parking slots in their home or apartment complex. One might find this alternative much easier than leaving behind your car overnight in a charging station. And in this day and age, and with scale of a country like India, even super chargers will become a mass market product. So I see business value in the smart home portfolio or making super chargers, but not really in a charging station.

The only thin that makes sense is to have a battery swap station. Goto your service station, get your battery swapped and move on ! Unfortunately, I already see enough option for 'golmal' in this business too

Last edited by SR-71 : 21st May 2019 at 20:01.
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