India’s EV charging standards

Here are some EV charging standards

The Indian government is continuously releasing new rules containing registration, subsidies, and all just to speed up the adoption of electric vehicles. The Indian government has the mission to cut down the carbon emission of cars by 35% before we get into 2030. The only thing stopping people from going for an electric vehicle is the loss of charging points and the growth speed of infrastructure.

One more reason for the slow growth of charging infrastructure is the different types of connectors like every electric vehicle manufacturing brand has its own custom charging port, and there is also a communication problem between the charging point operators.

In fast few years the Indian charging infrastructure has gotten into a little bit of shape and has been standardized up to some extent. Although, it is not very easy to understand these standards when someone goes through it for the first time or so.

With this blog, we are trying to bring some clarity over the evolution of charging standards that happened in past few years.

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EV charging standards

Some basic points of EV charging standards

  1. Segmentation of customers: In India, the electric vehicle charging infrastructure is defined into two kinds of ownership, the first one being the public EV charging points while the second one is the private EV charging points. There is no provision of semi-public or semi-private charging points.

In private EV charging points, usually consists of wall chargers which is provided by the company and installed at home or office, these chargers are connected to the electric meter of the house and the electricity it uses to charge up the electric vehicle is charged just like the energy used by any other appliance used in the house. EV charging standards

But if the charger has a separate meter used to track the consumption of electricity and produce bills then that charger is considered as a public charging point.

  1. Battery swapping technique: Battery swapping techniques are taken into use by the users of electric two-wheelers, three-wheelers, or four-wheelers that have an external battery pack. These electric vehicles can get to the charging point get a fully charged battery by providing them with the battery pack which is inside their car. Swap the discharged battery of their electric vehicle and continue on their journey without any hassle.

As of now, this technique is being used by some companies and people are quite liking this technique. So, this technique is not going anywhere for the next few years.

Simplified view to the maze of India’s EV charging standards

Specifications of Bharat electric vehicle charger:

The Indian government finalized a charging infrastructure protocol including different speeds of charging with different combinations of voltage and then published it in the form of a document by the name of Bharat EV charger specifications on the 21st of November 2017.

The specifications mentioned in the document had its main focus on the AC and DC public chargers with a little recommendation for private charging points. To be exact to this date the government of India has not released any standardization specification for the private or home charging points.

Cost Estimates and Revenue Model for a Public Charging Station (PCS)

Brief of Bharat electric vehicle charger specifications:

  1. Private or home charging points: EV charging standards

These chargers had a single phase plug that was capable of taking an input of 230V or 15A that is exactly the same compared to the current consumed by some heavy home appliances. These chargers were designed to give an output voltage of 2.5 kW. The electricity consumed by these chargers was added in the meter of the house and its charges are added to the final bill of the month. The circuit of these chargers is recommended to have a residual current circuit breaker (RCD) to ensure safety while charging. EV charging standards

  1. Public charging points: EV charging standards

The public charger is a charging point that is open for all the users the only change is that unlike home chargers these chargers have a separate meter and are based on the amount of electricity consumed by the consumer for charging his/her car the cost need to be paid.

  1. Bharat EV charger AC001 : EV charging standards

Under this section, it was mentioned that for low-powered vehicles which come with an onboard charger a separate public charging point will be created. In those charging points there will be a charging box in which one needs to plug in their onboard charger in order to charge their car.

These chargers have the capability to charge 3 vehicles at the same time and each output socket can provide the power of 3.3 kW at max. These chargers provide AC current at max to 15A.

  1. Bharat EV charger DC001 : EV charging standards

Under this, the government of India provided the specification and requirements for low voltage DC electric vehicle charging stations in India.

These chargers have a three-phase AC input and can give an output of a maximum of 15 kW. These chargers can be used to charge two cars at the same time. These chargers require a way of digital communication between the DC electric vehicle charging station and the electric vehicle in order to control the DC charging.

Simplified view to the maze of India’s EV charging standards

Level 1 vs. Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Charging high voltage electric vehicles : EV charging standards

The 2017 charger specification made it clear that electric vehicles in India need to be equipped with an onboard charger that is capable of giving an output of 2.5 to 3.3 kW.

Although, it is not hidden that the Indian electric vehicle market is on a boom of the past year or so many high power electric vehicles such as MG ZS EV, Tata Tigor EV, Tata Nexon EV, and Hyundai Kona has debuted into the Indian market and these cars feature an onboard charger which is capable of giving an output of 7.2 kW and these electric vehicles support fast charging which revolutionized the EV market and the need for AC and DC fast chargers increased.

Taking the change under consideration by the Indian government in the month of August 2018, the Indian power ministry revised the standards of charging stations of India with new requirements and specifications.

It was furthermore revised on the 1st of October 2019 after taking feedback and suggestions from the companies working in the Indian electric vehicle market.