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Exclusive: On-demand fast charging for electric vehicle can push EV sales in India

A recent spree of electric scooter fires has been reported at various places in India, and has irked the government and buyers alike. While electric vehicles, esp. scooters and commercial vehicles are quickly becoming a healthy alternative to conventional vehicles in India, such incidents are causing harm of the reputation of EVs in India. Hopcharge, a Gurgaon based startup, has created the world’s first on-demand, doorstep, fast Electric Vehicle charging service. We got in touch with Arjun Singh, Co-Founder and CEO at Hopcharge to understand how what’s on-demand fast charging and how it can help push EV penetration in India?

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Tell us about Hopcharge

Worldwide companies are trying to solve the EV charging problem, and one element of the solution is to mimic gasoline refuelling time as its behavioural change for EV adopters. Hopcharge has addressed this challenge as we are the world’s first on-demand, Doorstep EV charging service company backed with its patented (USA and India) technology. We provide plug-and-play energy on demand and rather a better refuelling experience for EV owners as we charge when EV owners are doing other productive things.

Although we are set up in Japan and the USA, India is currently our focus area. As India is the 5th largest auto market in the world, it has unique challenges (like many other countries) for EV charging as more sophisticated long-range EVs proliferate and need higher and higher load to charge them. Hopcharge complements existing infra and avoids expensive grid upgrades and eventually makes true EV charging cost affordable.

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What do you think of India’s growing EV market?

With very high dependency on oil (100 bill $+ import bill) and ever increasing oil prices, India with already abundant electricity generation resources, has a high chance of becoming an Energy Independent nation, provided we solve Electricity Distribution problem effectively. Distributed electricity generation and distributed load consumption is the way forward to cater to increasing EV share. EV sales are outnumbering itself quarter by quarter. 

In 2021, 3,29,190 electric vehicles were sold in India, representing a 168 per cent increase over  2020’s sales of 1,22,607 units. EV makers, especially 4W EV makers like Tata, are leading the pack with highest market share and aggressive deployment roadmap. The size of the market was valued at USD 1434.04 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 15397.19 billion by 2027. This signifies that India is on an inclined growth trajectory and soon India can have its dream of going green and universal EV adoption come true.

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Addressing the unavailability of charging facilities

As earlier mentioned, companies throughout the world are trying to solve the EV charging problem, and a major element for the solution is to mimic gasoline refuelling time as a behavioural change advancement for EV adopters. In the world of EV charging, most OEMs are creating their own subsidiaries and making them a charging point operator to support the EV customers. i.e Electrify America, Ionity etc.

Therefore, in order to address the challenges of unavailability of charging facilities, slow charging at home and productive time being consumed to charge vehicles, we have created the world’s first on-demand, doorstep, fast EV charging services by deploying our unique made-in-India, patented, rapid charging technology that enables modular and mobile charging infrastructure which augments local grid, minimises expensive grid upgrade and saves productive time for EV owners.

We have created a proprietary energy pod that has a lithium ion-based energy storage coupled with a rapid charger, which can charge EVs at the same speed as a Public fast charger. This innovative charging system includes connected and portable power banks  with  high  power charging capabilities specifically designed for EVs.

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We have deployed our hardware  (mobile,  modular,  and  plug  &  play), that  is  developed  from  scratch  for  this  specific  purpose  and complimented by a user mobile app (iOS and android) and supported by a technology enabled back end  energy   management   system  to  execute  the  end  to  end  process. These ePODs complement other fixed fast chargers and increase their utilisation. We believe in creating last mile EV charging convenient for the end user.

We have created a proprietary energy pod that has a lithium ion-based energy storage coupled with a rapid charger, which can charge EVs at the same speed as a Public fast charger. This innovative charging system includes connected and portable power banks  with  high  power charging capabilities specifically designed for EVs.

This model is already enabling more EV buyers to switch to electric faster. Our regular charging subscriptions are not only giving users the option to regular charge at home but also charge wherever one goes in the city anyday anytime. Hence more freedom to move with EVs. All  of our three  interfaces  are designed and built to global standards, fast charging protocols, and 140+ EV models globally.

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How rapid charging technology is helping EV owners save time?

Residential home chargers are slow AC chargers that take hours to charge EVs and hence impact the mobility of EV owners. Plus not everyone is lucky enough to have an independent house to install those chargers. Even if one is fortunate to install a home charger, one has to go through the process of load sanction, site inspection, installation, and regular load/demand charges. All of that hassle is eliminated by Hopcharge.

The public charger is a fast DC charger same as Hopcharge but Hopcharge does charging during idle time and hence saves productive time for EV owners. It is obvious that a public charger can’t charge at the doorstep. Hence, Hopcharge complements public charger infra and gives last-mile convenience of charging if you rely on public chargers and Hopcharge gives complete peace of mind to those who have a home charger installed yet want to charge in any location outside home.

As our name suggests, we ‘hopcharge’ EVs while they are idle, hence Zero productive time goes for worrying about or actual charging. i.e. hopcharge when you are in your fav food outlet, playing cricket, in gym etc., or simply having a good time at home or office. Since not everyone can install private chargers in parking, So, through our patented technology, we will eliminate the process of charging and charge the vehicle within one hour. 

How does fast or slow charging impact battery life?

Fast and slow is a relative term and depends on battery capacity designed by the EV maker. For example, the same power output of 20 KW may be fast for one car but very slow for another. Therefore the charger must be adaptable to change the output. Hopcharge ePODs are built with that capability. However, coming to the battery life, car makers prescribe the guidelines that change OEM to OEM, but most do not discourage one over the other. In most cases within certain technical parameters both are same, primarily temperature management and other protection systems applied by BMS by default.

What’s on-demand charging?

It means if you are our user or subscriber, you can book us on demand and schedule in advance. You call for it at your doorstep instead of you going to find a charger, this will save customer’s time and energy.

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