Green EV Charging Stations As Catalysts To A Sustainable Future – EQ Mag
The EV sector may generate $6.4 bn in revenue over the next five years with the correct government policies, a regional supply chain, decreasing battery prices, and broad charging infrastructure.
Though the history of electric vehicles in India dates back to the 19th century, the first electric car to make a big splash in the Indian market was Reva launched in 2001. Fast forward to today, the Indian government envisions converting a majority of vehicles on roads to electric by 2030.
In the last few years, large corporations have opted for EVs for their last-mile delivery fleets. Consumers too are gradually embracing and preferring EVs and hybrids as evidenced by rising demand, coupled with State and Central governments’ steps to upgrade charging infrastructure, offer subsidies, and switch public transportation to electric, thus pushing EV manufacturers for a significant increase in production.
Demand For Green EV Charging Stations
Even though the electric mobility industry is doing a remarkable job of bringing in a new era of green transportation, there is no getting around the truth that the source of EV charging still has a significant carbon footprint. In other words, the electricity to charge the vehicles still comes from the grid, which in the generation mix has a bulk contribution from conventional sources, which largely depend on fossil fuels.
Power stations that employ coal as an energy source supply a major portion of India’s grid power. Coal is considered as a major pollutant and the major contributor to CO2 emissions, contributing almost 44% on a global scale. So is there another option?
The transition to electric mobility is a promising global strategy for decarbonising the transport sector. India is among a handful of countries that support the global EV30@30 campaign, which targets to have at least 30% of all new vehicle sales as electric by 2030. The Government of India desires EV sales penetration of 30% for private cars, 70% for commercial vehicles and 80% for two- and three-wheelers by 2030.
So, Where Are We Now?
As per a recent report, the total number of registered EVs in India in 2022 was more than 10 lakh, growing from 3.2 lakh in 2021. The first three months of this year have seen more than 2.78 lakh EV vehicles registered in India and at this rate, it is on track to better the one million sales for last year with a fair margin.
The EV transition across different vehicle segments has definitely seen an uptick in the past year. This huge demand is bound to create a negative impact on the environment if fed with conventional sources of energy.
Power generated from biofuels is one option. Biomethanation – a process by which organic material is microbiologically converted under anaerobic conditions to biogas – is one technique for producing renewable fuel in the form of biogas from organic waste. Biogas may be refined on a big scale, transformed into BioCNG, and used as an automotive fuel. A recent installation of an EV charging station at Haji Ali, Mumbai is an example of green-fuel alternative using biogas.
Solar energy for EV charging stations could be a viable alternative. The Delhi Government’s plan to use solar energy for household EV charging, or the bus depot for buses and four-wheelers in Nagpur that runs on on-site solar charging are good examples. Utilising wind energy on the same lines is yet another option to explore.
Why Renewable Energy For EV Stations
Compared to conventional fossil fuels, renewable energy sources like solar and wind power provide a number of important advantages. First of all, they release significantly fewer toxic emissions that contribute to air and water pollution as well as climate change, making them cleaner and more environmentally friendly.
Further, renewable and sustainable, solar and wind energy won’t run out as rapidly as fossil fuels. They are not subject to price variations brought on by geopolitical events or market changes, they are typically less expensive and more reliable over the long term. Finally, renewable energy sources can be de-centralised, thereby significantly reducing infrastructure spend on reinforcing grid. Green EV charging sources/ stations are one such source of decentralised renewable energy.
Current Status Of EV Charging Stations In India
Due to rising EV market penetration and an increase in government measures to provide EV charging infrastructure, India’s market for EV charging equipment will produce significant revenues. The EV sector may generate $6.4 bn in revenue over the next five years with the correct government policies, a regional supply chain, decreasing battery prices, and broad charging infrastructure.
Sustainable electric engines are gradually replacing combustion engines as the transportation sector undergoes a massive shift. This goal can only be entirely green if the electricity that powers these hybrid cars is likewise generated using eco-friendly practices.
The fundamental reason India’s charging infrastructure appears meagre is the absence of commercial viability for EV charging stations, a problem that also extends to other countries. Public charging stations are not profitable, unlike gas/ petrol pumps. A public charging station (PCS) must therefore produce additional income via food sales, retail sales, or other services, just like a multiplex does.
However, that increases initial costs and necessitates more land. Secondly, even though the government eliminated the requirement for a license earlier this year, there is currently no plan on how to go about setting up a PCS.
For a more sustainable and clean future, switching to renewable energy for EV charging is essential. We can minimise our dependency on fossil fuels, improve air quality, and help mitigate the effects of climate change by investing in renewable energy sources, smart EV charging infrastructure, and smart energy management. By making wise decisions about our energy and transportation choices, we can all contribute to building a better future for ourselves and future generations.