250 community EV charging stations by year-end in Kerala

Four engineering graduates develop control and ecosystem software to meet this end

June 15, 2021 03:19 pm | Updated 04:28 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Charging stations with autonomous stations can be set up at shops, restaurants, cafes or wherever it is possible.

Charging stations with autonomous stations can be set up at shops, restaurants, cafes or wherever it is possible.

Electric battery-operated vehicles have not taken off as anticipated by the government though Kerala has hopped onto the electric vehicle (EV) bandwagon to embrace environment-friendly mobility.

The need to frequently charge battery and lack of adequate charging facilities on the go have made e-vehicles a non-starter.

To address this, four youngsters, who passed out from Government Engineering College Kozhikode in 2018 and had set up a start-up ‘chargeMOD’ after seeing the demand for EV, have now come forward to launch 250 EV community charging stations.

M. Ramanunni, Chris Thomas, Anoop V., and Advaith C., started with developing control and ecosystem software for EV charging stations. The huge cost of acquiring the hardware urged them to shift their focus and come up with a 22kW AC charging machine.

The EV chargers were type-tested and certified by Automotive Research Association of India. Eight charging stations were set up in Kozhikode, one each in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, and Angamaly.

“Developing our hardware has helped to bring down the manufacturing cost by around 33%. The charging station and the supporting systems are provided by us,” says M. Ramanunni, CEO, chargeMOD.

The start-up is gearing up to set up 250 charging stations by 2021, enabling people to charge their EVs anywhere, any time. “Charging stations with autonomous stations can be set up at shops, restaurants, cafes or wherever it is possible. So, they can charge their vehicle while shopping, having tea or food. This will also help in increasing the business of the establishments,” says Mr. Ramanunni.

Only an investment of ₹25,000 to ₹50,000 and dedicated parking space for one vehicle per unit is needed for the station, he says. Class 10 RP/PCS single phase connection from KSEBL is also needed.

The project is to be supported by the ‘chargeMOD’ app, which enables customer to locate and access the EV charging stations. Packages worth ₹355, ₹855, and ₹1,255 are available in the app so that the consumer can choose his plan according to the vehicle usage. All the transactions are done via the app.

Choosing a plan of ₹855 will allow a motorist to charge up to 91 units that will enable travel up to 1,500 km for three-wheelers and 900 km for four-wheelers. And further top-ups may be used in case the main package with the motorist is exhausted.

A full charge for two-wheelers in the station will take 1.5 to 2 hours, for three-wheelers it will take 2.5 to three hours, and and four-wheelers will take five hours. “The capacity of the machines offered by us range from 3.3kW-22kW. We are also offering upgrades after three years,” he adds.

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