We along with Tata EV Club have sent a letter to Telangana CM K. Chandrashekar Rao & Transport Minister Puvvada Ajay Kumar requesting them to reconsider their decision of increasing road tax on EVs⚡️.
We believe that this will hamper the EV growth in the state. We have suggested alternative approach which doesn't lead to sudden increase in on-road prices for EVs.
Feel free to send a copy to your local govt representative.
Link to our tweet regarding this : https://twitter.com/TeslaClubIN/status/1701113918108631277
As per VAHAN data 1.98% of all 4W registered in India for June 23 were all-electric, with central & state government subsidy initiatives paired with lower running costs the number of EV's in India is poised to be going anywhere but higher.
This brings us to the ever-burning question regarding the fast charging stations & it's uptime. After being behind the "green" steering for more than 35,000 kms and counting, I have a few thoughts on the fast charging experience & it's functionality.
Going to a fuel pump what do you expect?
Drive in - Fuel up - Pay - Drive out. Not much thought nor stressing the brain is required. This process has been working out just fine for decades now although not much innovation has happened in this space. But now with ref̶u̶e̶l̶i̶n̶g̶ charging an electric vehicle on the public fast charger we have a newer problem on our hands... From a higher level the process of recharging stays familiar to the refueling counterpart... Ummm... with a addition of never-before seen problems and whatnots.
You see, the number of fast chargers to charge isn't a main bottleneck, The number has been steadily increasing & most of the highways and main roads in India already have if not plan to have a charger, Yes, more are needed to be installed & it is still a work in progress but the number has shown some good progress day after day.
A snapshot from Plugshare showing fast & slow chargers in India (July 23)
Much less thought has been given to upkeeping the charger & simplifying the charging process. The whole process isn't much streamlined and I think is a mess as of now... Let me explain, The process isn't as simple as refueling your gas car, before going to a charger because your EV is at a low state-of-charge on a highway( some range anxiety kicks in) you need to keep your fingers crossed or you'll arrive at a dead charger or it showing some ⚠️ error on it's screen because something somewhere in the charger isn't working for now and needs assistance. For most of the chargers this isn't a problem but I noticed this to be a case with TataPower chargers a few times and a few others. There are multiple reasons why this can happen-
Imagine your EV being at ~10% SoC you get this error on the fast charger
• The charger having a power cut
• Someone before you pressed the emergency stop button and needs to be reset
• The charger having network issues connecting to it's server.
Now if everything is working till this stage you can get stuck in the next step of starting to charge your vehicle-
After plugging in the car with the charger before starting the flow of current you come to the "App" part. In most cases you'll need to download the charging point operators (CPO) own app & top-up your account before starting to charge the vehicle but before topping up you'll need to Signup/Login the app too, This all happens when you're are standing at a unknown location and want to start charging as quickly as possible but sometimes the OTP doesn't arrive on time or email verification takes a few tries or the signup page is way too long, This keeps on adding to the frustration & waste of time. Here the process isn't same for all the CPO's, each one has their own app and a different UX to guide through.
Some of the apps are really well-designed and easy to understand(which usually is not the case) and some are just horrible.
Look, I don't mind this process, But when someone like my parents(no that tech savvy) visit the charging station they have no clue of how to start the process & then again I've to explain the whole process on the phone over a video call and whatnot. But even after doing all this process there no guarantee it will work in the first try to start charging, Sometime it takes 2-3 tries by plugging & unplugging the car & other than being sorry for them I don't have any other choice. Sigh!
As the number of EV's increase over the time this whole "App" saga might just be too much for the general public.
In a few rare cases you just might need skip the charger & find another "working" charger on your way! Good luck with that 😏
My whole point of this post is that there should be an easier solution to replace whatever nightmare this current system is. There a good chargers too, I've liked the charging experience of Jio-bp pulse, Fortum India & Statiq to name a few.
What Fortum Charge & Drive India charging does different is that they'll start charging your car as soon as you plug in and will send a invoice to your app after finishing up charging. That way it becomes a bit easier for the general public to charge. Or why can't the auto OEM's follow Tesla in this case, Their chargers are totally plug & charge. Even a 6 year old can start charging the car & the billing part is taken care by the backend system.
Recently in the USA all the legacy OEM's like Ford, GM, Volvo as well as Mercedes-Benz had announced that going ahead they all will use Tesla's NACS charging standard replacing CCS1. Btw non-Tesla cars in USA also have a similar charging experience as what we get in India.
Something needs to be done as Indian OEM's are just busy pushing out more EV's on the road and they don't sit down & "talk" with the CPO's. Tesla's chargers have more than 99% uptime and as of now only these guys provide a almost flawless charging experience in the industry, All because they sell their cars and the fuel(through their own supercharging network) and it all works together seamlessly.
The OEM's & CPO's need to optimize for a better charging experience for the average user. Throwing money at the problem or outsourcing a solution will not work here or else the EV adoption will show some plateauing going forward.
So yeah, that's what I had to say about this matter. Now tell me in the comments about your thoughts.
And don't forget to share this article if you found it useful.
This post is in continuation to last one regarding Agratas.
Following comments & information is from Thomas Flack, CEO Agratas, Tata's Cell Manufacturing branch. Here he is holding the cell. "Tata Group has been looking at this segment for about three years and it's been a project that we've coded internally Project 'Apollo'. "
"These are designed very smartly with idea of how long they last as well so this battery lasts a lot longer than the car and it's extremely safe. So We've worked a lot and very hard on coming up with these ideas."
"When it comes to cell design the cell that I just mentioned has been under Design and Development for about two years for Tata Motors this is one of the cells and so our relationship with them very quietly has been to work on what are the needs of the company so we could begin with what we call our lead cells for our anchor customers again about 18 months of actual cell development that's been going on for both JLR and TML."
Based on it seems like Tata has themselves developed it.
"A very affordable battery pack of about 50kWh, 130 of these you can push a small SUV 400-500km per charge."
So assuming it's LFP, one cell comes at about roughly 384.6Wh. Would love to know weight.
"Gigafactories are really expensive to produce and they're sitting in an ecosystem and so in order to be good at this if you want to politically de-risk yourself you need to get back into what is the raw material and supply"
"Some of the supply chain you can actually make so for us as an industry in our operations in Europe we have to make the Cathode Active Material(CAM) ..............................and we have to make that locally in Europe to supply Europe and in case of India we have to do the same thing here. So next to a Gigafactory you also have a CAM factory, ideally attached to a CAM factory you have recycling center hence you get this whole system."
"We started our journey with almost a gift in a sense that Shailesh, Girish and Balaji the whole leadership team said let's do this together and that's an amazing thing for us. We are signed on to do about 40GWh for JLR and about 20GWh to Tata Motors that does not serve all of their needs. So message to the whole room here is the suppliers that work with these companies today will continue. We're part of the expansion in their next Generation vehicle we're not here to displace any of the current relationship."
"The cell that drives a bus is not that cell. It's not ideal, it's not optimized. Wrong chemistry, Wrong format size. We have an opportunity to work with Girish's team on building the absolute best possible cell for the actual experience that he's driving with buses of service"
"We have the opportunity to also collaborate with him on investigating sodium cells that have an interesting angle of completely de-risking India from any importation of critical battery materials and with a little bit more work on the sodium ion solution actually potentially not just work on energy storage solutions but also potentially in buses."
So buses will get different shape cell, someday it could be sodium ion also along with for energy storage. Very interesting.
"We're naturally placed to work with 2W and 3W for us these are extensions of what we're already doing there's a different format that's ideal for those sectors so it's a cylindrical format."
Different cell form for 2w/3w! Wonder what shape in cylindrical.
"Inside of this guy 42 sheets of aluminium foil they're made on a continuous line that's longer than this room. We put some nice material on side on top, we cure it, control it, shape it, chop it. Same thing for a copper foil. We very delicately place them inside this box"
"That same cell will have one chemistry in India actually two but one initially and a completely different chemistry delivering much more power and energy for JLR exact same cell gives us that flexibility to make it ."
So Tata India giga to start with LFP & europe with NMC.
"So one of the great things we have is that we've got a decent lab that's actually up in the UK that's been working furiously for the past 3+ yr on just making sure that we understand the realities of the chemistries and changes that are coming to our industry"
Making of these 3 cells little over 1kWh takes 45kWh energy. Making 1kWh CAM takes 35kWh energy. But cell is good for over 2000 cycles, so use is very good. That's why they are focusing on RE for their factory. A MOU with Gujrat, they will be making their own energy.
"So our goal, all good battery companies are doing this right now is they're trying to identify where to attach themselves to clean energy otherwise what's the point. Affordable clean energy and if you can get that right with govt you can compete with anybody and point of us doing this as a group is to do it in India to have it made and designed in India but also lead the world in making it lowest cost not cheap, lowest cost world class battery and it starts with getting the energy right so we've spent a tremendous amount of time on this issue trying to work with govts to secure that and recently you saw our announcement in GJ is essentially an MoU to start the process but that Foundation of that was getting them to agree to let us develop our own energy in Gujarat to feed our own plant and so it's with great pride that we're telling the world that now but our intent is to actually be our own source of power, make our own batteries ultimately add CAM, expand that campus and even going from 20 to 40 and beyond and have it all fed by same renewable power."
"Our arrangement there the root of it is getting that ability to self serve you the power at that lowest affordable price which means if somebody tries to import a battery in that class into this country we will flat out beat them on price therefore there won't be an interest for importation. We can actually set the standard for what India is and also position ourselves smartly so with that type of arrangement as a hub for exporting batteries which is really fundamental to our business case."
"Well first the whole point of this is to geopolitically de-risk us from outside fluctuation of currency fluctuation of any type of outside country. Second is to make it very affordable and make India a great place to make batteries which means building the ecosystem under it"
Phew, this is it. Some big hopes there that they have shown. We hope all it turns out true. Regardless, really interesting & amazing to have R&D going on by a big Indian automaker and not just plan to buy cells from here & there.