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Debunking myths around electric vehicles in India – Times of India

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The author is the co-founder of Kazam.
It is alarming to know that India is home to seven of the top ten most polluted cities globally, emphasizing the need for greener transportation alternatives. The growing number of personal mobility fuelled by the increased buying capacity of people has also contributed to increased vehicular pollution. This can have catastrophic effects and further accelerate global warming and climate change. Today, understanding the urgent need for eco-friendly, sustainable solutions, businesses, individuals, and the government are building sustainable solutions and providing a conducive environment for EVs (Electric Vehicles).
Now, while EVs are no doubt an excellent solution to bringing down the usage of fossil fuels, the many myths surrounding EVs give way to apprehension amongst people.  Consumers are wary of fully believing EVs as a reliable mode of transportation because of these misconceptions. And, understandably, many people will indeed be unsure how an electric vehicle would fit into their lives. That said, let’s break down some of the myths surrounding EVs. 
Debunking myths
Myth 1: EVs cannot travel far, so how can they be charged?
People are usually hesitant to buy electric vehicles because they are concerned about the range and how far EVs can travel. A dearth of charging facilities is also a source of concern for many individuals. However, the fact is any individual doesn’t need more than 150 km range per day, most of them travel less than 50 km daily. They can simply charge at their home overnight and get a full battery for the next day without having to hunt for a public charging station. Besides, EV charging infrastructure is steadily increasing, and India will soon have adequate infrastructure to support its growing EV market.
Myth 2: EVs require additional fast-charging stations across the country
Yet another prevalent concern among those considering a switch to Electric Vehicles is that, while one can refuel their vehicle in minutes, they need additional fast charging stations everywhere. However, fast charging is only going to contribute to 10% of overall charging. It would only be needed in highway or commercial charging situations where vehicle usage is high and idle time is low.
Myth 3: There is a need for e-pumps like petrol stations everywhere
People believe there is a need for e-pumps just like petrol pumps. However, we don’t need e-pumps everywhere because there is enough electricity to charge EVs everywhere. So what we need is public electrical charging stations to access that electricity on all parking spots and destinations like shops, malls and officesStill, a solid infrastructure will help make EV charging more accessible and inexpensive, especially for individuals who drive long distances frequently.
Myth 4: DC charging stations are required 
Another factor that prevents users from purchasing EVs is the common yet untrue belief that DC charging stations are far more necessary. However, charging a battery quickly results in high currents and temperatures, both of which are known to put a lot of pressure on batteries. So DC fast charging is not recommended on a daily basis as it will degrade the battery life and resale value of the vehicle.
Myth 5: Charging speed depends on the charger
While at first glance, this may appear to be true, it isn’t. Charging durations vary widely depending on the size of the battery, the speed with which the car can accept the charge, the amperage of the circuit, and other elements such as the BMS and the off board/onboard charger.
Myth 6: Only one among battery swapping and charging will exist in the future. 
Battery swapping is undoubtedly a revolutionary technology that allows for super-fast charging and provides value to two-wheelers, bikes, and last-mile connections, but it is still not feasible for passenger cars and mid-tonnage LCVs due to the complexity of switching larger batteries. So, taking into account the complications, both battery swapping and charging will co-exist.
Myth 7: EVs are more complex than ICE engines
EVs are considered more complex than ICE engines. But in reality, EVs are relatively less complex with less than approximately 40 moving parts than petrol/ ICE vehicles, which have 1000+ moving parts. Compared to vehicles with internal combustion engines, EV users can expect lower maintenance expenditures and environmental benefits.
Furthermore, there is also a concern as to whether India’s grids are ready to power all the future Electric Vehicles. And, in the future, how will India respond to the requirement for EV charging infrastructure?
India aspires to have 175 GW of installed Renewable Energy (RE) capacity by 2022, and up to 450 GW by 2030. Grid infrastructure is currently present in India for the next 2-3 years for EV to be adopted. They will eventually need to be upgraded and monitored by smart IoT-enabled equipment, such as EV charging.
In India, Electric Vehicles are still relatively at a nascent stage, so it’s crucial to ask the appropriate questions once you’ve decided to make a move to EVs. This eco-friendly mobility solution has the potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions and improve health while also completely supporting India’s transformation to greener and cleaner cities.
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Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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