As the Indian government gears up to aggressively promote electric vehicles across the country, companies that offer charging infrastructure have also been attracted to potentially one of the largest EV markets in the world.
Swiss company ABB has revealed plans to introduce flash charging stations for electric buses. ABB claims that the flash charging infrastructure can top-up a battery in 17 seconds. Such a system can be used for incremental charging of the batteries as the bus stops at various terminals to pick up and drop passengers.
Speaking at an e-mobility event in Switzerland recently, ABB Group CEO and President Ulrich Spiesshofer expressed confidence in the Indian market and, without sharing any timelines, announced plans to bring flash charging technology for buses and fast charging infrastructure for cars in India.
ABB already has a major presence in India through its subsidiary, which is also listed at Indian bourses. The company has a large manufacturing base in India for power sector equipment, including inverters for solar power projects. Thus, ABB’s plans would fit well into the Indian government’s ‘Make In India’ program aimed at encouraging domestic manufacturing.
Flash charging will provide not only several advantages in the Indian scenario but would likely prove critical in the success and popularity of public transport in the future. At present almost all major cities in India use CNG-powered buses in the public transport system. Buses remain the most popular means of public transport in almost all cities. Some major cities that have implemented subway systems have seen a noticeable reduction in buses in the public transport system, though.
CNG-based public transport is not sustainable in India as the country is a large net importer of natural gas. Scarcity in supply or high prices would make bus transportation economically non-viable. However, electricity is something India is not deficient in, albeit same cannot be said for the last-mile connectivity.
Several Indian states are expected to get delivery of thousands of electric cars over the next few months. According to media reports, ABB India is in close contact with leading Indian agency that drafts long-term policies for the country, NITI Aayog, to boost its presence in the rapidly expanding market.
ABB India has installed a fast-charging station at the office of NITI Aayog, and is expected to participate in any upcoming tenders for installation of electric charging stations across India.
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