“More Chargers Provide Security And Confidence To Customers, Encouraging EV Adoption”

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With an agenda to transform the EV industry, EarthtronEV has established 250+ charging stations on major highways across India. The company aims to interconnect highways and facilitate smooth journeys for EV users. During an interaction with Nitisha from EFY, Ashish Deswal, Founder of EarthtronEV, elaborates on dealership procedures and upcoming projects…


Q. What are the key aspects if someone approaches EarthtronEV for franchise or dealership opportunities?

A. Our focus is catering to individuals and institutions keen on establishing charging stations. The process starts with filling out a registration form. We guide them in selecting ideal locations, often near highways and existing infrastructure like dhabas. We facilitate communication and secure favourable lease agreements. Installation begins once locations are finalised. We assess goals, revenue potential, and investment willingness to determine the best approach. Our focus is on driving maximum traffic to franchisees by selecting promising locations.

Q. How do you select locations and generate revenue-sharing agreements?

A. We have a dedicated infrastructure team whose primary role involves visiting various Dhabas and food outlets in Delhi. Given the unique nature of land parcels in Delhi, they are consistently on the ground. We present them with a revenue-sharing model, wherein we distribute a portion of the profits (approx.15% to 25%). Electrical meters are always in place, providing accurate consumption data. Despite our claims, the electrical meter is the ultimate tool for tracking consumed units. Our partners know the prices at which we sell electricity, as this model involves sharing profits. We introduce this deal to our franchisees and dealerships, handling all necessary agreements and arrangements. We then recommend specific locations for installation, which our partners inspect.

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Q. How long does it typically take to set up a charging station?

A. Establishing a charging station typically takes three months, assuming existing infrastructure and readily available electrical connections. Sometimes, setup can be completed in as little as 30 days, depending on infrastructure readiness.

Q. What is the overall expense associated with establishing a charging station?

A. It starts from 10 lakh rupees and goes up to 40 lakh rupees.

Q. What are some common challenges encountered when establishing EV charging stations?

A. Establishing an EV charging station requires integrating into the ecosystem, prioritising service areas, and seamlessly connecting with existing infrastructure like Malls, Restaurants in cities and dhabas on the highways. Conducting thorough on-ground surveys is essential to assess infrastructure availability, especially concerning power supply challenges. Selecting suitable locations and ensuring essential load availability are crucial steps often overlooked. In Delhi, for instance, such issues arise frequently. We usually apply for a 100-kilowatt connection, only to find that the local distribution company (discom) lacks the necessary infrastructure or network reliability.

Q. How can discoms proactively prepare and upgrade infrastructure to meet the rapidly growing demand for EV charging?

A. Discoms must adopt a more open approach and collaborate closely with EV charging companies to address the growing demand for EV infrastructure. Currently, the expansion of EV infrastructure is happening rapidly, but it’s crucial to recognise that the existing electrical infrastructure is insufficient to meet this surge in demand. Discoms should adopt a forward-thinking mindset and prepare for the future. When we apply for a connection, discoms often scramble to manage the infrastructure. They should anticipate that India aims to have 30% of its electric vehicles, per our Prime Minister’s mission. With only seven years left, significant work lies ahead, particularly in upgrading infrastructure. Unfortunately, I don’t observe discoms taking proactive steps in this direction, but I believe it will become necessary in the coming years.

Q. How many charging station deployments have been completed, and what are your future plans?

A. We currently operate approximately 500 charging stations, encompassing cities and highways. Our long-term vision is to expand this network to 10,000 charging stations. We recently initiated operations in Kolkata, with one charging station in Howrah and another in progress. In Delhi, we have strategically positioned charging stations throughout the city, ensuring a robust network. Now, we are looking at a slightly longer-term goal, and the idea is to have 10,000 charges by 2027.

Q. Kindly elaborate on the range of charging products EarthtronEV offers.

A. At EarthtronEV, we offer various charging products to suit multiple needs. Our lineup includes the 3.3 Smart socket for basic slow charging and the Bharat AC 001, which combines three sockets for a 3.3-kilowatt solution. We provide GBT chargers in 15- and 30-kilowatt options for faster charging, while our CCS chargers range from 25 to 120 kilowatts, catering to vehicles like the Tata Nexon. Type two chargers, such as our 7.2 kilowatt AC chargers, are popular for fleet applications, while DC fast chargers are ideal for on-the-go charging in public spaces.

Q. What are some key partnerships and collaborations supporting your charging network?

A. We have established numerous partnerships with all the Delhi discoms. In collaboration with BSES Rajdhani and BSES Yamuna Power, we install charging stations on MCD land. Additionally, we have formed a strategic partnership with Gulf Oil. We also create hubs for various fleets, primarily serving major operators such as Uber, and we have partnered with Park+ to provide secure society charging solutions. The list of our partnerships continues to grow.

Q. What indicators suggest a company is suitable for a dealership partnership?

A. For added security, engaging with companies with established track records is advisable. I can confidently affirm that we have a well-documented history in the industry. We don’t merely claim charging stations; people visit us, witness our operational stations, and sometimes even utilise our services. We do not need to persuade them; they already know our presence. Partnering with a company with a proven track record and a physical presence with operational charging stations is prudent.

Q. What was the revenue growth in your business last year?

A. Our revenue growth has been remarkable, consistently at nearly 50%. However, this growth is closely tied to the number of cars on the road, creating a chicken-and-egg situation. First, the charging infrastructure must be in place before vehicles become popular. Having more chargers provides security and confidence to customers, encouraging EV adoption.

Q. What support do you seek from the government?

A. EV charging should be exempt from GST, which is currently taxed at 18%. I suggest reducing GST to 5% or even making it zero for quicker adoption. Additionally, a 5% GST on charging services seems reasonable and functional. The government has taken proactive steps on the policy front. The primary support needed from the government at this stage is addressing the challenges related to connections, which are the biggest hurdles for any EV company.

Q. How does EarthtronEV simplify the process of establishing charging stations and attracting customers?

A. We are a comprehensive solution for launching a charging station, providing a hassle-free experience. Our company takes care of the entire process. We make dedicated efforts to attract customers to all our EV charging station franchises. With EarthtronEV, customers can rest assured they won’t need to concern themselves with sourcing products or arranging electrical connections. Attempting to install charging stations on their own without help from industry experts is very slow and can lead to significant difficulties for individuals thinking of setting up charging stations, however, EarthtronEV manages the entire journey from start to finish for all our franchise partners.


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