So, the KSEB has set up EV Charging stations within almost all municipalities in Kerala. This has greatly eased the worry of every prospective EV buyer I know including myself. The best thing being that these EV Stations are located in the vicinity of a substation or major KSEB office; so we can be least bothered about power interruption and grounding issues.
Sample reference: 100 electric charging stations in Kerala by December, says Minister - The Economic Times (This article is more than 6 months old. And currently, the number of live Charging stations is way more than what’s mentioned here. And the work at all other proposed stations are at a pretty steady pace. It was a genuine shock for me too since you very rarely see govt projects going according to plan)
And now, with Ather having expanded its Kerala footprint quite ambitiously in the last few months, I am quite positive about the customer demand for having an Ather approved charging infrastructure (that is the charger, port and communication equipment) at these charging stations.
From Ather’s perspective, the issues I see are that these charging stations are already run in collaboration with a 3rd party charging infra company. So, it wouldn’t be as easy as setting up a grid point in a commercial space. Also, it would mean that Ather might have to compromise on the bandwidth of operation they might have, like the collection of user-data etc. It would mean a less comprehensive charging log data for monthly reports and such.
But in my eyes, the positives outweigh them. Ather gets:
- A reliable Grid point in terms of power quality, good grounding and less interruptions.
- 24x7 charging outside Ather ECs.
- Greatly improve the freedom of its customers
- Improved publicity for the company
- With the only major competitor being Ola and their current status of charging infrastructure, the popularization of the Ather grid will create a huge shift in customer preference towards Ather.
- The byproduct of this popularization/democratization would be an improved momentum from the EV ecosystem members to choose the Ather Plug and the Ather Grid standards as the official standard for 2W EV Charging in India.
Also, if the setup of an Ather Grid point as it is currently, at one of these charging stations is not agreeable to the 3rd party companies, I think what would be easily agreeable would be the use of the Ather plug. And to use hardware standards that allow for charging speeds below the one at an authentic Ather grid, but faster than a dot/portable charger.
@abhishek.balaji & others at Ather, especially people who have been working closely with the sales in Kerala, do you think it’s viable? And the 450X Owners of Kerala, do you really want this to happen? How much of an effect will this improve your freedom of movement? How much will it reduce your range anxiety? How much will it let you go full on in WARP mode more often? How much will it strengthen your bond with your machine even more?