Ather Grid & KSEB Public EV Charging Stations

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:

  1. A reliable Grid point in terms of power quality, good grounding and less interruptions.
  2. 24x7 charging outside Ather ECs.
  3. Greatly improve the freedom of its customers
  4. Improved publicity for the company
  5. 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.
  6. 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?

#kerala #kseb #KSEB #uncategorized #ather-grid-accessories-more:ather-grid #community-support

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I was searching the forum for any existing thread about charging infrastructure either by the Ather grid or the public charging being setup by KSEB. That’s when I came across your post @beharigo, and it was great to read your analysis and thoughts on this matter, and I completely agree with all your points mentioned under the positives section!

Though I’m not yet an owner, I hope to join the club within a month. But I’m sure that most, if not all of us, would agree that the co-existence of Ather chaging infrastructure alongside the KSEB public charging infrastructure (or for that matter any public charging station in India) would greatly reduce range anxiety and encourage use of our scooters over longer distance trips.

Let me try to list down my thoughts on this topic, which has been inspired by this and various others posts and articles both within and outside this forum.

Please note that all the points mentioned below is based on my current understanding and it’s likely that some of the points are wrong or incomplete. If so, please bear with me, or better still correct me where possible. :slight_smile:

Core problem to be solved: Availability of public charging infrastructure for Ather EVs

Factors contributing to the complexity of the problem:

a. Incompatibility with the CCS2 standard, port and connector ( atleast that’s what I have understood so far)

b. Lack of a standard charging port and connector between various electric two-wheeler OEMs (different connectors and pins)

c. Lack of a charging standard or its apparent acceptance thereof among various OEMs. (Is there one? I do not know)

Now what are some of the possible solutions that can be considered taking into account the available resources and infrastructure and the factors mentioned above?

  1. Possibility of setting up Ather grids alongside KSEB charging points or stations - this would be an ideal scenario if it can happen. However, it is probably not practical at this point in time considering various real world implementation challenges and also the fact that frequent fast charging is not good for a Li-ion battery. For a long distance ride however, this would be the best option.

  2. Possibility of a new Ather charger which is faster than the home chargers but slower than the Ather grid chargers, as mentioned by @beharigo - The intention here is to provide a solution that:

  • works with 16A sockets or is compatible with public charging infrastructure in the KSEB charging stations
  • is completely new: perhaps consider an AC to DC converter unit to be installed alongside the various, if not all, sockets in the station and provide the Ather charging port and cable (try and eliminate the need of carrying a charger? )
  • can be exclusive for public charging stations or can also be added to Ather grids to increase the number of ports available from one existing charging point installation (provided it’s technically feasible)
  • would be suitable for those riders who wants to avoid frequent fast charging, or needs to charge to obtain an additional range of approx 15-20 kms within 30 minutes or so (or even 10 kms in 15-20 minutes)
  1. Consider installing Ather grids (or possible new charger) along strategic points - like metro stations, shopping complexes with ample parking (difficult to find I guess), or places like Decathlon, gyms, badminton courts, etc (provided sufficient space is available). Again the intention here is to have a well spaced out charging network that doesn’t overload any existing infrastructure and is yet available atleast within every 10 kms in urban areas and probably within 20 kms otherwise.

@tarun, @abhishek.balaji - I’m sure that your team would have brainstormed and already considered various options, but perhaps now and here lies an opportunity to experiment and integrate with the upcoming public charging grids (perhaps consider Kochi as a pilot project)? I suppose if the Ather charging connector becomes the standard and is available atleast in the strategic public charging stations to begin with, it should be a win-win for all of us concerned. The installtion of Ather grid or the new chargers with connectors (in public charging stations) can then be scaled up in time or on an as-needed basis.

To conclude, I think it’s best to use an analogy from the consumer electronics industry. The USB-C port is set to be standardized (atleast in the EU) for all mobiles, tablets, laptops and other accessories. It will also be needed that all these devices support the USB Power delivery standard.

Similarly, we need a charging standard to be accepted and implemented by all OEMs, and then use the same charging port and connector as well.

It’ll be great if the Ather charging port/ connector becomes the equivalent of USB-C port for electric two-wheelers, and that too sooner than later!

#public-charging #ather-grid-accessories-more:ather-grid #ather-grid-accessories-more

As far as I remember, there is an MOU between Government of Karnataka and Ather for this. I don’t know exactly the status but I’m sure Ather is working on the charging front. I myself have gotten calls from the Grid team for charging point suggestions, any contacts etc etc.

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If such an MoU exists and is being implemeted, I hope Ather scales it up and implements similar ones outside Karnataka too. I believe the availability of Ather chargers/ connectors in public charging stations will go a long way in eliminating or atleast reducing range anxiety. I remember asking the Ather EC guys about the same before pre-booking the scooter and they did mention that it will become the standard charging port in time. Best to get it done early :slight_smile:

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@milon , It’s great to see enthusiasm for the idea! I was not paying attention to the Ather forum for a while, that’s why I never read your comprehensive add-on to the topic I posted. But then, the state of Ather grid in Kochi has worsened a lot in the last few months as far as I know. And there hasn’t been any talk/action related to the idea we are discussing here. The only good update is that the number of KSEB charging stations has grown even more, especially in Ernakulam and Thrissur districts. I’m guessing maybe once the ‘Free-Charging’ at Ather grids end this year, and Ather-Grid starts generating revenue of some kind, we might be able to see some improvements in the state of the Ather Grid.