The adoption of electric vehicles (EV) is gaining traction globally as well as in India. However, the success of this form of mobility depends a lot on the charging infrastructure that forms the base of this electric mobility ecosystem. Delta Electronics India is a leading provider of electronics and power solutions. Auto Tech Review spoke to Akshaye Barbuddhe, Business Head – EV Charging Solutions, Delta Electronics, to know about the technologies behind EV charging infrastructure as well as its approach to accelerate adoption of EVs in the Indian market.
Delta has a clear scope in terms of EV charging concerning the topologies, technologies and roadmap of technologies to sustain it through the time taken for adoption of EVs. The company’s product range has been fine-tuned so that it is in line with global plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) and EV products that are currently available.
Delta’s product range begins from power rating from 3.3 kW up to 150 kW, and includes AC chargers, DC fast chargers as well as ultra-fast chargers. The company is one of the top three global companies to produce DC chargers of up to 1,000 V. While Delta’s global operations encompass a range of solutions and products across various segments of the automotive industry, it wants to offer its entire range of EV charging solutions in India. The idea is to provide indigenous EV charging products with local engineering efforts and in-house development to manufacture these products at its domestic plants. Although Delta India is a fully-owned subsidiary, Barbuddhe said it will offer a completely-indigenised EV charging product in India where design, engineering, software, firmware and the complete ecosystem is developed locally.
The company’s market approach is aligned towards offering EV charging solutions directly to the market as well as through its channel partners. However, Barbuddhe said the company is open to forging additional partnerships with entrepreneurs, OEMs, infrastructure companies and investors as well. Delta has been supplying products through its partners, covering a sizeable geography of India and is preparing to deliver its services, he added. The company has made a successful installation of around 30 charging stations.
Barbuddhe said the company has been evolving its existing factory in Rudrapur, Uttarakhand, which has a full assembly line, testing and other facilities for EV charging products. Delta had announced earlier this year that it would be setting up a manufacturing plant in Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu – its fourth in India. The Krishnagiri plant will manufacture the same range of products with regards to EVs, which will add to Delta’s production capacity.
Delta India has been operating its R&D Centre in Bengaluru for over six years now and has drawn up plans to set up another R&D facility. While the Bengaluru centre caters to grid solutions and megawatt converters, the new centre is expected to employ up to 2,000 engineers and will work on products and solutions for up to a megawatt power range. Delta’s dedicated team of around 20 engineers carries out R&D on EV and charging solutions; this team carries out core development, product roadmap and is also responsible for integrating new technologies into the products.
CHARGING INFRA CHALLENGES
To move ahead as a country, each company needs to address challenges in their respective domains so that they become stronger individually, and thereby find opportunities in this up-and-coming segment of EVs, said Barbuddhe. In addition, he said addressing domain-level challenges would result in the availability of products necessary for this segment ahead of time and also help in overcoming the rising challenges.
If the entire EV ecosystem is ready with all the required products at the right cost and with the appropriate technology it might reduce risks associated with a relatively new segment like EVs. This would also help attract investors, who would then be encouraged by the pace of development of the ecosystem, and make investments to help develop technologies further. The idea is to become good partners that target all parts of the EV ecosystem, and grow together as a whole. There needs to be a convincing factor from the entire ecosystem so that companies are ready to provide solutions to the EV industry, he noted.
From a consumer’s point of view, the move to EVs will depend on companies’ appetite to create an ecosystem and develop technologies that make this segment a lucrative choice for them. Adoption of EVs in the mass transportation and last-mile city transport segments would kick-off the entire EV ecosystem, and this will be the journey in the next two to three years, Barbuddhe noted.
Delta is not looking at being a service provider to the EV sector, but wants to be an OEM of EV chargers in the country. Barbuddhe believes this is where the company can gain market acceptance. Delta also has lined up plans to offer all EV products from its global portfolio that will be required in the Indian market. The company will focus on carrying out local engineering efforts close to customers, converting its global solutions and products into India-specific products. It has also identified the technology roadmap for which it has acquired all required standards, and will focus on integrating its various solutions across divisions to offer overall renewable power solutions.
TEXT: Naveen Arul