Electric Vehicles: The current global buzz word! This year when the second term serving Prime Minister Narendra Modi unfolded his 2.0 Government’s Union Budget through Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman it was recommended that the GST rate on electric vehicles (EVs) purchase would be considerably reduced.
Likewise, an extensive agenda of plans was projected by the NDA 2.0 government to show that India is getting serious in the business of electric mobility and is aligning several initiatives to push the sale of EVs in the country. This push for EV purchase is expected to boost sales for the alternate fuelled vehicles, which has been a major agenda for the government since the previous term.
Well, the government can certainly push the consumers into buying the vehicles with tax discount as an attraction, but will that suffice to convince a buyer? The answer is NO! To get consumers to buy the EVs, India has to build a massive infrastructure with the assistance of several domestic and global enablers. Right from setting up charging points across rural, urban and highway routes; spare parts availability; a network of dealers and suppliers; and other associated infrastructure for Electric Vehicle business is nothing short of a humungous task for India.
But what’s encouraging here is that India is advancing fast and is leaving no stone unturned to hasten the evolution of EVs in the country. In terms of infrastructure, India is constituting actionable plans to meet the deployment reality. And lending a large shoulder to India’s EV plans is telematics company MapmyIndia.
Recognized as an early entrant in the field of digital mapping, telematics, and geospatial navigation, MapmyIndia today is best known as a mature company that has grown using the digital transformation technologies to bring an umbrella of services under the navigation vertical. As a homegrown company, it has, in fact, marched forward by taking on Google Maps in creating navigation-based products and services exclusive for EVs.
In an interactive discussion with Rohan Verma, CEO & ED, MapmyIndia, the company’s niche services for the Electric Vehicle segment is raveled out. Verma, in the interaction narratively explained how MapmyIndia is helping India build an efficient ecosystem to make EVs operational, functional and commercially viable. That apart, MaymyIndia is also helping enhance the utility of an EV by transforming them from an intra-state/city to inter-state/city mode of transport. Its unique Spider Map’s features have convinced several EV consumers and retailers.
Providing solutions to overcome 3 major hurdles for EV implementation in India
“MaymyIndia’s mission is to build a better world. Using a combination of mapping technology and IoT, MapmyIndia is striving to get a lot of navigation and mapping avenues possible for India. In terms of Electric Vehicles, yes, we have taken a few large strides that can help India reflect a strong partaker of Electric vehicle technology. Electric as an alternative fuel need to happen in India, but the implementation poses several challenges and hurdles,” opens up Rohan Verma as he initiated the discussion with VoicenData.
Verma indicates that MapmyIndia is enabling the EV ecosystem with its in-house developed combination of mapping technology and IoT solutions to accelerate the performance of electric mobility system. According to Verma 3 major challenges lie ahead of India’s EV ecosystem. Verma explains how MapmyIndia has identified the 3 major hurdles and the solutions his company has pioneered in for India to address the gaps in electric mobility.
“MapmyIndia is in the business of mapping technology for the last 20 years. The company, over the years, has gained significant expertise in creating and implementing solutions that address convenience in mobility and solutions that enhance the safety in mobility. Building on this expertise and applying the same in Electric Vehicle segment was rather a destined escalation. We were able to figure out the macro-picture on the hurdles or challenges that lie in ahead of EVs in India,” says Verma.
Verma substantiates the challenges and explains the solutions that MapmyIndia has to offer:
Challenge 1: Lack of Charging stations
This is probably the biggest detrimental factor for the EVs. “How would an Electric Vehicle consumer be convinced of using an EV for long distances when there is no assurance for the availability of charging stations along the user’s route of travel? At MapmyIndia we have built a sensible solution to address this biggest challenge,” reveals Verma.
Through its MOVE App, MapMyIndia syncs its API with the EV to show nearby charging stations that are compatible with the car. In addition to the ones that are compatible with the EV, MapMyIndia also provides with the location of the nearest EV charging stations in all the major cities. What is unique to the map is that it not only identifies the station but also lays out the shortest and the best possible route to get to the station. SPIDER MAPS – MaymyIndia’s unique offering provides the greatest advantage to the user by analyzing the dynamics of the vehicle and the road’s features to indicate the closest availability of the charging station.
As a testimony to this prowess, post-Union Budget 2019, Hyundai Kona partnered with MapMyIndia to exploit the mapping and navigation system to identify the location of the nearest EV charging stations in all the major cities.
Challenge 2: Making EVs affordable
In terms of investment, EVs demand the money from different stakeholders i.e. the manufacturer, the charging station owner, and the consumer. Now, MapmyIndia, with its mapping technology, wants to address the concerns of the most relevant player here in the industry – the charging station owners.
Verma outlines saying, “For a charging station owner, the most pertinent concern to be addressed is to identify the location on which a station can be set-up. This is no easy task! MapmyIndia’s geo-demographics databases provide a best-in-class spatial analysis through demographics and socio-economic attributes that help a charging station owner to zero-in on the location. Our hyperlocal understanding of urban and rural areas helps choose the most appropriate location for establishing the station. By choosing the most suitable location all the stakeholders in the EV business are benefitted. The precise location for the set-up saves the owner from losses and ensures his RoI is constant.”
Challenge 3: Maintenance of EVs and Optimization of the use
“Telematics is a science of its own. And when it comes to EV telematics it is a different paradigm. EVs are super sensitive to several external factors. The discharge and consumption of battery charge are subjected to the route, the road terrain, the weather, flyovers, under bridges, etc. All these factors can have an impact on the performance and maintenance of an EV. At MapmyIndia we have developed a robust API that provides real-time updates about all the factors that are necessary to build an EV and also ensure its smooth functioning in real-time,” explains Verma.
Verma says that carmakers, after developing the EV, prefer to partner with MapmyIndia to optimize the vehicle’s performance based on the company’s demographic database, its sensitivity to factors like road terrain, weather, etc. On the other hand, at the consumer level, MapmyIndia’s combination offerings – like the IoT device, Move App – installed in the EV gives the consumer real-time updates on vehicle performance; charging station location; driver behaviour; EV’s functioning and maintenance updates, and navigational assistance to the extent of indicating warnings and dangers en route.
“What is expressed so far is just a fraction of digital support systems we have developed for EVs. MapmyIndia is doing a lot more by marrying location technology with cutting edge Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to offer more personalized user experience and varied applications. We are putting in a lot of our efforts in ADAS – Advance Driving Assistance – that makes commute safe and our roads much safer to fulfill our mission – A better and safer India!” concludes Rohan Verma.