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Electric Car Charger Installation: Complete Guide?

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 29/04/2024

The EV charging ecosystem is relatively young in India. However, with the market being expected to scale up, the EV charging infrastructure is seen as a module of convenience in a daily routine for private owners and a position of business opportunity for commercial establishments.

As the EV charger installation is based on the EV models and the characteristics of the electric grid in India, governed by set standards and several stakeholders, understanding the process of installation is a crucial step.

Here is everything you need to know about EV home charging stations and commercial EV charger installation.

Powering Up: Navigating Through the Basics of EV Charger Installation

The EVSE, referred to as Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment, is the basic component of an EV charging infrastructure. It will be built with the essential controls to access power from an electricity source and use it to charge EVs through a wired connection.

The EV charging requirements will be based on the EV batteries, whether for two-wheelers, three-wheelers, or four-wheelers, as the power has to be provided at the right voltage and current levels to fix charging.

While charging an electric car, the EV charging infrastructure works by supplying DC (Direct Current) to the battery system. If the EVSE is deployed with an AC (Alternate Current) system, the AC is converted using an onboard charger to DC.

Further, the EVSE is characterised by power ratings or levels for the charging requirements.

  • Normal power charging with AC and DC current type and power ranging less than 7kW, and between 7kW and 22kW is compatible with vehicles up to 1 ton (two-wheelers, three-wheelers, and four-wheelers).

  • High power charging from 22kW and 200kW is compatible with EVs (1-6 tons), such as four-wheelers, LCVs (Light Commercial Vehicles), etc.

High-power EVSEs are aligned to charging stations with multiple charging guns, and normal-power EVSEs are aligned with a portable charging cable.

Plug Into Possibilities: Classifying EV Charger Types

The EV charging infrastructure can be classified into Private, Semi-Public, and Public charging infrastructure.

Private Charging Infrastructure

Private charging is associated with personal usage or an EV fleet. It can be set up in independent houses, apartment or office parking slots, or any applicable land. These EV chargers are self-operated or CPO (Charge Point Operators)-managed.

Semi-Public Charging Infrastructure

A semi-public charging infrastructure is associated with sharing the facility for a restricted group of users, such as gated communities, office complexes, universities, hospitals, etc. It is entirely CPO-managed.

Public Charging

A Public Charging Infrastructure is open for all the public EV users. It is developed on highways, public parking areas, petrol pumps, metro stations, etc.

Charging Forward: A Step-by-Step Guide to EV Charger Installations

For Home Electric Car Charging Station

Power Check: Assessing Your Electrical Setup

Consult a certified electrician to evaluate your existing electrical system. Find if the electrical panel can take in the additional load of the EV charger. Also, check with the local electricity board authorities and DISCOMS on your intention to set up the task and get the necessary permits.

Based on the requirements, you can take the electricity supply from an existing connection, apply for a new connection, or bring in a renewable energy generation system.

Find your Ideal Charging Spot: Where Convenience Meets Safety

Choose a location where you can park your EV while it is also easily accessible from the electricity panel. The location should also be far from fire or water hazards, considering the safety of your family and the public outside.

The section (followed after the step-by-step process) on compliance and regulatory standards will give you a better insight.

Fit for the Drive: Pick the Right EV Charger

Find the best type of charger that will suffice your needs. The charger should align with the power requirements of your EV, compatible with the voltage specifications and the charging speed.

Level 1 chargers use the standard outlet, and Level 2 with a dedicated supply of 240-volt circuits for faster charging in EV home charging stations.

Start Right: Find the Best EV Charger Manufacturer

Selecting the best company for the EV charger is a crucial step. Explore the different options and local contractors. Find companies that offer programmable chargers with pre-defined charging functions.

Use online search engines to compare the companies manufacturing EV chargers with their features, benefits, and user testimonials. Also, ensure that the contractor is compliant with the necessary safety regulations and industry standards to install a reliable system.

Finally, compare the purchase and electric car charger installation costs to make it budget-friendly.

Installation: DIY or Leave it to the Experts

When you choose a reliable manufacturer, they can aid you in the installation process with their service. Although it involves mounting the charger, establishing connections with the electricity panel, and including additional circuits if required, it is best installed with a professional touch for the safety and longevity of the charging system.

You can also hire an expert or a certified electrician to install the system and establish the connections as per your requirements.

Quality Check: Ensuring Proper Functionality

After the installation process, examine the ground safety, voltage, and current to ensure that the home electric car charging station is reliable for usage.

Keeping it in Shape: Regular Care and Maintenance

Once the installation and the testing phase are complete, learn how to maintain the system for long-term consistent performance from the expert.

Regular inspections, identifying conditions of wear and tear, and implementing preventive maintenance practices can help sustain the system for long-term usage.

For Semi-Charging and Public-Charging Infrastructure

Analysing the Need: Understanding Demand

Assessing the EV charging demand is the primary step toward installing and establishing an EV charger. Analyse the demand based on the current and projected number of EVs on the road for the location. It is also an important step towards location planning.

Availability: Ensuring Access to Electricity

Ensure to know the availability and accessibility of the EV charging infrastructure facility. The regulatory authorities will set up targets for the public charging infrastructure or the provision for charging in communities or buildings.

Connect with a CPO (Charge Point Operator) and eMSP (e-Mobility Service Provider): For Seamless Solutions

A CPO can be a private entity or a public utility. They can help set up, operate, and manage a network of EV charging points. On the other hand, e-MSP offers various services for EV charging for users by connecting them with a CPO.

Location Planning: Go Strategic

Identifying optimal locations for setting up public charging facilities is another crucial step. It can be applicable at the neighbourhood level or the city level. The nodal agencies and CPOs will help set charging point networks to identify locations based on the demand.

Location planning can also be exercised through conducting a geospatial analysis based on the geospatial data available and the scale of planning. The EV charging station cost depends on the cost of the EVSE, land, and power supply.

A well-distributed network with less expensive charging points that require less space and electricity can significantly reduce these costs.

Establish the Electric Supply: Securing Power Source

The key to a sustainable EV charging station is establishing an accessible, reliable, and affordable electric supply. The central and state-level set of regulations and guidelines formulate the provisions for the electricity supply.

The type of electricity connection, the supply of power from the existing network, and the need for system augmentation facilitating new connections will impact the provision of the electricity supply.

DISCOMS serves as an interface between the regulatory bodies and the EV owners to establish the operating standards. The electricity tariff varies from state to state.

Based on the demand and the electricity requirements, the CPOs can draw the electric supply from an existing connection, get a new connection, or establish a source for a renewable energy generation system for the EV charger installation.

Seek Permissions: Obtain the Necessary Approvals

With the help of a CPO, analyse the land and power requirements for optimal EV charging installations. Coordinate with officials to get the necessary certifications, permissions, approvals, and connections.

Executing Installations: Get Plans to Reality

The CPOs will further assist in procuring the EVSE hardware, complying with the requisite standards based on demand and charging patterns. Get a centralised system management software for backend network management installed for user management and remote monitoring.

Operations and Billings: Managing Efficiency and Payments

The CPOs will also establish operational functionalities, including scheduling, charging availability, load balancing, revenue collection, live tracking, and performance tracking. They also set the charges for charging an electric car and provide specified data to the DISCOMs and other related government agencies mandated by law.

Useful Link: Handbook of EV Charging Infrastructure Implementation

Roadmap to Compliance: Understanding EV Charger Regulations and Standards

While the Ministry of Power (MoP), State Electrical Regulatory Commissions (SERCs), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) formulate policies for the land and electric supply, the Bureau of Indian Standards is responsible for formulating the essential standards for the EV charging infrastructure in India.

The IS 17017 is the most important document detailing the requirements for EV charging standards in India. Every individual or entity must review the standards before installing an EV charger.

DISCOMs are held responsible for setting up the electricity connections for EV charging, checking the operating efficiency of the implementation and the EV charging infrastructure, regulating the EV tariff fixed by SERCs, detering improper use of EV connections, and managing the distribution network for grip upgrades to factor in the growth of load in by undertaking grid upgrades based on growth in load including from EV charging.

Furthermore, the DISCOMs established across the country provide electricity connections, enforce and implement the EV tariff, ensure proper connections and operating efficiencies for the EV charger implementations, and prevent improper usage. Therefore, informing and seeking approvals from the DISCOMs is essential for the EV charger installations.

Useful Link: e-AMRIT Standards and Specifications

Safeguarding Your EV Investment: The Importance of Car Insurance

While the primary purpose of the car insurance policy, financial security, is the same for both electric and non-electric cars, certain unique factors must be considered:

Cost Due to Specialised Design

Because of its specialised design, the cost of repairing or purchasing new parts for an EV can be higher than for conventional vehicles. These costs can be covered to an extent with the help of a car insurance policy.

While third-party car insurance can cover third-party liabilities and damages, own car insurance can cover own damages. And comprehensive car insurance can cover both third-party and own car damages. It can cover the cost of damages due to accidents, man-made or natural calamities, and even theft.

Better Options

As the EV market consistently evolves, insurers are offering various policy solutions and the government is offering various tax benefits to promote environmental sustainability with the establishment of the electric vehicle segment.

While considering EV charger installation at your home, it is equally important to ensure your financial condition to manage unprecedented events that can damage your EV to make the installation worth the long-term sustenance.

Conclusion

The EV charger installation and its infrastructure development are rapidly evolving in India, with equal chances for opportunities and challenges. By understanding the basics of EV chargers, the step-by-step installation process, and the regulatory standards, individuals and businesses can navigate through the complexities of the establishment.

With effective management and maintenance practices, the EV charger installation systems can go way ahead, letting us benefit from EV technology, cost reductions, efficient energy management, and convenience over the long term when it is done right!

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