Finland’s AC2SG plans EV charging stations with NITI Aayog in Delhi NCR

Finnish technology startup AC2SG Software Oy has planned the charging station network for Delhi NCR region under the guidance of National Institute of Transforming India (NITI Aayog). This would be the most significant EV charging network so far in India, and the system’s primary users are, in the first phase planned to be Indian government employees and institutions. The first charging station will be deployed at NITI Aayog headquarters in Delhi, and the construction of the entire network will be completed by June 2018.

The Indian government aims to ambitiously switch to EV from 2030, and NITI Aayog has started working on it to provide enough charging services with the adoption of the electric vehicles in coming years.

Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, praised the work of AC2SG in publishing the study on India’s vision of EV adoption and its implementation in NCR Region. “It is a highly professional study undertaken with great technical competence,” he said.

According to AC2SG, the challenge with the deployment of EV charging stations is on one hand that forecasting the number and locations of the stations needed by 2030 is difficult and on the other hand the implementation of an unnecessarily large number of stations in the early phase is not economically feasible. In the initial phase, the critical issues will be geographical coverage of the charging station network, choosing the right types of charging stations and optimizing construction costs.

“At this stage, the planning work primarily focuses on these issues and ensures that the early-stage charging station network is “fit for purpose”. Early user experiences and feedback are fundamentally important for the successful uptake of electric vehicles, therefore ensuring user satisfaction and seamless user experience are the key focus areas for the planning”, said Jaakko Aho, MD of AC2SG Software.

The EV charging station deployment in India is still at an early stage, and NITI Aayog wanted to benefit from practical experience of EV infrastructure implementation in countries where this has already been started. In order to prepare the charging stations for optimal use, the planning must maintain a neutral view of the charging station suppliers and standards in this area.

AC2SG has focused on the geographical corridor from the high-tech center of Gurgaon to South Delhi via the IGI international airport and onwards to the Noida industrial area. This area is an epicenter of governmental institutions and key business locations.

For the software company, the main challenges regarding the planning and deployment are the high amounts of traffic, the difficulty in finding public spaces for construction, and dealing with traffic arrangements and disruptions; for example, finding adequate space for parking.

Aho mentioned that the Indian project has been fascinating and challenging for them. “The planning that we have done in Finland and elsewhere has not had the scale that Delhi has, and the challenges are somewhat simpler. However, working in co-operation with NITI Aayog we have been able to resolve the issues and come up with solutions to these challenges,” he said.