Startup launches cheapest EV charger, plans to install 100,000 units in a year

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Bengaluru based EV startup FAE Bikes has launched Kirana Charzer, an Internet of Things (IOT) enabled electric vehicle (EV) charging station that costs just Rs 10,000. Being compact, zero-maintenance and low cost, this charging station can be owned and set up even by small shop owners and individuals to earn additional income.

EV users will be able to locate Kirana Charzer stations, reserve, pay and operate from the Charzer app launched by FAE Bikes.

On the other hand, Kirana Charzer owners will have the freedom of setting their own prices through the app and they will receive 100% of the revenue from their charging stations.

Speaking to pv magazine, FAE Bikes founder Sameer Ranjan Jaiswal said: “IoT is essential for the network. We are allowing our hosts to set their own pricing and availability. The charging stations are discoverable and operable including advance reservations through the app. We are also getting diagnostics data and charging information to our central servers. All this is being enabled using IoT.”

Kirana Charzer can be installed anywhere including small shops, restaurants and homes with standard power supply. It is compatible with all 2-wheeler, 3-wheeler and 4-wheeler electric vehicles.

“We are providing AC charging technology with industrial standard sockets. Charging time will vary on the vehicles but scooters can charge up in 2 hours on average. However, we have seen people mostly coming to charge for half an hour to one hour at the most,” Sameer told pv magazine on the charging technology and time required.

Currently, the Kirana Charzers have been launched without solar option in order to keep the initial costs low. However, FAE Bikes founders intend to add the option once the EV market picks up.

“Solar connection will make the electricity we provide much more cleaner. However, we are not integrating it immediately as it will add on to the cost and decrease the adoption. Once EV adoption increases we will provide the solar option as well,” said Sameer.

Significantly, “Kirana Charzer is by far India’s cheapest charging station which allows the owner to earn 100% revenue from EV charging. Existing solutions are very expensive and hence, even after incentives, only governments and big companies are able to install them.”

FAE Bikes, which has already received orders for 470 units in pilot stage itself, plans to install one lakh charging stations in 2020.

“We have been in the EV domain and realized that EVs cannot become mainstream until charging infrastructure is present. There is an urgent need for millions of charging stations in India. We want to do our part in growing the ecosystem and plan to install one lakh charging stations in 2020. In the pilot stage, we have received orders for 470 charging stations,” said Sameer, while launching the charging station at international mobility event MOVE 2020 in London.

FAE Bikes is a prominent electric scooter startup set up by IITians and NITians which has been funded by investors in India, Europe, and the USA, as also the Government of Karnataka. The company has partnered with EV manufacturers Hero Electric and Jitendra EV Tech and will provide free subscription for their users in Charzer app for 60 days.

“Charging stations are the petrol pumps of the future and we want the common man to benefit from it instead of the select few. Real scale and adoption can only happen if the general public gets involved in setting up the charging infrastructure. We have designed Kirana Charzer keeping these issues in mind,” said Sameer.

Co-founder Dheeraj Reddy, who was also present at the event, informed that the installations will begin from March this year.