SemaConnect, a provider of electric vehicle amenities to the North American commercial, multifamily, and fleet market is working on plans to mark its debut in the Indian market. The company has reportedly sold more than 12,000 smart-charging stations in the US and Canada over the past 10 years. In recent times, Indian consumers are warming up to the idea of upgrading to electric vehicles (EVs) due to the low cost of ownership and rising environmental concerns. Although these are still early days for EVs in India, the company believes that the adoption of EVs will be rapid and will also require large-scale charging infrastructure in the country. The following are the findings based on our interaction with Prashant Radhakrishnan, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, SemaConnect Systems India Private Limited.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected lives around the world. The work from home set-up has temporarily delayed plans due to the lack of clarity on the current situation. As the vaccination process picks up speed, the company is optimistic about the future. In North America, the main market for the company, it has not witnessed any dramatic changes except for an increase in demand for fast chargers to residential real estate buyers instead of commercial real estate buyers.
SemaConnect supports the government’s FAME initiatives and recent developments. Additionally, many states have announced waiver of road tax along with incentives being provided in the form of lower GST. The company further believes that policy nudges on dedicated EV parking spaces in public as private spaces will further encourage the potential buyers. The company further encourages the setup of high-speed charging stations on intercity highways.
Low cost of ownership
The battery accounts for around 50 per cent of the total cost of an EV. Today, manufacturing EVs is far more affordable than they were a decade ago. The company states that 10 years ago a 1kWh battery cost over $1,500, and today that price is down to around $150. By 2023, the industry expects battery prices to hit the $100 mark per 1kWh. At this price point, it is believed that the difference in the capital cost of an EV and an ICE vehicle (petrol/diesel) will disappear.
Considering that the EV running and maintenance cost is 1/6 to 1/8 of the price of ICE vehicles, the overall cost of ownership will also be fairly low as compared to any other ICE vehicle.
SemaConnect plans for India
Apart from being known for its four-wheeler chargers, the company will introduce a ‘Made for India’ set of two/three-wheeler chargers in India by the end of this year. The company will leverage its experience and expertise in the industry and utilise its learnings from an advanced market like the US. The company will set up a design, technology, and manufacturing base in India to cater to the needs of the Indian market. The company expects to be seen as one of the front runners in India over the next few years.