There are many startups in the electric vehicle space focusing on the drive system and vehicle integration. The company I work for focuses on designing and manufacturing of battery systems. Plugging in my company website (www.octillion.us).
But very few companies are in the market focusing on innovation in electric vehicle charging. In the USA the condition of infrastructure is improving. But US has a different challenge that distance between places is large and daily driving distance is higher than other countries. This necessitates more charging stations and high power charging to cater to the large geographic footprint.
Europe and emerging countries like India and China have some advantage as the population density is high and average driving distance is small. Smaller driving distance directly relates to smaller battery packs and smaller charge times.
In India electricity charging infrastructure remains the largest hurdle in deploying large number of electric vehicles. In cities where electric vehicles make most sense, the charging infrastructure is non existent and difficult to implement. Failure of earlier electric bikes was partly because of lack of charging infrastructure. Mahindra is not able to sell more Reva cars because people don’t have a clear use case. How they will integrate vehicle charging time in their daily life is a difficult question they are struggling with and EV companies are not particularly helpful. For example a person living in a high density urban area where EV makes the most sense, can not charge the car or ebike unless there is an arrangement at his high rise. Unless we make a policy to install common electric vehicle charging station for high rise buildings, the adoption of EV in urban area will be a challenge.
So we as an electric vehicle proponents have to push the government to commit funds for charging infrastructure. Without that, the next wave of electric vehicles will also face similar challenges as the last one. Let us start a petition to address lack of public EV charging stations. Govt has control of most of the petrol pumps in the country and easiest way is to deploy 5 charging stations per petrol pump. This can never happen in cities in US or Europe as petrol companies are private and vehemently oppose the electric vehicle movement, but in India, the government can easily direct HPCL, BPCL and Indian Oil to do so. I think this is a great opportunity to promote and facilitate electric vehicle infrastructure.
India like China has to view electric vehicles as a national security priority. India cannot forget how in the past it had to compromise on national security because of lack of oil supplies. So it is very important that we move away from gasoline cars and buses. New government is trying to take holistic approach to energy and transportation need, so hopefully we see some progress in the critical charging infrastructure space.