Raphae from PluginIndia recently spoke to Mr Manish Agrawal, who along with his team has created affordable, safe charging equipment for all electric vehicles.
You can read the hardware and software features of the OnePlug AC Charger here.
In this section of the interview, we talk about the two public charging stations created by OnePlug, located in Delhi. He also speaks about the legal challenges involved in getting permissions and also Mr Manish answers questions from the EV Community.
So, Manish, it's fantastic to know that that all the hardware and all software that has been created by the OnePlug team is not a hypothetical or theoretical discussion.
This is something you have now. Charging equipment and software is actually production-ready. It's been used by more than 130 electric vehicles every day.
So, Manish, your team has set up OnePlug charging equipment at 2 locations in Delhi as far as I understand tell us about the choice of these locations Manish.
Where have you set these up?
So, because it was a pilot run so we wanted to do it in a place, there were a couple of criteria, one was where there was a demand from the people to use that because as you said that. What is the occupancy level? So we wanted to achieve an occupancy level of 80-90% so we have set it up in high-density e-rickshaw zones in Delhi, which are in the North-Eastern part of Delhi. so both these locations are in the North-Eastern parts of Delhi. There is an area called Shahadhara. They are near about in the vicinity of Shahadhara. 2 Big stations, one has about 50 charging stations/charging points. Each is a station. One has more than 85 charging stations. we are expanding and converting to Solar and all those kinds of things. So this is a continuous improvement that's happening in those two location.
So, mainly e-rickshaws are the customers for these charge locations, Let's assume that they are using 1 KW of power per charge, for 50 plugs, lets assume, may be you have 75 KW worth of power requirement. What challenges did you face when you were setting up this, as far as electricity board was concerned. And I know that you have gone through a very legal proper fashion to get this done. So what is the per unit rate that you were able to get for this setup, can you tell us about that Manish?
So Raphae you will be happy to know that ours probably the only and the 1st legally setup e-rickshaw charging station and we have gone through all the approvals. So people don't even know what kind of approvals are required. So we have taken this hard learning exercise. There are NOC to be solved, there are... To get a subsidy, there is an electricity unit if you are using it for an e-rickshaw charging, the unit rate is close to 4 Rs. GST and all that comes to 4.5Rs. That's the price the Delhi electricity board charges us. But then there is a lot of formalities, you need to have safe equipment. You need to take fire-safety norms. you need to fulfill all the fire-safety norms. you need to have... The business should be legally set up. Many requirements which a person has to do, go through and we did not go by the normal Indian practice of 'Chalta Hain', everything has been done properly., legally. One interesting anecdote I would like to share when there was a very recent fire incident in Delhi. There was a fire break out in one of the back factories, I wouldn't know what kind of factory was it. It was some kind of garment factory. There was a fire breakout and after that, Delhi Government found out that This person did not have the NOC. Then the immediate next target was all the e-rickshaw charging station. So, during the duration, ours was the only station that was operational because we had all the legal permissions, NOCs, and everything. So, this is just one of the anecdotes that what kind of risk this business has and how OnePlug can help you in elevating and removing. most of the risk a business can offer.
You have actually made a template and a model for others to follow. Manish, In the 1st location in Delhi, there are 50 AC OnePlugs, what is the revenue that is generated per day per charger and what is the profit per day per charger?
Yeh, this has been a very successful run for the company. We set up 2 charging stations, we learnt a lot of things. An average revenue per day per charger for a setup 50 would be close to 120 to 125 Rs. So that's an average revenue per day per charger. And our monthly revenue per day per charger will be closer to 3500 and upward. So for a set up of about 50 chargers the company has seen consistantly since October a revenue of more than 1.5 L per month expenses so that you can calculate the profit yourself. So, the expenses for this whole charging infrastructure, for the 50 chargers, your electricity bill will be somewhere around 24000-26000 Rs. Your rentals and employees salary if can remove it, you can expect to earn a profit of Rs. We have been earning a profit upward of 50,000Rs. So, 50-60,000 is the profit that comes from 50 charging points. Another charging points we have is a bigger one earns more profit because your salary expenses and rental expenses goes down. So the bigger you do you earn more profit.
Well, Manish, thats very interesting So, can individuals also, any electric car and any electric scooter owner come and charge?
It's a public charging station Both these locations are public charging stations. The only thing you have to be aware, beware of that these are almost utilized 100 %, so you may not get a vacancy. We are setting up more charging stations very soon. we will be rolling out more than 500+ charging stations in Delhi So the public has to wait a little bit till the time we add more charging stations.
That's great Manish, we hope you will share these locations on our REChargeIndia App so that people can see that there are this kind of charge stations available all around India.
Yeh, definitely I mean; last time when we set up 7 charging stations when we electrified the whole Delhi-Dehradun highway, we still get a lot of calls only through RechargeIndia App and we are very glad we are able to help those people. who are stuck and those who want to come from a long distance, and get stuck, they go to the RechargeIndiaApp, they find the charging station and they find it in working condition. So you guys have been doing tremendously amazing job to help the community.
Sure, Manish. Thank you so much
We also heard that you are working with other local partners in multiple cities like Jaipur and Agra etc. Is this some kind of franchise system that your company is accepting? Or tell us what are the cost involved if there is a franchise system and the requirements to be a OnePlug Partner?
So Raphae, we don't call it a franchise system.
We call it the partnership model where we are constantly looking for partners and they should have capabilities like, they should have prior experience of being involved in any kind of electrical business because the skills which are required for a local partner to support the other business owners would be to provide them with electrical support. That's the only requirement that it has apart from a small financial requirement which is not very huge. The other requirement that comes from the local partners is how we choose the local partner is from their commitment. This commitment is not in terms of time and money this commitment is in terms of setting up so many number of charging stations. For example, will take an example of Rajasthan. Rajasthan we identified a local partner who is setting up, who has agreed to set up or who has shown the willingness and then being committed to the idea of setting up 500 charging stations in one year. So, thats kind of commitment we look for from local partner and this 500 number is not constant. This number, we determine based on the possibility or the business potential that this one has to offer. For example, if in Bangalore, we are talking to a local partner the numbers there are very small. Like we are talking about 100 numbers that the partner would be setting it up in the 1st year. So the number differs and that's the requirement for a local partner and when you talk of the cost which is involved. So the cost, the total cost of setting up the committed charging station. This is not actually the cost. This is actually an investment. because those, our typical charging station gives an ROI or payback period of 7-8 months. In 7-8 months whatever the cost, the person or the investment the person has done in OnePlug it comes back and after that it becomes a continuous investment journey for his own commitment as well as he will also support other charging stations in the local area. So that's the kind of model that we follow. Its a partnership model not a franchise model.
Manish, for people who, for example, have a fleet of electric vehicles that they want to charge, like delivery vans or good carriers. Maybe those delivery scooters that are there, and they have a campus or a factory where they have vehicles need to be charged. Can OnePlug provide charging solutions to such a company? Do you have clients and what kind of such sort and what would be the process they will need to follow, the corporate clients?
So Raphae, we have a captive client. Their fleet operators, very big fleet operators. They already had a lot of fast chargers which are there on the road and they were planning to expand more, wanted to add more fast chargers, that was 1st requirement. The second was they wanted to process, and build a process around the slow charging method. The third was they wanted software that could manage the entire thing. That's where OnePlug fits, fitted very nicely into their eco-system, where we solve their problem of managing their fast-charging station, we also deployed their slow charging station which could now be controlled by their drivers by the App under the policy and also provided them a clean software which could talk to OCPP, through the OCPP to the existing chargers which they already had. Now, one point I missed earlier I was talking about how do we as a business owner, or when we talk about local partners, what does one partner get from OnePlug. So local partner gets access to the world-class charger, that's one thing. Because this is not for sale. What they pay is, they pay a very small amount of security deposit on a monthly fee that's all that they pay but they get access to a charging management software which will allow them to manage their entire charging-station because of the management of charging station is a big task. As I was saying earlier, so the software can help them manage their charging station coupled with their App so that any station. For example, if I am sitting in Delhi today, I can set up my charging business in Nagpur. I can set up the charging station in Nashik. Wherever you see an opportunity, I can go invest my money, set up a charging station monitor it remotely and manage it using the software so there is a lot of advantage that we give to the business owners that have access to lang and access to funds and the willingness to walk towards the EV infrastructure development.
Manish, now we have a few questions, the community at large has asked, we would like to put those across to you.
- Anubhab Khundu our Youtube channel follower asks the following
When will OnePlug come to other cities like Kolkata and small towns?
Yes Anubhab. So the process is very simple, we are very aggressively expanding our local partner network. So, our local partner, you will be happy to know for the North East region we already have a local partner. For the eastern region we are looking out for a local partner, but having said that OnePlug does not depend only on a local partner. when we started in Delhi we did not have a local partner. So, your feedback is well received. We would surely and definitely setup a few charging points in Kolkatta so that it can start helping the community users and create a demonstration model for the local partners to see how to operate and things like that so, thanks for your feedback and we will definitely try and enter Kolkatta soon.
- Kamlesh from PluginIndia -
I own an electric car and I would like to get OnePlug AC equipment to charge my car at home. What would it cost me?
Okay, so, Kamlesh this is a request which we have been getting from so many people as well, so what we have bought out is, we have bought a small version of our OnePlug stand-alone single system which would be given out to community users on monthly rental and the rental would be very low. Rather than buying the whole equipment the rental we are planning to keep for community members will be anywhere between 200-400 Rs based on how much time they are willing to share equipment with others. For example, if you would like to share it with other community members, your rental cost would go very low. We want actually the public charging infrastructure to grow and lot of people to get benefitted from this EV adoption. I will get back to you offline and how can you help us grow to serve the community.
- Sureshji from EV Community, Noida asks question
We have seen a 20 kW DC charging equipment costs between 2 to 5 Lakh Rupees. What is the cost of a 5 kW and 10 kW OnePlug DC charger?
Okay, So, as I said, we don't sell charger, we just give them, because the whole vision of the company is to, if the electric mobility has to increase, the chargers have to be more affordable, but unfortunately, the cost of the chargers cannot be bought down so we release, we are giving it out to fleet operators and to business owners for a small security deposit and then after that a monthly rental. For example, for a 5KW charger your security deposit can be anywhere between, based on the number of fast chargers you want, the security deposit could be anywhere between Rs 25000-50,000 that would be a security deposit and your monthly rental could be as low as Rs 2000 or so.
- Raphae from PluginIndia asks
How are you funded? Have you gone in for some venture capital?
Yeah, Raphae. Right now at the moment the company is self-funded. It has a very strong business model which is able to bootstrap, the company, And now we are in touch with lot of investors, we might accept some of the investment funding and for our growth in this scale. But right now we are self-funded and the company has been bootstrapped.
- Farah from PluginIndia asks -
How do you think the Pandemic affects the EV industry?
So, it's actually someone's loss someone's gain, that's an old saying I would say that the EV industry in India particularly has relied very heavily on Chinese imports which has downplayed a lot of Indian innovators who were trying to do so much of innovation things. for example, lot of people here who I know been creating batteries, they were creating BMC and they were creating the control systems, but when it comes to the market, they were not too many takers because people relied heavily on Chinese imports. Now we face the Pandemic and people have realized that the self-reliance is the best policy if an industry has to grow, India should move towards self-reliance. When it comes to EV we have not become a self-reliant nation. I wish every innovator the best of luck to create their homegrown solution and pitch it very hard to the market. show them the need for such reliance, I think the self-reliance has to increase and on the manufacturing side also get a better warranty, get better support so support the Indian innovators of using India products. That could be one part of how the Pandemic will affect the eV industry. A lot of homegrown solutions will come to the market. That's one part. The second part of it is, that people are seeing that EV industry, which is used for last-mile connectivity or Evs which are used for personal commuting, or for the public transport system like e-rickshaws and all that. Their growth will continue to grow because that is not a luxury buying. maybe in luxury buying there may be short time hull or something people may stop buying it because its a luxury buying but all the residential buying like e-rickshaws, or delivery vans or the delivery 2 wheelers or the cargos that will continue to grow. That's the second aspect of Pandemic that I see that will have an effect on the EVs. It's not just evs it should happen across all the transportation that luxury buying may get impacted. that's just speculation. The world has to see what happens.
That's a very positive view Manish, we hope that comes true that despite this difficult we hope to come out with flying colors. Also, EV users don't need to go to a petrol pump to fill up petrol that's one advantage of having an EV in this situation. Correct, yeh that can create even more social distancing and lead a self-reliant, isolated life even in case of a pandemic. Just the other side of the joke but yes I would also liek to take this opportunity to wish all the viewers best of health, stay home, stay healthy follow all the precautions that this pandemic does not affect, we can arrest this growth so that we can move on to the growth of electric vehicles and the business continuity continues very fast.
We really enjoyed talking with you and chatting with you about various aspects of your company, your chargers, and spaces technology being used to solve the problems that India has especially, rural India faces, that's something really mind-blowing, Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
Other OnePlug Links
QnA : OnePlug Charging Station Features - Affordable and Safe EV Charging
Delhi-Dehradun Electrified | Community Charge Points installed
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