Recently they have added DC Fast Charging Stations between Mumbai and Pune.
We speak to Mr Maxon Lewis on the work done so far and future plans.
Magenta Power is in the business of Clean energy generation, adoption and utilisation. Magenta Power’s EV business unit is focussed on setting up the EV charging ecosystem. In the EV ecosystem this is the other half which does not get it due attention and support and we are trying to change that. But we do not want to position ourselves as Charging Station installers and operators – that is one component of the charging infrastructure we are trying to address.
Q2) So Magenta Power will be a Charging Station Provider for India like say, ChargePoint or EcoTricity in Europe?
Yes. Magenta Charging Stations will operate under our registered Brand – ChargeGrid. This is to symbolize the network or grid of charging stations that we intend to setup across the country.
We believe that Magenta is doing some pioneering work in the EV space in its limited capacity. Not as much as the true pioneers like you PluginIndia has been doing. One among the first was the EV corridor on the Mumbai Pune Highway. We realised that Mumbai and Pune both have a considerable number of EV which are limited to travelling within the cities. Positive stories of pioneers like Kamlesh attempting to travel Mumbai Pune we believe needed a positive narrative for the EV community. It was time to get the EV on the highways which is the game changer. So we analysed the highways which are amenable to optimal take off for EV charging. And Mumbai Pune highway figured among the few on the top of our evaluation criterion. So we went ahead and set up a series of DC fast charging and AC charging points on the highway which now allow EV users (including us) to commute on the Mumbai Pune Expressway using their EVS.
But the work is not complete in its fullest sense. Given the response we intend to set up 2 more charging stations on this highway.
Q4) Building out EV charging infrastructure requires working with many different groups, from governments to utilities to manufacturers of charging equipment. How have you coped with these challenges?
Challenges is an understatement. Given the number of agencies involved, it took us a lot of effort and time to bring this all together. This became more complex because it was the first time something like this was imagined or conceived. Many in the government agencies were not aware of EV as a concept, so it had to start with education and awareness first. However we got good support from the State Government in brining these multiple agencies together.
Q5) Explain to our readers difference between Magenta’s ChargeIn and ChargeGrid technology that was unveiled in September.
ChargeIn is a brand we had trademarked and started operating our charging stations with. We still own that trademark. However, a few week’s into our inauguration, one of my acquaintances approached us and mentioned that he runs a non-aligned business under the same brand. Though law and regulations was in our favour, we decided a new concept should be bereft of any challenges and hence we invested in building an alternate Brand and Trademark. We did this change at a cost to us out of respect for the entrepreneurial spirit of the person who had already invested in Charge-In. All our new branding is under the Charge Grid name.
Q6) How does the roadmap look for Magenta in 2018 and early 2019?
Magenta Power will be installing close to 50 charging stations by March 2019. This will be a mix of DC and AC charging. We were waiting to get clarifications from the various agencies – Central and State wise and those elements are slowly but steadily unravelling. We believe what we are doing now are going to be the stepping stones for us and also for the entire EV community as a whole. But 2019 is going to be exciting with a lot more EV hitting the Indian roads. Given the sales cycle in the auto market, we believe Oct 2019 will be a game changer in the Indian EV journey.
We @ PluginIndia, wish you the best of luck and look forward to using your network.