Five days to go and we were grossly under prepared. We basically had 2 or 3 contacts and hoped to charge our Electric Cars.
It was underwhelming. We needed to do more.
And then, out of nowhere, the nice people of ZeroBill stepped in and took the task of installing community charge points to the next level!
It was Monday (11, Feb) evening and myself along with the PluginIndia team where staring at the ReChargeIndia map wondering about the locations of our charge points for our Recce drive in electric cars from Delhi to Dehradun.
The participants in this recce drive/rally are
And we have Farah, Abhishek and Raphae from PluginIndia who will document and assist them.
Our idea was to travel from Noida directly to Muzzafarnagar, where there is a Mahindra Dealership and then charge at Roorkie at a hotel and then head to Dehradun.
But we felt this was not enough. Technically, the Mahindra Electric Cars can do this 230 km trip from Noida to Dehradun by charging twice.
But we felt that, we had to create more create community charge points and truly electrify this route!
For example non Mahindra Electric Cars and Electric two wheelers can't charge at Mahindra dealer at Muzzafarnagar.
We need to create more open community charge points.
We don't have the man power nor the contacts,
how do we do this?
As it has always been the case, with PluginIndia, the universe shows the way.
I would recommend checking out their website. Some of their combo Wind-Solar power generation systems, Wind-Solar street lights really do have a lot of potential, especially for apartment dwellers, factories etc
What i quickly learnt was that, ZeroBill was more of a technology company with a passion for creating alternative energy solutions blended with technology and data science.
Mr Manish also said they are working on an affordable AC Charging solution for the Indian market.
He also said he has a team in Meerut, UP, which is around 55 km from Noida.
That got my mind racing. I was like - "Can you help us with contacts at Meerut and surrounding areas!"?
And turned out Mr Manish has contacts and was ready to setup community charge points along the route.
So on Tuesday morning i sent a mail to Manish.
So Mr Manish mobilized his team, many of them who were part of Meerut Makers community which makes latest technologies and tools accessible to individuals who are passionate about doing something for science.
Mr Pranjal Yadav who works for ZeroBill from Meerut and his team started visiting businesses in the following locations
- Highway between Meerut and Muzaffarnagar
- Small towns between Roorkie and Dehradun
The product that is being installed is a smart socket called the ZeroBill ONEPLUG.
This is a 15 Amp 3 Pin socket with IOT features and has inbuilt metering.
It may look like a plain vanilla socket but it is smart enough to communicate with your vehicle and serves accordingly. The salient feature of ONEPLUG is one patent pending technology to determine the accurate charging time for your planned destination.
The team just does not install the socket let go. They also test it by sending loads of 3 kw for 15 minutes or more and observe the stability. The team faced teething troubles in Roorkie for some reason. Some locations (businesses) had low voltage, some had high voltage issues (over 20V). Some places had poor earthing. Its going to be touch and go here!
For the rally, the socket will just enable us to charge, as the team has limited time testing the smart features.
The following features will be updated in all these charge points later.
- Vehicle aware charging
- Cloud connectivity
- Mobile app triggered charging and payment
- Failed charging alerts
- Green point and carbon credit scoring
Due to the incredible efforts by the ZeroBill team, we now have an electrified Delhi - DehraDun highway.
The following community charge points supported by ZeroBill are available.
- Meerut Bypass - 1
- Meerut City - 2
- Namaste Midway - 1
- Roorkie Hotel - 1
- Quantum University - 1
Team PluginIndia are grateful for the hard work and investment done by ZeroBill. Their dedication to technology and EV's shows in the swift implementation and joyful attitude. This is true Maker's spirit.
We hope we can give them lots of test data as we use their plugs. This will enable them to refine and update their ONEPLUG product, as they release it to the market in the coming months.
We have updated the locations of these charge points in our ReChargeIndia mobile app. Just update your database and you will have the latest data.
Watch this space and our YouTube channel for more information on how the recce drive/rally went!