Innovating for Clean Air: modelling EV charging infrastructure in India

To build on our work through the Innovating for Clean Air (IfCA) programme in Bengaluru to address the interrelated challenges of electric vehicle (EV) uptake and reducing air pollution, we have worked with the Sustainable Transport Lab team at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Connected Places Catapult (CPC) to develop a model to advise on the optimal location and size of charge points in the city of Bengaluru.

The challenge

Transportation is the fastest growing sector in India and is still mostly dependent on liquid fossil fuels, therefore contributing to global climate change. Private vehicles in India also contribute to noise, air and water pollution. The effects of local pollution disproportionately impact the health of marginalised and vulnerable groups such as women and children who walk or cycle along congested roads.

To combat air pollution the Indian Government has begun implementing ambitious policy for the electrification of transport. Some state Governments are also looking to become ‘EV hubs’ in a race to become the most advanced in terms of electrifying mobility.

However, the rollout is challenging, with differences between states in their ability, a lack of supporting regulation (e.g. interoperability standards) and typical consumer worries such as range anxiety and waiting times for charging influencing low consumer uptake.

Our solution

The model created by IISc, with support from Energy Systems and Connected Places Catapults, aims to benefit local stakeholders such as the local power distributor, BESCOM, to make low-regret choices on where to install EV charging infrastructure.

It represents a successful proof of concept that uses primary data collected from ~32 zones in Bengaluru by IISc earlier this year, in addition to samples of real grid data.

The India Electric Vehicle Opportunity: Market Entry Toolkit

The Connected Places and Energy Systems Catapults have also produced a Market Entry Toolkit to provide innovators with practical guidance on how to enter the Indian market.

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Project partners

Connected Places Catapult contributed expertise on traffic flow and behavioural modelling and provided feedback on the sampling methodology.

Energy Systems Catapult led on the creation of a grid impact module to help predict the impact on the grid of additional charge points.

The Sustainable Transport Lab team at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) constructed the model and collected primary data.

Urban Morph constructed a user interface for use by beneficiaries such as BESCOM, the local electricity distributor.

Readiness and Capacity Needs Assessment for Electric Vehicle Adoption in Indian Cities

Alongside this project, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) produced a report on the ambitions and challenges faced by four distinct Indian cities in rolling out EV infrastructure. Emphasising the interrelated systems nature of policy, regulation, environment, social and technological challenges, this report provides a valuable reference point for practitioners and colleagues involved in sustainable transport.

Read the report

Innovating for Clean Air

Led by Energy Systems Catapult and funded by UKRI, this project aimed to address the interrelated challenges of EV uptake and reducing air pollution in India.

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