HoEV - Raj Pathare
I am a resident of Mumbai and I have been in the solar business for the last 5 years. My nature of business is truly inclined by my love for sustainability, which has also directly influenced the purchase of my first EV, Tata Nexon which I bought in December 2020.
I am quite passionate about energy saving and understand the harsh reality that fossil fuel is a major factor in pollution and CO2 emissions causing alarming climate change. The more I understood this, the more persuaded I got to replace my diesel and petrol vehicles with an EV. Although I am currently using it mostly for city driving, I have also driven my EV from Mumbai to Goa, Mumbai to Pune and Mumbai to Alibaug.
My biggest concern, just as any EV owner in India has, is that of limited options of charging stations. Whenever I travel to Alibaug, I usually return in the same single charge. I generally charge my vehicle at home, which takes upto 8 hours to charge 90%.
I stumbled upon the goEgo Charge Park on my way from Mumbai to Goa, which was a blessing since it offers fast charging solutions. The lack of charging infrastructure on the highways especially is a very big risk for travellers, and in my case, my journey from Mumbai to Goa took me 2 days because of this very concern. I started from Mumbai at 11 am and stopped at the Charge Park at 4 pm, followed by Satara, Kolhapur, Belkari and finally reached Goa, after stopping 3-4 times to charge my vehicle.
The major drawback is the travel time which should ideally take 10 hours, instead it took me 2 days to reach Goa. And as a businessman, I require to travel very frequently for business trips, hence it is crucial that the number of charging stations need to be increased. Within the city my travel is not more than 10 kms, and sometimes short trips like Palgarh which is 130 kms away, are usually covered in a single charge. I have come home with 15% battery by travelling 260 kms at a stretch.
My suggestion as an EV owner and a user is to have a single consolidated app to locate charging stations, with a single payment option. This is genuinely required since I have almost 4-5 different apps for charging and I have money put in each wallet, which is not being used. Linking Paytm or similar platforms will be very convenient and handy, rather than wallets which have money lying in it. As a user, this would be very helpful.
It is also important to note that charging the battery is very important for an EV since it has to be at a constant speed and braking and accelerating too much can contribute to energy loss.
My experience with goME app was very good, since it has a feature to locate and reserve charging slots, which I stumbled upon especially after my recent experience in Pune and Satara where I had to wait for 2 hours only to find an available charging station.
Overall, I am very happy with my EV, and I am very much looking forward to a larger network of charging stations.