With growing environmental concerns, electric vehicles (EV) are now quite more in focus than ever before. Industry estimates peg the present number of EVs at approximately a million , out of which around 99.5% of EVs are two-wheelers and three-wheelers. Though clean mobility is slowly gaining momentum, there are variety of hurdles within the way of faster adoption. Range anxiety is one among them. “EVs cannot become a mainstream transportation option until we’ve an in depth public charging infrastructure,” says Sameer Ranjan Jaiswal, co-founder and CTO at Bengaluru-based Charzer, an enterprising venture during this niche sector.
“Charzer was started with an aim to deal with this problem. we would like to convert the neighbourhood kiranas, cafes, restaurants, malls and even tea shops into EV charging stations, thereby creating a huge EV charging station network for the buyer ,” he says. consistent with global standards, there should be a public charging station for each 10 electric vehicles. As per conservative growth estimates (CAGR of 43.13%), by end of 2022, there’ll be a minimum of 5.3 million EVs which need 5,30,000 public charging stations during which quite 95% are going to be Type 2 AC charging stations (Kirana Charzers).
“We are within the EV domain with our previous startup FAE Bikes since 2016 even when EV wasn’t a buzzword,” says Jaiswal. Talking about this scenario, he says that the sole thanks to solve the charging infrastructure problem is through a huge and distributed network and this can’t be achieved without public participation. “This was the genesis for Charzer,” says Jaiswal, the opposite two co-founders being Yugraj Shukla and Dheeraj Reddy.
The company has developed its product—Kirana Charzer—keeping India’s conditions and infrastructure in mind. “Kirana Charzer may be a compact, zero-maintenance and IoT enabled charging station which will be installed by small shops and individuals enabling them to earn a further source of income. It’s a compact solution in order that it is often installed anywhere with a basic electricity connection, plus the hosts needn’t make any infrastructural changes to line it up,” explains Jaiswal.
Charzer has removed tons of fluff which is present within the usual charging stations without compromising on functionalities or safety to bring down the value to `15,000,” says Jaiswal. “We moved tons of smartness from the OS to our proprietary communication algorithm. thanks to this, we’ve been ready to remove all fixed monthly costs and our hosts don’t incur any expense when the charging station isn’t being utilised. Hosts have the pliability to line their own availability and pricing,” he adds.
A host has got to purchase the Kirana Charzer from the corporate and it’ll be made visible on the Charzer app. “We take a 20% margin on the transactions that happen through our platform. Our hosts are often anyone on the road including kirana stores, grocery stores, food joints, restaurants, malls, and the other retail establishments,” he adds. An EV owner can download the Charzer app on his phone. The app may be a single-stop solution for his charging requirements. Using the app, he can locate the nearby charging stations, reserve a squeeze advance, navigate, pay-for, and operate the charging stations.
Kirana Charzer was launched in February 2020 at MOVE 2020, London. Since then, it’s received over 2000 pre-orders from over 60 cities and towns from across India. Kirana Charzer is already installed at all sorts of locations. The locations include battery shop, xerox shop, sticker printing shop, mechanics, vehicle dealerships, bakeries, gyms, cafés, pizzerias, malls, resorts, he says. “We have started getting excellent early usage from 2-wheelers, 3-wheelers. Even car owners are using our platform although the numbers are relatively lesser. Our current monthly subscriber base is quite 350 customers and growing 40% MoM,” he says.
Charzer has raised seed investments from marquee angel investors across India and Europe. “We are looking to boost $3 million soon. With this, we decide to proportion to 10,000 charging stations and increase our presence to twenty major cities,” he says.