Despite the growing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs), there is a glaring gap between EV adoption rates and the development of charging infrastructure, particularly in residential gated communities. This gap hinders the ownership of EVs, as residents are often deterred by the lack of accessible charging options in their neighbourhood. The sluggish pace of charging infrastructure development not only hinders individual convenience but also lowers the chances of achieving clean mobility goals.

Developing adequate EV charging infrastructure in residential areas, especially in gated communities, has several benefits, including economic and operational. Home charging or when a private charging point is allowed in a gated community, is not only convenient for EV users but also cheaper in most cases as electricity tariffs are lower than the price paid by consumers to charge their EVs at public charging stations.

However, while there is much emphasis on building public charging stations in India, there is little discussion on addressing challenges in setting up home charging points. Setting up a home EV charging point involves navigating diverse residential community by-laws, in addition to bearing extra installation costs.

Diverse challenges

EV users and potential buyers face challenges of varying degrees in installing home charging points in Indian cities. While the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and the Central Electricity Authority have issued guidelines for establishment of EV charging infrastructure, several State governments are yet to adopt those standards.

The lack of clarity on charging standards/laws and electrical infrastructure inadequacies exacerbate challenges in installing home charging points. Additional challenges include:

Lack of awareness/guidelines: Many residential communities don’t allow installation of EV charging points in residents’ dedicated parking slots for fear of safety, lack of adequate electrical wiring/infrastructure nearby, or simply the lack of awareness.

Opposition from non-EV users: Many residential communities require electrical infrastructure upgrades to install EV charging points on their premises. This may become an additional financial burden for residents who are not opting for EVs, leading them to oppose any infrastructural upgrades.

Complex electricity tariff structures: Several gated residential communities have complex electricity connections and billing structures, with residential welfare associations (RWAs) playing an intermediary role in billing.

Developing home charging solutions requires coordination between several actors, including government entities (such as the CEA and the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE)), State departments and agencies (such as the urban development department and Discoms), RWAs, charge point operators (CPOs), vehicle manufacturers, and EV users.

The following are some steps that various actors can take to expedite deployment of EV charging points in residential communities:

State nodal agencies should hold awareness campaigns to educate RWAs on EV charging safety standards and the benefits of electric mobility.

In addition to slow private charging points, fast chargers may be set up in a semi-public mode (common areas of gated communities ) by CPOs.

Partnerships may be encouraged among vehicle manufacturers, CPOs and RWAs to set up charging points in gated communities.

State governments must make it mandatory for under- construction/new properties to future-proof parking slots. This will ensure that charging points can be easily installed in them or semi-public fast chargers set up in common areas.

Konda is Energy Specialist, India Mobility and New Energy, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, and Karuturi is Lead – Centre for Clean Mobility, OMI Foundation