Thursday, 11 May 2017

From ELON to ION

A news report in  Hindustan Times ( 11 May ) reads :

“ Ather Energy plans to clone Tesla’s charging biz model “

Under this plan, Ather Energy ( Bangalore based manufacturer of electric 2 wheelers ), plans to install charging stations at malls, cinemas, offices and business parks

Just like TESLA which has put up ( mostly in USA / Europe ), 5400 Supercharger Stations and 9000 “ Destination Charging Connectors that replicate the convenience of home charging by providing hotels, resorts, and restaurants with Tesla wall connectors “

But Indian Electricity Act says  :  Sorry ! You cannot sell electricity !

So the plan hinges on changes being effected to the Electricity Act 2003 , even as Ather Energy’s letter travels from PMO to DIPP to Department of Heavy Industries to Ministry of Power  !

Under the Act , an individual or a private Institution cannot sell electricity unless one obtains a discom license to distribute power, from a competent State Government Authority

I am confused !

Already now , many homes who have installed “ Reverse Metering “ arrangement for their roof-top solar-panel generated electricity , are “ feeding “ power into the State Grids . May be that is not a “ sale “ but a “ barter “ ?  Without paying GST ?

And already from this month , Tesla has started selling Solar Roof-Top Tiles , for delivery around the World . I have no doubt that millions of Indians will start installing these tiles on their roofs / terraces , because :

·         These will be cheaper than current clay tiles

·         They are more efficient ( in conversion of solar Energy ) than PV solar panels

·         They come with guarantee of “ Infinity Years “

·         They are unbreakable and look much better

Expect these households to “ sell “ their surplus electricity to their neighbours  !

Or get a Auto-Garage to fix these tiles on the roof of their cars to continuously charge their EV car’s Li-ion battery , ( ala ISRO-designed EV ) !

Imagine !  No need for any EV Battery Charging Station !

Those having any doubts ( re Indian ingenuity / innovation ) , should read following news ( Economic Times / 11 May ) , re Mumbai based Start Up, “ ION Energy “ :

“ ION Energy specialises in creating a layer of infrastructure to enable the adoption of electric vehicles in India

It leverages proprietary enhancements to the Lithium ion tech in its energy storage systems ( - ala Tesla’s POWERWALL  ? )

“ We are an energy storage company working on two broad principles ,

·          first is decoupling of energy storage systems from their applications

·          the  other being standardization of design such that energy storage systems can be used across a variety of applications interchangeably  “

said Akhil Aryan , founder of ION Energy .


I suspect that Akhil’s vision is to get anyone and everyone , to not only generate Solar Power but to store it and “ sell “ it ( - to anyone and everyone ? )

Why not , when the RAW MATERIAL ( sunlight ) costs ZERO ! And " Manpower Cost " is negligible !

Decoupling “ millions of houses from State Electrical Grid Supply  ?  You bet !

And , let us not forget the praise that Shri Narendra Modiji heaped on illiterate village woman , Noor Jehan of UP , in his “ Man Ki Baat “ ( Nov 2015 )

She put up a small workshop to assemble lanterns which can be re-charged using Solar Power . She rents out these lamps for Rs 100 per month

When the lamp gets dis-charged , villagers brings it to Noor Jehan who re-charges using her solar panel power , for Rs 3-4 !

Is she “ Selling “ electricity ?  It is time for a thorough re-vamp of our Electricity Act

And as for that 90 page , “ National Electric Vehicle Policy “ document which NITI Aayog has prepared in consultation with Rocky Mountain Association and likely to release today or tomorrow , policy recommendations in respect of Vehicle Charging Infrastructure may already be rendered “ Out-dated “ by ELON and ION !


12  May  2017


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