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Published on: July 25, 2023, 10:06 a.m.
Statiq offers charging and more
  • Statiq is making rapid moves with consistently increasing charging points offerings in different segments

By Ritwik Sinha. Consulting Editor, Business India

At about 12-15 km away from its headquarters at Gurgaon’s most prestigious Cyber City address, you can read the signs of what Statiq (the charging station start-up) intends to do. At a land parcel next to a metro station in Dwarka in Western Delhi, it is setting up an advanced charging station (with nearly half-a-dozen charging points) exclusively for Uber cabs, which will become operational soon.

 However, when you engage the company’s top brass to understand the key aspects of their operations, a common theme that emerges from their statements is that the start-up, which is today counted in the front row of charging stations infra in the country, is actually driven by a charger plus model. It has other critical pieces related to the clean mobility business, which are all in a nascent stage but promising to grow exponentially in the years to come.

“Our goal extends beyond simply installing charging stations; it encompasses creating a sustainable future that prioritises environmental stewardship and energy efficiency. Electric vehicles are the key to unlocking a cleaner and greener world, and we are committed to being at the forefront of this revolution,” says Akshit Bansal, Founder & CEO of the firm which has established numerous collaborative deals with well-known companies and agencies that are leading stakeholders in the e-mobility space.

Market equation

It is no secret to anyone that for India, which is committed to significantly enhance the share of electric vehicles to 30 per cent of the total vehicular units plying on the roads, putting up charging stations or charging points of varying capacity, is a major challenge. In India, the surge in electric vehicles as witnessed in recent years has mostly been led by the two- and three-wheelers.

According to a recent report by the energy sector think tank CEEW, the energy demand from these two segments alone would be humungous. “The on-road vehicle stock for EV two-wheelers would be around 64 million, and the stock for EV three-wheelers would be around 3.5 million. This would result in electricity demand of around 720,000 tonnes of oil (8.3 TWh) from two-wheelers and 454,000 tonnes of oil equivalent (5.2 TWh) from three-wheelers in 2030,” says a senior analyst of the think tank. Add the possible additions from passenger cars and commercial vehicles, and the picture attains an epic scale.

According to a recent report by a noted research agency, India will need over 300,000 public charging stations if EV adoption actually touches the targeted 30 per cent level. It would mean a major scaling up vis-à-vis the current level of about less than 15,000 charging points (all inclusive). Here, it is important to understand the difference between a charging point and charging station. As per a Niti Aayog report, charging stations refer to high-power EVSE with multiple charging guns.

Charging points refer to normal power EVSE that can be accessed by a portable charging cable. According to the report, while the initial deployment of public charging infrastructure in India focused on charging stations, it is increasingly evident that most public charging needs can be served by a densely distributed network of charging points. Currently, you may even come across industry stakeholders loosely referring to charging points as charging stations.

  • Bansal: for a greener world

    Bansal: for a greener world

Talk to anybody in the marketplace to name the key players who are making moves in the EV charging space, and you will find Statiq’s name mentioned along with other key players like Tata Power and Fortum. And Statiq is broadly seen as an entity that is making rapid moves with consistently increasing charging points offerings in different segments.

“The total size is still quite small. There are about 13,000-14,000 charging points in the country today, and about 7,000 points in 60 cities have been contributed by us,” says Raghav Arora, Co-founder & CTO. Earlier this year at the grand Auto India show held at Greater Noida Expo, Statiq had grabbed attention by announcing a target of installing 20,000 charging units across the country by the end of next year.

Full stack offering

But the company, which was formed as recently as 2019 (the founders are from electrical and IT engineering backgrounds), claims to have significantly diversified and grown pillars other than the obvious signposts of charging points or charging stations. “We do it all – we make EV electrical chargers (AC/DC hardware), we also make the software for the mobile application, and then we also create our own network. We are an end-to-end EV charging solution stack company. All three go hand in hand,” explains Arora.

Of the most visible feature – setting up charging stations – the company claims to have set up 1500 DC chargers which are fast chargers. Its AC charging profile comprises various capacity categories – 3.34, 7.4, and 11 kilowatts. “In North India, we have electrified major highways such as Delhi-Jaipur, Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar, and Delhi-Shimla. We also have a solid network of EV chargers in South India and West India, including Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, and Mumbai. Currently, we are in the process of installing both fast and slow EV chargers in Tier II and Tier III cities to further expand our network,” emphasises Bansal.

One could well wonder – despite being just a start-up – what makes Statiq a promising player in a new space where massive scaling up will be the defining factor in the not-so-distant future? The answer probably lies in a spate of collaborations, strong funding support and a potential strategic partnership with global oil giant Shell Corporation through its financial arm, Shell Ventures.

“We have got 20 angel investors, and Shell Ventures is a major partner. In 2020, we had raised $25 million from Shell, which is one of the largest rounds in the e-mobility space in the world,” Arora points out. The 200-plus employee firm has raised close to $30 million so far, and the backing from a firm like Shell has definitely put it on a higher plank to be noticed and counted. Association with Shell Ventures is also expected to help the firm in finding markets overseas for its products and solutions.

“We plan to ship out technology to international markets. Shell will launch products based on our technology in countries like Oman and Indonesia. We are looking at MENA and South East Asian markets. We have two design patents for our charger, and we have filed a patent for our software technology as well,” points out a senior official of the company.

  • Arora: we do it all

    Arora: we do it all

The company, meanwhile, is also trying to make preliminary moves in the residential charging segment, which is expected to become a vibrant pillar in the charging business in the medium to long run when EV adoption begins to pick up scale. And to make the business viable, Statiq is looking at additional avenues to make the it sustainable at this stage.

“Initially it was just for brand building. Earlier people were not using it in their apartments because there were not many cars. RWAs did not want to put money in them, as they did not expect a return. But we have added a 55-inch advertisement display on chargers, and the game seems to have flipped. The RWAs are showing an inclination to buy them because now revenue has to be made from advertisements,” Arora points out. Statiq has made around 200 residential units EV-ready in NCR and is confident to expand this base in other cities.

Push from Collaboration

The level of engagements which Statiq has made, especially in the last one year, with other leading stakeholders clearly reflects that it has gone beyond the proof of concept stage. And that the firms – public or private – collaborating are increasingly finding Statiq a reliable partner. For instance, in early April, Statiq reported bagging a contract from HPCL, one of the government’s Maharatna PSUs, to install over 500 chargers for them at their outlets spread across the states of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal.

While over 400 chargers will be of 3.3 kw capacity each, a few more than a hundred chargers will be of 7.7 kw capacity each. In a similar deal with petroleum giant Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) signed late last year, the PSU agreed to buy 18 new Statiq chargers to set up across the country at prime locations.

And there are more prestigious names which have shown confidence in collaborating with Statiq while pursuing their objective to play a vibrant role in promoting e-mobility in some way or the other. Leading automobile firms like Mahindra have forged an e-mobility partnership with Statiq wherein the alliance between the two companies will provide EV users a robust, accessible, affordable, and reliable mobility network across the country.

The two companies will also collaborate on various e-mobility tech integration projects, going forward. The company had earlier initiated TSEV, an all-purpose app for EV users and buyers in Telangana. The functional app, which is dubbed as a white-label solution, provides a single-point interface for not only EV owners looking to recharge their EVs but also those intending to purchase a new EV in the state. In effect, the app also doubles up as an e-commerce platform for the sale of EVs in the state.

As an analyst points out, what we have seen in EV charging and other allied services so far could just be the teaser pointing at the possible big picture which will gradually evolve in the years to come. And some of the names which have emerged so far as potential leaders are probably in the mood to make quick moves.

Tata Power, for instance, plans to expand its EV Charging points to over 25,000 in the next 5 years. A company release says it has installed more than 40,000 home chargers, over 4,000 public and semi-public charging points, and 250 bus charging points so far and is present in more than 500 cities.

  • Statiq plans to set up 20,000 charging stations by the end of next year

    Statiq plans to set up 20,000 charging stations by the end of next year

Driven by the ‘sustainable is attainable’ initiative, the company, in terms of expanding its charging points network, is aggressively aligning with states and even local municipal bodies. Fortum Charge & Drive India, another promising player in the fray, has recently unveiled a new brand identity – GLIDA, to underline its large-scale designs for the business.

“The rebranding is rooted in our purpose to lay a strong foundation for the rapid integration of electric mobility into the mainstream keeping the best interest and value proposition for customers in mind,” a senior official of the company commented. Having made its foray into the charging space in 2017, the company has built a profile of 450 charging stations across 15 states.

Statiq officials too are convinced that they have now found momentum to make a bigger mark as the sector further expands on a consistent basis in the coming years. Setting up 20,000 charging stations by the end of next year, of course, is the immediate big milestone the company is aiming for. “Of the 20,000 units target – 40 per cent will be through collaborations which we have signed,” says Arora. The company’s top brass is, however, reluctant to share hard financial numbers even as they do not hesitate to add that the next funding round is going to happen soon.

“We are eyeing a fresh round in the next 9-10 months,” Arora says, though he refuses to indicate the possible ticket size. But company officials do affirm that their specific plan is ready to be implemented. “We have 60kw and 120kw DC chargers which are fast. But the battery size is now increasing, and for that, we will upgrade to 180 and 240kw capacity categories. We are also trying to integrate renewable storage systems with our chargers. Shipping more overseas will become a priority,” says a senior official of the company. The message is clear: e-mobility’s future offerings will focus more on qualitative elements.

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