Thesis: With a handful of countries like China dominating the global electrification supply chain, the electric-vehicle (EV) movement in India started out with building brands. Even though, in most cases, it amounted to mere assembling products using imported or off-the-shelf components—from hardware to software—top dollars were spent on creating memorable brands. Trust mattered more than technology, which is evolving, even now, at an incredible pace.
In such a flux, Ravikiran Annaswamy and Siddharth Sreenivasan, the founders of Numocity—a software-as-a-service (SaaS) firm specialising in EV-charging—came up with a counterthesis: create an identity by offering a white-labeled suite of software that’s designed to handle the end-to-end energy flow, from the grid to the vehicle.
Four-year-old Numocity’s first charging network went live in 2020. Since then, it claims to have garnered over 50% of India’s private charging infrastructure—or 60+ charge-point operators (CPOs)—on its platform. This includes two of the largest private networks owned by two diversified conglomerates in the country. (They declined to be named.) The company also powers the pan-India EV-charging network for the German luxury automaker BMW, LionCharge, and Zeon Charging, south India’s largest fast-charging-only network. Numocity is the destination-charging destination-charging Destination charging Destination charging is a term used for EV charging stations installed at places where people tend to spend a longer period of time, such as hotels or shopping malls infra provider for the Kerala State Electricity Board, even though the startup does not participate in governments’ charging tenders. Later in April, another German luxury carmaker (declined to be named) will launch its nationwide network using Numocity.
It operates networks in 12 countries, including Mexico, South Africa, Kenya, and US-territory Puerto Rico. It is currently laying out one of the world’s largest single-location network load management infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.
“It’s exactly like a telecom network, just replace data with energy”
An EV-charging network is like a telecom network; we provide pre-paid, post-paid, and roaming services.[India’s first roaming-charging roaming-charging Roaming-charging network A roaming-charging network is a group of EV-charging stations owned and operated by different companies, but are interconnected and allow users to charge their vehicles regardless of their location or the owner network was recently launched with an EV-cab-services provider, which declined to be named.]
The moment a charger is switched on, it gets connected to the network, and a back-end server controls what the charger does. This is like your phone. When you turn on the phone and see the network signal, you know you are connected to an Airtel or a Jio, and the telco has connectivity control on your device; it knows what is happening at your end.