Solar energy–based EV charging: a pilot and techno-economic study

India has 21 of the 30 cities with the worst air quality in the world. The transport sector is a major contributor (40%–80%) to air pollution in the cities. Hence, decarbonising the transport sector with the deployment of electric vehicles (EVs)is a crucial step in mitigating air pollution. Running an electric vehicle in the USA leads to a greater reduction in CO2 emissions than running it in India since the grid energy (used by the EV) in India is predominantly generated using coal. Therefore, the renewable energy mix of grid electricity becomes essential in enabling green mobility in the truest sense. The Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy’s (CSTEP’s) pilot project at the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) Corporate Office premises aims to demonstrate this concept of using a clean source of energy (solar) for charging EVs. The system design for the pilot project consists of a power conversion unit (PCU), solar rooftop photovoltaic (SRTPV) panels, a lithium-ion battery bank, and an EV charger as the main components. An intelligent computing unit in the PCU commands the energy flow across these components to maximise the generated solar energy for self-consumption.