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Govt. working to soon launch “Super App” for electric vehicles: report

Govt. working to soon launch “Super App” for electric vehicles
Better infrastructure for electric vehicles and this move to launch a “Super App” to provide all EV-related services under one umbrella comes at a time when there is a seemingly gradual rise in the demand for these vehicles.

 

The government of India is working to soon launch a “Super App” which will work as a one-stop source for information related to electric vehicles and will provide details ranging from the location of charging stations to their availability to tariffs and much more.

 

Convergence Energy Services Limited (or CESL), a subsidiary of the Power Ministry’s Energy Efficiency Services Limited (or EESL), is jointly working with the central government to develop the master app. The CESL confirmed the development of the same on Twitter.

 

“Need to charge your #EV? We will soon launch a mobile app that offers #EVusers, a streamlined charging experience by providing info on charger availability & tariffs and allowing users to make and change reservations at nearby stations,” according to a Tweet.

 

 

The master app, which will likely go live in the coming four to six weeks, will reflect information shared by Original Equipment Manufacturers (or OEMs), and enhance visibility and traffic at private charging points, the Economic Times reported citing CESL Managing Director Mahua Acharya. Electric vehicle owners will get peace of mind knowing that they can readily access information and make reservations at nearby stations if they need to charge their vehicles on the go, Mahua added.

 

She emphasized the need for an extensive network of EV charging points at strategic locations that are safe, well-lit as well as covered, and where EV owners can top up their vehicles within an hour.

 

Better infrastructure for electric vehicles and this move to provide all EV-related services under one umbrella comes at a time when there is a seemingly gradual rise in the demand for these vehicles over the last couple of years. This will not only make EVs more affordable but also aid in their quicker adoption, even for long-haul travel.

 

But what exactly is a super app?

 

A super app is a consolidated platform where companies provide a slew of products and services. One similar initiative, called the e-AMRIT (Accelerated e-Mobility Revolution for India’s Transportation), was launched by NITI Aayog, the country’s public policy think tank, in July for creating awareness about electric mobility in the nation. A combined initiative between NITI Aayog and the UK Government, e-AMRIT, aims to serve as a ‘one-stop site’ to provide all the information related to the adoption of electric vehicles in India.

 

Another well-renowned example of a super app is China’s WeChat, which initially started as an instant messaging platform and later became a super app following the expansion and diversification of the company’s services to payments, mobility, shopping, food ordering, etc. According to a report by Y-combinator, WeChat has 889 million active monthly users, who use the app for an average of more than 50 minutes, and 9-to-11 separate times, per day. This is equivalent to the “combined time” users spend across a portfolio of Facebook apps, including Instagram, Facebook, and Facebook Messenger, daily, the report added.

 

Back to EVs, late last month, Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport & Highways, said that over 13 lakh electric vehicles are registered in India. Gadkari added that 2,877 public EV charging stations have been sanctioned in 68 cities in the country and 1,576 EV charging stations across nine expressways and 16 highways under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (or FAME) Phase-II scheme.

 

Hence, in an environment of rising demand for EVs and existing examples for a master app, it would be noteworthy to watch how much of its purpose India’s “Super App” will be able to serve!

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