Blockchain can transform Electric Vehicles into Energy Storage Devices – Jeetender Sharma

In Interviews, Technology

Okinawa Autotech Pvt. Ltd. is a 100% Indian electric two wheeler manufacturing company that was established in 2015 with a mission to create two wheelers that can drive our present towards a sustainable future. Okinawa promises to bring pioneering technology and the cutting edge designs for the endearing Indian consumer.

Their engineers work in a world class factory to build machines capable of leaving a mark. The factory facilities are under check every moment to ensure that technology & mother nature function together. Every Okinawa product goes through stringent durability and reliability tests, so the customers get a complete package of quality, comfort, style and eco-friendliness.

Jeetender Sharma is the Managing Director of Okinawa Scooters. After travelling the globe and studying different cultures, Jeetender realized that it’s the focus on the environment as a whole that place all developed countries ahead of other nations. The thought of making India as a leading manufacturer and exporter of Eco- friendly two wheeler became the foundation of Okinawa Autotech Private Limited- a company that believes that the power to change the world lies with us.

In an interaction with IncubateIND, Jeetender Sharma talks about the future of electric vehicles in India. Read on!

Tell us something about yourself and what does Okinava Scooters do?

The Electric Vehicle industry in India shows immense potential for growth but has long been struggling from setbacks such as outdated technology, subpar efficiency, higher costs and lack of appeal. The inception of Okinawa, therefore, was to pioneer a massive change in the country’s EV scenario and people’s perception towards it. We started with an extensive pan-India research and combined that with our state-of-the-art technological practices. This helped us bring out electric scooters that would suit the Indian commuter behavior while addressing the concerns of all the stakeholders that were involved throughout the Electric Vehicle supply chain.

Within a short span since our inception, Okinawa has managed to successfully carve a niche and establish its name as a key player in the Indian Electric Vehicle industry with a strong pan-Indian presence of 250+ dealers. We have achieved stellar milestones in this journey so far—from introducing our first Lead acid-operated e-scooter Ridge to launching Praise, a revolutionary first-of-its-kind EV in India that operates on Lithium-ion batteries. Further, Praise Li-ion achieved the stature of being the first electric scooter around the world to reach one of the highest scalable roads in Leh after scaling a distance of 1350 kilometers.

We have also succeeded in collaborating with government organizations such as Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and several new-age startups across the country to develop e-scooter fleets for connectivity. And through such developments, Okinawa is progressively paving its way to become the face of EV industry in India, marking India as a major contributor to the global EV industry.

Why are electric vehicles the future of transport in India and the world?

India is presently one of the fastest-growing large economies in the world. While this is a remarkable feat, it has come with a price. According to a 2018 WHO report, 19 out of the 35 most polluted cities in the world belong to India, with the capital New Delhi notoriously maintaining the top position since the last two years. It is a well-acknowledged fact that 50-90% of the urban population, especially in the densely-populated areas, is due to emissions from vehicles.

Electric vehicles have tremendous potential to revolutionize the way commuting takes place at present in India and across the world by not just being economically viable but also environmentally sustainable. This is evident from an observation made by Piyush Goyal, Minister of State for Power and Renewable Energy. According to his statement, switching entirely to electric vehicles may not just result in reduction of around 1 gigatonne of carbon dioxide emissions but also help India cut oil imports and save up to USD 330 billion by 2030. While the EV sector in India is still in its nascent stages, the masses have gradually begun warming up to it.

Supplemented by innovators, entrepreneurs and active government support such as the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme, the EV sector is progressively paving its way to make this mode the face of transport in India. As more and more countries are consciously taking initiatives to reduce dependence on conventional energy sources, adopting electric vehicles serves as one of the most basic steps towards contributing to a greener ecosystem. This is eventually leading to a paradigm shift, making electric vehicles the future of global transport.

How can Artificial Intelligence lead to more efficient electric vehicles?

At present, it has been observed that people using electric vehicles tend to scale shorter distances than their vehicle has the potential to per charge, in order to avoid running out of power. By incorporating Artificial Intelligence into the system and developing algorithms thus, one can gather data on factors such as the volume of traffic, weather conditions, driver behavior and tyre wear etc. to predict the amount of energy needed to complete the journey. This will help eliminate the commuter’s stress of not knowing whether they have enough charge available in their vehicle to complete their journey or not. In this way, Artificial Intelligence can help lead to better efficiency in electric vehicles.

How Big Data, IoT and Electric Vehicles can turn smart cities into smart societies?

In this era of ever-increasing urbanization and lack of resources to meet the demands, data-driven cities powered by IoT technologies will emerge as the solution. This approach will help benefit two of the most integral aspects of urban life: energy and transport. The unsustainable demand for conventional sources of energy will be addressed through IoT-enabled improved energy systems that will revolutionize the way energy has been procured, distributed, stored and consumed.

Moreover, the future ecosystem of electric transport innovated by a vast amount of analyzed information and IoT technologies will allow many driving related processes to be automated. From navigating through the quickest routes and driver assistance to transforming the buying-and-selling process, and even collision warnings and drivers health alerts—the culmination of Big Data, IoT and electric vehicles will make way for endless new possibilities. This will help revolutionize smart cities and make them safer through reduced accidents and better emergency response facilities.

Further, by improving city operations and incorporating IoT-enabled electric vehicles into transportation, cities would become more sustainable, productive and efficient. Such a tech-led approach will also help create more employment opportunities and improve citizen engagement and the social system on a whole.

Can Blockchain transform Electric Vehicles into energy storage devices? How?

One of the biggest apprehensions regarding adoption of electric vehicles is lesser availability of EV charging posts. Most of the EV users have chargers at their homes. In an ecosystem where each one of these public and private charging stations can be shared, the capacity of EV charging network will face a drastic increase. This will not only make access to charging while on the go easier, but will also prove to be highly cost-efficient. Equipped with smart grids and IT systems managing the energy flow, the potential benefits of putting EV charging on blockchain are massive.

Blockchain technology will give all the participants in the network a decentralized and shared ledger of all energy transactions.In such a scenario of connected communication systems, EVs will be able to perform tasks such as regulating frequency and demanding responses, thereby reducing load on the grid by helping put energy on or off during peak times. In this manner, blockchain technology has the potential to transform electric vehicles into energy storage devices while strengthening the charging network and reducing trade costs.

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