India’s oil firms pledge to install 22,000 EV charging stations by 2026

EV charging stations supply in India will surge as the IndianOil Corporation (IOC) and two other public sector oil firms pledge to install 22,000 charging stations over the next five years.

Taking the lead, IOC said it would equip 10,000 fuel outlets with EV chargers over the next three years. IndianOil Chairman Shrikant Madhav Vaidya set the target. In a separate press statement, Bharat Petroleum Corporation said it would set up 7,000 stations over the next five years. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) has plans for 5,000 EV charging stations in place.

However, plans at IndianOil, a state-owned company under the Indian Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, appear most advanced. The Chairman elaborated the company would focus on nine cities in the first phase, including Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Surat and Pune. “I am confident that this small step by IndianOil will be a giant leap for the EV ecosystem in India,” he added.

The company at present has 448 EV Charging Stations and 30 Battery Swapping Stations across the country and said it collaborated with Tata Power, Fortum, Hyundai, Tech Mahindra, and Ola, among others. For the expansion, the IOC specified chargers suited for 2W/3W and added they could further upgrade as per requirement and market conditions.

Indian Oil also mentioned initiatives such as a hybrid microgrid connected to EV chargers in Bangalore run together with Hygge Energy. The Corporation also has set up IOC Phinergy, a 50:50 joint venture with Phinergy of Israel, to commercialize Aluminium-Air Battery Technology in India.

Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) claims to be India’s second-largest “oil marketing company” (OMC), also owned by the state of India. Arun Kumar Singh, the company’s Chairman & Managing Director, said: “Over the next few years, we are aiming at reaching the count of 7,000 stations to support the growing EV industry and these stations would be known as ‘Energy Stations’.” BPCL runs 19,000 service stations across India. However, the company has yet to disclose where they will install the EV charging facilities.

The last company in the mix – again state-owned – Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) had made the announcement to install 5,000 charging stations earlier in September. The company currently operates just 84 EV charging stations but agreed with Convergence Energy Services Ltd (CESL), Tata Power and Magenta EV Systems for setting up charging infrastructure at their retail outlets.

Unlike its competitors, HPCL also launched a proprietary charger collaborating with Magenta EV Systems and looked to incorporate it in streetlamps for curbside charging. Plans at the state-owned energy company also include infrastructure to address the two and three-wheeler market. Charging stations will be installed at select retail outlets in Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, and Pune over the next ten years, said the company.

In summer, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) announced plans to target having EV charging stations every 40 – 60 miles along the country’s highways. Details on funding or partners remain scarce, however.

India has been running subsidy programs for years to increase EV uptake. For example, the government extended the FAME II subsidies program in June this year until 31 May 2024. The FAME II subsidy programme provides for subsidies with a total value of the equivalent of $1.4 billion. In summer 2019 and early 2020, grants were also approved for almost 5,600 electric buses and 2,636 charging stations. This year, India plans to incentivise EV manufacturing while famously high import duties for electric vehicles may be dropped.

At the Climate Summit COP26 in Glasgow, the world “biggest democracy” pledged to become climate-neutral no sooner than 2070., (BPCL)


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