Close on the heels of PM Narendra Modi’s declarations at the COP26 summit, India’s largest automobile fuel retailer Indian Oil Corporation announced its plans to set up 10,000 charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) in three years. Setting up of EV charging stations and production of green hydrogen will both be part of the company’s net carbon zero strategy that is expected to be unveiled soon.
The Indian Oil announcement comes two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced India’s target to be net zero by 2070. “Electric Vehicles are now a reality, and Indian Oil is geared up to tide over challenges and leverage opportunities in this area. Our bouquet of services will now include alternative energy offerings, including EV charging at our fuel stations,” said IOC chairman S M Vaidya.
Besides Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) also announced plans to offer charging stations at around 7,000 petrol pumps over the next few years. State-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) had in September announced plans to commission 5,000 charging stations over the next three years. It had 84 EV charging stations.
Indian Oil plans to set up the charging stations in a phased manner with the first 2,000 stations being set up within the year. At present, Indian Oil has 448 EV charging stations and 30 battery swapping stations across the country.
Nine cities, including Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Surat and Pune, would be focus areas in the first phase with 231 charging stations. State capitals, smart cities and major highways and expressways would be covered in a phased manner.
A large chunk of these or 1,472 stations would be set up in smaller cities and along highways but most of these would cater to electric two wheelers. This number would go to 2510 in the third year when the overall number of stations run by Indian Oil would be 10,000. Indian Oil has collaborated with Tata Power, REIL, Power Grid Corporation, NTPC, Fortum, Hyundai, Tech Mahindra, BHEL and Ola for setting up EV chargers at its fuel stations. Initially, a mix of chargers suited for two and three wheelers would be provided, which would further be upgraded to meet the requirement and market conditions.