Oil Companies Expand EV Charging Across 15,000 Petrol Pumps

Oil companies are stepping into the electric vehicle (EV) charging arena, now providing charging facilities at over 15,000 petrol pumps across India. This move aims to support the growth of low-emission vehicles by creating a widespread charging infrastructure.

The number of pumps offering charging facilities has more than doubled since March 2023, with state-run corporations like Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum, and Bharat Petroleum leading the charge. These companies, along with private players like Nayara Energy, have equipped 95% of these pumps with EV chargers.

Out of India’s 89,000 petrol pumps, 17% now have EV charging facilities. Indian Oil leads the pack with 8,760 stations offering EV chargers, followed by HPCL with 3,050 pumps and BPCL with 2,640 pumps.

Different companies have adopted various strategies for EV charging, some focusing on highways while others target specific regions. Many have also introduced battery swapping services, particularly for two-wheelers and three-wheelers.

Despite the progress, the utilization of these charging stations remains low, primarily serving two-wheelers. Industry insiders acknowledge the challenge of a “chicken-and-egg” situation: without enough charging facilities, EV adoption will be slow, but without enough EVs on the road, charging stations will have limited use.

Oil companies face hurdles in setting up charging facilities, including delays in obtaining electricity connections and fixed charges imposed by some distribution companies, despite guidelines against it by the power ministry. Additionally, in some areas, three-phase electricity connections are unavailable.

In 2023, India saw a 50% increase in EV sales, totaling 1.53 million vehicles, including two-wheelers, three-wheelers, and cars. Indian Oil, HPCL, and BPCL aim to install charging facilities at 22,000 pumps and have made significant progress toward this goal. They have partnered with carmakers, fleet owners, and power companies to expand and operate charging infrastructure. Some oil companies are even venturing beyond petrol pumps to provide charging solutions.

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